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Why I've Banished the Traditional Clock from My Home

Clocks are so prevalent that we hardly notice their presence, their ticking becoming a constant backdrop to our everyday routines. However, my decision to eliminate them stemmed from a personal aversion to their ticking noise and their bulky appearance.

The ticking of a clock has always been a source of stress for me, to the point where its sound becomes all-consuming once I hear it. It's as if the ticking drowns out all other noises, making it difficult for me to focus on anything else.

rustic dining room with grandfather clock

Cuckoo clocks for example, with their quirky calls, can certainly bring a touch of whimsy to any space. But let's be real, those incessant cuckooing sounds can freak me out, especially when they disrupt the peace and quiet of the night. Sure, they have a fascinating history and cultural significance, but their loud calls might not be everyone's cup of tea when it comes to creating a serene home environment.

This heightened sensitivity to the ticking has led me to remove traditional wall clocks from my living space, seeking relief from the constant background noise that accompanies them.

Yet, this simple act sparked deeper contemplation about larger issues. It made me ponder the role clocks play and their impact on my physical and mental well-being. By stepping away from traditional timekeeping devices, I've embraced a new perspective where time flows more naturally and less intrusively.

lots of vintage clocks

This journey began with a fundamental observation: our lives are shaped by a constant urge to pursue time, to conform to its demands, and to organise our existence according to its relentless progression.

Traditional wall clocks, with their methodical ticking and stern faces, seem to be the very embodiment of this relentless pursuit. They are not merely instruments to tell the time but symbols of a life led under the constant scrutiny of passing hours and minutes.

Maybe the decision to banish these timekeepers from my home was, in essence, and subconsciously, an act of rebellion against this tyranny of time.

white wall clock

Note, however, that despite banishing traditional clocks from my home, punctuality remains a cornerstone of my daily routine. While I've opted for alternative ways to keep track of time, such as digital devices or natural cues, the value of being punctual has not diminished.

I firmly believe in the importance of respecting others' time and commitments, and I make it a priority to arrive promptly for appointments, meetings, and engagements. My commitment to punctuality reflects my respect for both others' time and the efficient flow of daily life.

The Concept of Time: Traditional Clocks vs. Modern Alternatives

To understand why we've moved from old-school clocks to the ones we use today, it's important to think about how we see time. In the past, time was broken down into chunks, treated like something you could buy, save, or throw away. This way of thinking shaped how we saw time – as something to use up, hoard, or lose.

Classic clocks with their round faces and moving hands hammered home this idea, making time feel like an unstoppable force you couldn't ignore, both by what you see and hear.

On the flip side, modern ways of telling time challenge this idea by showing time in a more abstract way. Instead of traditional clocks with hands moving around, we now have more modern clocks with digital displays that quietly change numbers or apps that mix time with other stuff. These modern options make time less of a big deal in our lives. They show time as just one part of everything around us, not the main focus.

modern smart watch

This change in how we keep time shows a bigger shift in how we think about time. When we ditch traditional clocks, we're not just picking a different way to tell time. It's like choosing a whole new way to experience time. It's less about controlling time and more about going with the flow, which has had a big impact on how I live and decorate my home.

How Traditional Clocks Impact Interior Design

The impact of traditional clocks on interior design is huge. For many people, a clock isn't just for telling time—it's a key part of the decor, showing off their style and taste with a decorative clock. But having clocks as decor brings its own challenges.

First off, having a traditional clock can set the mood of a room. A big, fancy grandfather clock might make a space feel grand and historic, but it can also take over the room, making it feel less flexible and more formal. And the ticking of a wall clock can add a steady beat to the room, but for some (like me!), it's just stressful.

big wall clock in industrial interior

Plus, while traditional clocks are often beautiful, they can also limit how a room looks overall. Trying to match the clock's style with furniture, wall colours, and other decor can make it hard to get creative with design.

In my own home, getting rid of traditional clocks gave me more freedom to design my spaces without having to work around these big timekeepers.

Psychological Effects of Having a Clock in Your Home

The effect of having clocks around us goes deep and has many layers. For starters, seeing a clock all the time reminds us constantly that time is passing, which can make us feel more anxious or rushed. It's like a little voice in our heads saying, "Hurry up! Time's ticking!"

vintage clock in contemporary kitchen

And where we put clocks and how they look can also mess with our sense of time and space. A big clock that's hard to miss can make time feel like this big thing looming over us, taking over our home and our life. But if there aren't any clocks around, it can feel like time isn't even a thing, like we're in this timeless bubble where we don't have to worry about every single moment.

