Commentary: Decluttering television shows raise troubling issues around waste

16/1/2022 1:08:00 AM
Commentary: Decluttering television shows raise troubling issues around waste

Commentary: Decluttering television shows raise troubling issues around waste

Commentary: Decluttering television shows raise troubling issues around waste

While it may be satisfying - both for the family and viewers - to see truckloads of unnecessary items driven away and leaving behind a spacious and neatly organised home, it is not just a case of 'out of sight, out of mind' for the decluttered items, says a researcher.

In episode one Nick says:The house decluttering and makeover TV show is a popular format that has been re-worked over the years.Related:A standard format involves a tour of the home of a family struggling to live with large amounts of clutter. The family’s belongings are then all taken away to be sorted or are sorted in their house.

Some decluttering shows give little consideration over where the large bags of unwanted things are going to end up.As mentioned above, throwing unwanted possessions in a skip destined for landfill is described as “fun”, or in the second episode: “This is the exciting bit when you get to chuck it all in the skip”.

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LinkedIn COVENTRY, England: “Homes across Britain looking fine on the outside but secretly they’re drowning on their inside .Commentary: Does Singapore seem more anxious about death from COVID-19 than from other causes? Their risk of COVID-19-related death is 14 times that of vaccinated people, says Rochelle Walensky, director of the US’s Centers for Disease Control.military threats against Ukraine are apparently based on similar calculations.Most may imagine our hyper-modern metropolis far removed from the sooty colonial port that many of our great-grandparents arrived in, but even today, Singapore remains an island in the sea.

.. That’s nearly double all the American deaths in war in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq combined — and the unvaccinated continue to die, pointlessly. Homes, people, lives, they’re crushed by loads of stuff. To increase the likelihood of a favourable outcome in its cold war with China, the US must maintain its strategic discipline and steer clear of secondary conflicts that could divert its attention and resources.” This is the opening sequence of Nick Knowles’ Big House Clearout, a TV show on Channel 5 in the UK. Probably the most distressing thing about COVID-19 is its relentless orphaning, which recalls the HIV epidemic in Africa or the Great Flu of 1918. In each episode a family have the entire contents of their home laid out on the floor of a warehouse for them to declutter. On a clear day, nature-lovers and exercise fanatics atop Mount Faber will be found savouring a view of green, undulating island chains and blue coves that stretch well beyond the horizon.

In episode one Nick says: “Many many piles are going off to charity shops and stuff’s being gifted away and then of course there is the pile that is being thrown away . Losing a parent young is one of the great life traumas. Some regional powers will be tempted to bully weaker neighbours because they think that the US pivot to East Asia will make American military intervention much less likely... Yet when the parent is an antivaxxer taken by COVID-19, the child may feel shamed into silence over an unnecessary death that some people will always regard as farcical. So now you have the fun of getting this into the skip. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP) To be sure, America’s focus on China will affect different regions differently, with much less impact on regional security in Latin America and Africa than in the Middle East.” The family then whoop and cheer as they fill the skip with their unrecyclable and unwanted stuff. They can’t easily change their mind about the disease, because that would mean giving up their antivax identity and the community that comes with it. Today’s sea robbers eye oil tankers, bulk carriers or container vessels rather than galleons laden with spice and treasure, and the coast guards and navies of Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia continue to mount 24/7 patrols.

The house decluttering and makeover TV show is a popular format that has been re-worked over the years. Other recent examples include Hoarder SOS on Channel 4, Sort Your Life Out on BBC One and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and Get Organized with The Home Edit on Netflix. (A new trend in parts of the US is to keep COVID-19 out of the obituary. The greatest security impact of the US strategic shift to East Asia will be felt in the Middle East, the region that relies most heavily on America for its security needs. I enjoy watching these shows but, as an academic who researches sustainable consumption and minimalist living, I’ve been worried about what happens to all the stuff that gets decluttered. Related: Commentary: 'A crushing sensation' - decluttering sparks heartache, distress in hoarders MAGICALLY DISAPPEAR? A standard format involves a tour of the home of a family struggling to live with large amounts of clutter. This is known as “disenfranchised grief” — a term coined by the psychologist Kenneth Doka to describe the feelings of mourners who cannot discuss their loss because the cause of death is stigmatised. The family’s belongings are then all taken away to be sorted or are sorted in their house. More generally, if the US maintains its strategic emphasis on China, it will unavoidably lose considerable geopolitical influence. Out here in the Strait, it has been a long day’s patrol and several long nights to go yet.

