Thoreau sought a decluttered life because he thought it would lead to a decluttered mind. The abiding lesson of “Walden” is that only in occasionally standing offstage from our daily routines can we grasp what is really important to ourselves, our family, our country. Thoreau saw solitude and citizenship as mutually sustaining, not mutually exclusive.

Danny Heitman, “Thoreau, the First Declutterer”