embraced a wholehearted cull of clutter

kazuhiko fudaba

Senior Member
In the article of BBC: Tidying can transform your life, there is a sentence as follows.

As well as regret, there is a risk that someone who has embraced a wholehearted cull of clutter may extend
this ruthless approach to other areas of their lives. One of Marie Kondo's clients is quoted in her book as saying:
"Your course taught me to see what I really need and what I don't. So I got a divorce. Now I feel much happier."

Question) Will you please explain what the phrase "someone who has embraced a wholehearted cull of clutter" means?

Thank you.
Kazu Fudaba
  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    cull /kʌl/ vb (transitive)
    1. to choose or gather the best or required examples
    2. to take out (an animal, esp an inferior one) from a herd
    3. to reduce the size of (a herd or flock) by killing a proportion of its members
    You are basically treating your possessions like your herd and you are killing them off (i.e. throwing them away). When you cull your herd (for instance, you kill off the diseased ones) you have fewer animals left but the ones you have left are more valuable. When you throw away your junk, what remains is your most valuable or most useful possessions. "Wholesale" means you are probably throwing away more things than you are keeping.


    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    Just a few additional notes: The writer probably used this phrasing more for the energy and alliteration: "cull," "clutter." Given the radical nature of what some decluttering methodologies or philosophies, "cull" is probably meant to suggest something even more extensive than just getting rid of deficient or superfluous items. In other words, "cull" is meant to suggest a sort of controlled but pitiless "slaughter," which is underscored by the use of "wholehearted," meaning without holding back (again, pitiless, merciless, or "ruthless," as is noted in the source).


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Oops, I misremembered the word, but I don't think it makes much difference. I agree with Bibliolept, it indicates a radical interpretation of culling, getting rid of far more than you are keeping.
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