The latest IKEA catalogue is a study in maximalism. It marks a dramatic change for interior design trends which, until recently, have been dominated by minimalist and Scandinavian-influenced design concepts. In 2018 we have seen the return of rich colours and saturated interiors, plush fabrics and highly decorated homes. We’ve previously been lead to believe that a minimalist home with very little clutter can simplify our lives, quiet our minds and help us lead more fulfilling, happier lives. But what if this isn’t true?
New research which was published in Ikea’s Our Life at Home Report found that having too much stuff in our home is one of the biggest causes of stress, however, paring down your possessions too much can actually cause more anxiety than relief.
The report surveyed more than 21,000 people from 22 countries (including Australia) and found that 27 per cent of people feel pressure from society to live more minimally, a pressure which is causing arguments and disharmony in the home. In fact, 49 per cent of those surveyed said that differing ideas of what constitutes ‘mess’ were one of the main arguments in their households. Furthermore, homeowners reported that balancing the pressure to declutter with the importance of keeping their meaningful objects is a source of tension for them.
The root of the problem is that one person’s mess is another person’s treasured items on display. As such, a ‘clutter-free’ home could have different meanings to different people. An overly minimal and clean home can even feel too sterile and lack personality. So, what should you do about it?
- Make sure everyone in the household declutters together, focusing on things such as junk drawers, old clothes, toys and random collections of magazines and other paraphernalia you may not need.
- Rather than removing all clutter from your home, decide as a couple (or family) what’s important to have on display, and within easy reach. Allow each person to creatively contribute to the decoration of your home, and allow each person their own space for expression.
- Whether you like an overly feathered nest, or a nest that just has the essentials, ensure your home delivers what you need from it: peace, calm, happiness and function.
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