The “Joy of Letting Go”: Decluttering and Apparel

Journal article

R. Eike, Michelle Burton, G. Hustvedt, Sunhyung Cho
Fashion Practice, 2021

Semantic Scholar DOI


APA   Click to copy
Eike, R., Burton, M., Hustvedt, G., & Cho, S. (2021). The “Joy of Letting Go”: Decluttering and Apparel. Fashion Practice.

Chicago/Turabian   Click to copy
Eike, R., Michelle Burton, G. Hustvedt, and Sunhyung Cho. “The ‘Joy of Letting Go’: Decluttering and Apparel.” Fashion Practice (2021).

MLA   Click to copy
Eike, R., et al. “The ‘Joy of Letting Go’: Decluttering and Apparel.” Fashion Practice, 2021.

BibTeX   Click to copy

  title = {The “Joy of Letting Go”: Decluttering and Apparel},
  year = {2021},
  journal = {Fashion Practice},
  author = {Eike, R. and Burton, Michelle and Hustvedt, G. and Cho, Sunhyung}


Abstract A decluttering movement swept cultures around the world in 2019 with the release of a streaming television series based on Marie Kondo’s book “Sparking Joy”. The widespread tidying trend reportedly led to overflowing secondhand markets and landfills. This study examined the impact of the decluttering lifestyle movement to gain understanding of the influences, process, items, and perceived impact of decluttering. An online survey was conducted with 331 female participants from the United States. Findings indicate that awareness of and methods used to declutter are associated with age while motivations are connected to emotional well-being (i.e., joy of letting go). It is suggested that when employing the “KonMari” method of decluttering on a regular basis, this method would contribute to proper care and maintenance of an individual’s wardrobe while increasing positive feelings/emotions. Analysis of an open-ended survey question found that participants reported discarding apparel items they perceived as being of low quality or with poor fit and that apparel was the category of discarded items selected for replacement at the highest level. Interpretation of data identified a gap in the decluttering method regarding responsible disposal tactics.


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