I've been clock-free in my home decor for quite a while now. But whenever I'm in a space with a clock, I notice a major shift in how I feel. It makes me feel hurried and hyper-aware of time ticking away. I become less relaxed and find it harder to enjoy the present moment, proving how much our environment can impact our inner vibe.

How Banishing the Clock Can Change Your Lifestyle

Banishing the traditional clock from your home can have a transformative effect on your lifestyle. Freed from the tyranny of ticking hands, your days can take on a more organic flow. Activities are no longer rigidly scheduled around the clock's dictates but are instead more responsive to your own natural rhythms and those of your family.

Meal times, work periods, and leisure activities can all benefit from this more fluid approach to time management. Meals can be enjoyed when hunger naturally arises rather than at prescribed hours. Work can be conducted in bursts of productivity that align with your own peaks in focus and energy, rather than during arbitrary time slots. Leisure time can feel more restorative, as it is not tinged with the guilt of 'wasting' time, a concept that loses its grip in the absence of constant time monitoring.

dinner parry view from above

Moreover, this change can foster a greater sense of connection and communication within your household. Without the pressure to adhere to a strict schedule, there is more room for spontaneous activities and discussions. This can bring about a deeper level of engagement and presence in your interactions, enriching your family life in unexpected ways.

Innovative Alternatives to Traditional Clocks

In the absence of traditional clocks, a variety of innovative alternatives can come to play a role in your home. These alternatives don't aim to replicate the exact function of a traditional clock but rather offer new ways for you to interact with time.

One such alternative is the use of smart home devices that integrate timekeeping with other functionalities. These devices can provide time updates on demand, eliminating the need for constant visual reminders of the time. This is the way I like to operate.

typing on laptop in pink setting

Additionally, apps that track time through non-intrusive methods, such as gentle audio cues or notifications, offer you a way to stay aware of the time without it dominating your environment.

Another approach is the use of natural indicators of time, such as changes in light, which can be enhanced by the strategic placement of windows and the use of light-sensitive blinds. These methods encourage a more intuitive connection with time, rooted in the natural world rather than mechanical constructs. This may not be as easy as it sounds, however, with modern-day demands!


Integrating Modern Time-Telling Alternatives into Your Interior Decor

Integrating these modern time-telling alternatives into your interior decor requires a thoughtful approach. The goal is to incorporate these elements in a way that complements your space without making time the focal point.

For example, smart home devices can be chosen for their aesthetic appeal and placed discreetly within rooms, serving multiple purposes beyond timekeeping. Apps and devices that offer gentle time reminders can be customised to fit your lifestyle, providing the information you need without undue intrusion.

smart home system device in living room

The key is to find a balance that works for you, one that allows you to stay informed of the time when necessary but without it imposing on your space or consciousness.

This balance will look different for everyone, reflecting individual preferences and lifestyles. In my home, the shift towards these modern alternatives has resulted in a more harmonious and flexible living environment, where time is present but not presiding.

Reflections on a Home Without Traditional Clocks

Until now, I never gave much thought to the impact of having (or not having) a ticking clock in my home. My main concern was always the annoying sound it made.

However, as I reflect on my home without traditional clocks, I realise the profound sense of calm and freedom it brings. Without the constant ticking and the presence of clock faces, my space feels more peaceful and less restricted. Time, though still essential, no longer feels like a strict ruler to obey, but rather a natural flow to embrace.

woman on blue sofa with mini doodle dog

It's a good reminder that our choices about our living spaces can greatly affect our well-being. By removing traditional clocks, I've not only changed my physical environment but also subconsciously changed how I want to live and engage with the world around me.

Is It Time to Banish Your Clock?

I encourage you to reflect on your own relationship with time and the role that clocks play in your life and home. Experiment with different approaches and observe how these changes affect your space and your well-being.

What are your thoughts on banishing the traditional clock from your home? Share your experiences and opinions in the comments below, and don't forget to participate in the poll to see how many others are considering this change.

How do feel about a tradional clock in your home?

  • I love them! It's big part of my home decor.

  • Hate them. The ticking drives me crazy.

  • I don't care either way.

  • Just here for the 🍿



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Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

I am Marieke, a Dutch Australian interior designer, business executive, tutor, content creator and social media influencer.


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