Culture and trends

What is Gen Z’s new favorite aesthetic, cluttercore?

Image of a Gen Zer sat in a room full of books and clutter
Written by
Victoria Owen
Published on
July 28, 2022
Last updated
June 6, 2024

What this article covers

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Teens and young adults have always used their bedrooms as a canvas to express their identity, as it’s the one room in the house where they are in charge. There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and Gen Z across the world are turning their attention to their surroundings as a way of helping them cope with the constantly changing and chaotic nature of life.

What does Cluttercore mean?

While Millennials strive to clear their minds with simple, calming decor, the minimalist aesthetic doesn’t have the same appeal to Gen Z. In fact, they’re taking a totally different approach to creating a home space that boosts their mental health and wellbeing. The term ‘cluttercore’ has emerged to describe the preference for a room filled with belongings that remind them of friends, family, and the world outside. There are already over 60M views on TikTok videos tagged #cluttercore.

But cluttercore doesn’t just mean ‘messy.’ Instead, trinkets and mementos are artfully laid out around the room. Twitter user @spirituelgirl explained: “i love a full room. an organized mess. it’s full of personality and it just feels good to be in. like a big surrounding hug.” Cluttercore is a relation of cottagecore, the comfortingly traditional aesthetic that’s all about being cosy and quaint. A common criticism of minimalism is that it may look great on Instagram, but such spaces don’t feel welcoming or ‘lived in.’ Cluttercore accepts the reality of clutter and embraces it, rather than creating shame around it, like Marie Kondo’s KonMari method could be accused of.

Why does Gen Z like Cluttercore?

There are parallels between cluttercore and other Gen Z trends, particularly their rejection of the overly stylised social media images favoured by Millennial influencers. This generation has always embraced the idea of being yourself, refusing to accept restrictions on their identity and self-expression. The anxiety epidemic among this group has also made them acutely aware of the impact of such restrictions on their mental health, so trends like cluttercore are part of their commitment to self-care.

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