The modern minimalist: clean vs clutter | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 07, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 07, 2018

The modern minimalist: clean vs clutter

Imagine being in a Victorian household from the 18th century; the cumbersome large dresses, the lavish garden-parties, the extravagant lives and furniture. God forbid the presence of a little empty nook, or a tiny space that isn't packed with gaudy carpets and massive sofas. While a little glamour is wonderful in its own right, it can get exhausting to just see that much clutter around on a daily basis. No wonder Victorian women kept fainting so often!

Fast forward a few hundred life-changing years sees us all busy with work, studies and life. After stressing ourselves out at the office, slaving away to meet the impending deadlines, all we need in life is a little peace. Imagine coming home to a pile of dirty laundry, the frustration of a missing pair of glasses and not knowing where the other sock went. Imagine having topsy-turvy shelves and a big fat 'throne' that just doesn't make sense in the living room. Alright, we won't be scaring you anymore, take a deep breath!

Let's face it; we just don't have the time to clean up after ourselves. A poll conducted by Gallup shows that the average adult spends 47 hours of their week working. Not only that, but nearly 18 percent tends to have the longest office hours imaginable- almost 12 hours per day, and 60 per week. These statistical figures don't take into account the innumerable phone calls, the troubleshooting, damage-control and office emergencies that we devote time to. No matter what way you look at it, that is a lot of work. It leaves us with little to no time, energy or motivation to clean up afterwards.

What makes things worse is the fact that the presence of clutter often implies the absence of mental peace. A study published by The University of California gives that notion a nod. According to the study, returning to a messy home can hinder the production of the cortisol. This miracle-worker hormone helps us de-stress, and its absence sends us in panic mode.

Well, what then can we do to reduce some of that after-work stress? Peace of mind, where art thou?

Let's find the solution from our masters of minimalism- the Japanese. Rather than celebrating the presence of material objects, the Japanese 'Ma' philosophy cherishes the space between them. The void, the absence of things is essentially the presence of a negative space, an empty place where there is room for something. Imagine having just two aesthetically pleasing, minimally-constructed chairs in place of a set of six, humungous 'thrones' crammed into a tiny space. While the latter can make you claustrophobic, the former is a rather 'zen' setting. Hence, we need furniture that suits that peace-inducing minimal aesthetic in our lives.

Furniture today is not about how thick the legs of your table are. Today's furniture is sleek, minimal and definitely not headache-inducing. Besides, in a world where multitasking is such an essential life skill, why shouldn't your furniture multitask for you? If we really want to have less furniture to dust in our house, shouldn't one article be able to perform the task of many?

Here's a scenario: There is the one chair in your room that serves the purpose of a clothes-dump. Instead of walking in on a pile of clothes creating a Mt. Everest on your poor study chair, let an all-purpose Stow do the job for you. Your lost pair of glasses can perch on top of the top shelf while the scarves and stoles can fit neatly inside the drawers. With that, there is finally a chair to sit on.

A minimalist life is not an easy life, but it brings ease. Let Bohu guide you towards a life of inner peace and a non-messy exterior. Let happiness, peace and fulfilment radiate, and let there not be a pile of stuff lying around on the floor for a change.

 

Photo courtesy: Bohu

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