Aesthetics Wiki

Cluttercore is a highly personalized, cluttered aesthetic popularized largely by Gen-Z and is an opposing aesthetic of minimalism. People can more generally consider it an, "organized mess".


Cluttercore's origins can be traced back to maximalist aesthetics common in the Victorian era and can be considered a sort of modern maximalism. As the US economy recovered from the recession of 2008 that led to the popularity of minimalism, people began to accumulate more wealth and have the ability collect things that they were interested in. With the desire to put those things on display and personalize their homes, interior design aesthetic began to rise in popularity.

The term cluttercore itself was reportedly coined by TikTok user @mDugy and gained momentum as more and more people resonated with a design philosophy supporting, “an appreciation of things that we can call our own”. While some media outlets frame the aesthetic as a Gen-Z "revolt" against Millennial's minimalism, many Millennials have embraced the aesthetic and helped popularize it.


At the core, the aesthetic is about curating items in a way that puts individuality and self-expression on display. It has similarities to goblincore in the sense that it includes collections of items or trinkets that may not have meaning to anyone or be attractive other than the collector themselves.

While previous types of maximalism were about showing off wealth, cluttercore is more about showing off the things that you love and putting your own personal touch on it. Some people would say that cluttercore is not something that is taught so much as it is a way of being, and some who have embraced the style say that discovering the term felt validating of something that they were already doing or liberating from the shame of being unable to maintain a minimalist aesthetic.


Critics of cluttercore and maximalism argue that it can get out of control to become less like self-expression and more like hoarding, which is a mental health defined by "getting/keeping too many items that you may not have a need for right now and don't have space for".

While the claims of mental health impacts are extreme realities, and the aesthetic is not inherently "dirty" or trashy it can still be understandingly overwhelming or stressful for people who are in the space. Excessive clutter is also known to negatively impact people's emotional, social, and physical well-being.

@mDugy, who coined the term, is quick to note that “cluttercore is in no way a promotion of unhealthy hoarding of material objects and garbage” but it's important to know yourself and have a method in place to maintain it as an aesthetic, instead of simply having too much stuff.

One way to help determine whether or not the clutter is a problem is if getting rid of things is creating problems in other areas of your life, such as being unable to find important items like bills, hurting yourself bumping/tripping over things, or finding yourself overwhelmed or depressed as a result of clutter.


This highly personalized aesthetic is characterized by what specifically makes the creator happy and showcases their individual personality. One or many other types of aesthetics can be weaved into one space, the important thing is that walls and surfaces are covered with curated objects which are meaningful to whoever arranged them. These can include items such as:

  • Toys, action figures, figurines
  • Games, movies, books
  • Photos, paintings, arts & crafts
  • Clothing or shoes
  • Souvenirs or other tchotchkes
  • Plants or flowers

Items can be grouped together either by specific collections, loosely related, or completely unrelated outside of what the creator finds attractive and self-expressive.