Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

Neat Freaks

I just pitched a story on one of my favorite Tumblrs, Things Organized Neatly, but Rob Walker, in a lovely final Consumed column in the New York Times Magazine, beat me to it. His theory of TON’s appeal is that looking at organized stuff allows us the vicarious pleasure of ownership — without the storage and consumer guilt. I thought that was the purpose of failed EBay bids (I am usually glad, in the end, that I didn’t win) and the proliferating social shopping sites: Polyvore, Svpply, and so on. So maybe all the eye candy, none of the bills, is the mode of the moment. Since Walker’s new projects (sign up for his newsletter here) include the Tumblr Unconsumption, he’s obviously betting on reduce-reuse-recycle.