“Cluttercore” Is TikTok’s Latest Decor Trend, But Don’t Confuse It with Maximalism

published May 12, 2022
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Credit: Samara Vise

So, you’ve been calling yourself a maximalist ever since you realized that too many things in your home “spark joy” and decidedly failed out of Marie Kondo school. But maybe there’s no more room on your walls, and your bookshelves are simply not spacious enough for all your favorite reads and trinkets. Perhaps the maximalism has tipped into cluttercore territory.

Cluttercore is an up-and-coming aesthetic style growing in popularity on TikTok and Instagram. Its origin dates back to August 2021 when an explainer video from @4walls went viral on TikTok. The narration and visuals may be overwhelming to the minimalists out there, but the message is hitting home for those in the modern age who have taken their maximalism to the extreme.

“Meet maximalism’s aesthetic cousin ‘cluttercore,’” the narration begins. “It might be a minimalist’s worst nightmare, but some say it’s just an organized mess.”

What sets cluttercore apart from maximalism is partly how much stuff is in your space — we’re talking floor-to-ceiling gallery walls packed so densely you can’t tell what the paint color of the wall is — and a sense of organized, nostalgic chaos.

It’s the aesthetic for collectors of niche items who want to proudly display their cache. It’s for those who have loads of items that each hold their own story. And it’s for people who aren’t afraid to fill their spaces with the things they love, no matter how whacky, minuscule, or unimportant it may seem to someone on the outside.

So for those who love stuff and aren’t afraid to show it, stop trying to fit in the confines of maximalism and embrace cluttercore in all its glory. Keep collecting, keep curating your organized mess, and lean into the clutter of it all.