Henry David Thoreau sought a decluttered life because he thought it would lead to a decluttered mind, The Advocate columnist Danny Heitman writes in a New York Times article.

With household decluttering now a national obsession, maybe Americans should pause this Fourth of July and remember the nation’s original domestic minimalist.

He moved to a small cabin on Walden Pond near Concord, Mass., 170 years ago today, on July 4, 1845, intent on living as simply as he could. Thoreau fit everything he wanted into a dwelling the size of a tool shed.

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