A home makeover or reorganisation is carried out, with the help of the TV show host, and a transformation to a tidy, organised home and happy family is revealed at the end. A friend of mine suffered disenfranchised grief when his former mistress died, and he couldn’t tell the person he loved most, his wife. However, there is often little to no consideration of the environmental impact associated with these major clear-outs. Some decluttering shows give little consideration over where the large bags of unwanted things are going to end up. Related:. Strategic discipline would make the US less likely to wage unnecessary wars. Although the objects in these shows seem to magically disappear, they are still in existence somewhere in the world. Perhaps they do find a new home and are re-used – or perhaps they end up incinerated or in landfill. Singapore’s maritime sector is serious business — amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, shipping kept apace and international supply chains stayed (literally) afloat, bringing us essentials such as rice, masks and toilet rolls.

While some shows just don’t mention where the decluttered items are going to go, others turn the act of throwing them away into an enjoyable event. As mentioned above, throwing unwanted possessions in a skip destined for landfill is described as “fun”, or in the second episode: “This is the exciting bit when you get to chuck it all in the skip”. It can be difficult to clean a hoarder's home as there are many things to lift and move around. (Photo: 99.co) TREATING THE SYMPTOMS INSTEAD OF THE CAUSE With the UK producing around 27 million tonnes of household waste in 2017, I’m not sure throwing objects into a skip is something that should be celebrated. Then as now, parents probably fussed over children in tow; but unlike family travels today, these pioneers journeyed not to satiate wanderlust during semester breaks but rather from want and desperation.

Also, despite these sorts of TV shows being focused on families that clearly have tendencies to accumulate a lot of possessions, there is often little to no advice given to them from the show hosts as to how they might try and prevent accumulating so much again in the future. Only focusing on decluttering and not focusing on how things are acquired in the first place, seems to treat the symptoms rather than the cause. Sometimes shows do consider the wider impact of disposing of objects. For instance in Hoarder SOS there is a focus on selling some items, while in Sort Your Life Out there are clear signs put up for piles of things to donate, recycle and sell. But perhaps these good intentions are contradicted by the unsustainable central message of the format which essentially rests on people accruing lots of things, being encouraged to get rid of a lot of them, and then being offered little to no advice on how to stop this happening again. Oceania historian Epeli Hau'ofa wrote a history of Pacific island-nations not merely as a peripheral addendum to adjourning continents but as a galaxy of islands unto themselves, informed by centuries of living and trading across a constellation of island-worlds.

Overall, decluttering shows reflect excessive capitalist consumption in which people are becoming increasingly unhappy with increasing amounts of stuff and are finding greater happiness through owning less. Related: Commentary: Marie Kondo has taught me I need 21 pairs of jeans Can we learn to repair things instead of throwing them away? CNA's Heart of the Matter dives into what's impeding that virtuous circle in Singapore: The shows’ focus on the positive outcome of having a tidy and decluttered home is helpful for the individual’s personal happiness. But if shows do not highlight disposing of things sustainably, or not continuing to acquire objects in the future, this raises environmental waste issues. To be more sustainably conscious, any show promoting the personal benefits of decluttering should focus on ways of preventing unwanted objects from going into landfill. This could be through upcycling – where waste material is turned into something more valuable – or through giving unwanted items away as gifts or selling them. In the summer of 2019, I undertook a marine conservation expedition in Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Or, perhaps a new, even more environmentally conscious TV show, could help people find ways to reduce their shopping and consumption habits, and to re-use and upcycle what they already own, to prevent the need for mass decluttering in the first place? Amber Martin-Woodhead is an Assistant Professor in Human Geography at Coventry University. This commentary .