Like most manias and fads promising redemption, decluttering has turned from liberation to prison. Having a lot of stuff, and especially having it show, has become akin to pathology.

We find ourselves sighing with relief seeing REAL homes that are designed to hold valued “stuff” — and the stuff of living —  in creative ways. The most delightful we’ve seen is a house in  Miyanotocho, Osaka, called by the great Spoon and Tamago blog an “anti-decluttering house”.

It was designed by Yo Shimada ofTato Architects for a family of three:

…they had many, many belongings. And they weren’t looking for innovative storage solutions where they could tuck it all away. Quite the opposite, in fact. And they also wanted their home to function as a single room, but with the flexibility of having different spaces. 

Tato Architects

Shimada designed a series of 13 interconnected elevated platforms interspersed throughout the home with the living room as the intersection. It has lots of surfaces to place things.

Tato Architects

Judging from the photos, its inhabitants enjoy their stuff, and their life together, in a delightfully fluid way. The article’s last line posits something of an anti-decluttering mantra — and a redefinition of the overused notion of “hoarding”:  Finally people may be embracing the mantra that it’s not hoarding if your shit is awesome.

We think this tweak is even better:

Finally people may be embracing the mantra that…

…it’s not hoarding if YOU THINK your shit is awesome…And you’re living the way you want. 


Tato Architects


More photos here.


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3 replies on “An Anti-Decluttering House and a Liberating Redefinition of Hoarding

  1. Thank you! So creative and freeing!

  2. SO COOL! There’s a lot of “stuff” in there, but it doesn’t seem overwhelming or crowded at all to me. Really interesting design with the levels…

  3. to be fair, the decluttering movement via such gems as ”the magic of tidying up”, aren’t about having only a few possessions. it is about having possessions you love, and not keep stuff around, especially stored away, that you don’t use or love.

    this house in this article, to me has everything that is loved and used out in the open, in a functional way where it can be used and enjoyed. it is not hoarded or stored away –out of use and out of enjoyment. it does not feel cluttered; rather it feels used and enjoyed.

    it is not about the number of possessions one has, it is about their use and enjoyment.

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