More People Are Embracing ‘Cluttercore’ as Messy Rooms Go Viral on TikTok

In January, Ms. Soto turned on her camera and trashed her sunny room in South Brooklyn in a 15-minute “room makeover” video she uploaded to YouTube. After the video’s grand finale — in which Ms. Soto scattered pads across her bed — she shut off the camera and cleaned it all up.

As a trend, messiness has its limits, because not everyone’s mess will be judged equally, Ms. Soto said: “It’s chic when Julia Fox shows her real apartment, but is it chic when an everyday person does it?” The younger and more conventionally attractive the person, she said, the greater their latitude to be messy online.

Beyond social media, some people are finding other reasons to embrace mess. For one, a space without clutter can seem sterile, more like a Sweetgreen than a cozy home, said Jonah Weiner, a journalist who writes the popular fashion and design newsletter Blackbird Spyplane along with Erin Wylie. (Mr. Weiner is also a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine.)

“The model has been these zero-clutter, very formally organized places with a lot of negative space, a lot of air and, interestingly, not a lot of signs of life,” Mr. Weiner said.

Francesca Edouard, a 29-year-old library assistant, sees that look in Kim Kardashian’s mostly beige home, which appeared last year in a Vogue video free of almost any items on any surfaces. “When I look at it, I think, are you afraid to truly live in it?” Ms. Edouard said.

Ms. Edouard’s bedroom in the Boston area is cluttered with items that are meaningful to her: Nintendo Switch games on her dresser, a floral dress she saved up for tossed on a chair, a secondhand romance novel spine-up on the bed.

Ms. Edouard enjoys spending time in a space full of stuff that’s distinctly hers; after all, her bedroom is a place for her to live, not a film set. “I want it to say something about me,” she said.