Originally published in The Sydney Morning Herald on February 28, 2008

A study by the Australia Institute, Stuff Happens, found that women in particular find clutter distressing. They don’t necessarily have more clutter than men (the typical suburban garage would dispel that notion) but they tend to notice it more. Women are also more embarrassed by their clutter than men. The alternative to cluttering up our homes is simply to avoid acquiring unwanted or useless items in the first place. Among other things, this requires a more conscious approach to shopping: buying what we really need and will use.

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