Organizing Strategy To Live By: Live Within Your Spatial Means

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Yesterday I discussed the notion of “living within your spatial means” with one of my clients, and it occurred to me that I haven’t explicitly done so here. For shame.

You’ll most probably be familiar with the concept of living within your means in regards to finances. In that sense, the expression refers to expending an amount of money that is respective to the amount you possess or earn. You are living within your financial means if the sum of your expenses is equal to or (preferably) less than the sum of your income (that bit left over goes into savings).

Just as money is a tangible quantity, one with limitations, so too is space.

Every space has a fixed amount of items that can be comfortably stored within, spaced far enough apart so as to be able to see and access each one.

The biggest challenge I find my clients face is living beyond their spatial means. They attempt to keep more things than will reasonably fit into any one area. This leads to clutter (they can’t easily find or locate anything and as a result, much of it goes to waste), disorganization (there’s no opportunity for successful organizing systems because the spaces are too crowded to implement one), and a sense of chaos (the overal space feels over-stuffed, bursting at the seams, unmanageable and out of control).

The best guide for decluttering and organizing is to aim for living within your spatial means.

Take into account how large any one shelf/closet/room is. Actually note the size. As you fill it with your belongings, heed that size. Place as many items as will fit with some breathing room in between (things should not be packed so tightly together that the notion of extracting any one thing is laughable. Rather, you should be able to shift things around and access what you desire with ease) and no more.

Why is the law of living within your spatial means so helpful? Because it forces you into the direction of streamlining your belongings, of recognizing that you can comfortably accomodate a certain number of items, and that you must therefore let go of anything that exceeds that limitation.

LISTEN KIDS, YA JUST CAN’T FIT MORE THAN WHAT FITS, YA FALLAH? Don’t try or bad things will happen!

Live within your spatial means. Love it. Live it (Simply).

Image credits: (all: left to right) BHG, Inspired By Charm, JordiTraditional HomeTransform HomeBHG

10 thoughts on “Organizing Strategy To Live By: Live Within Your Spatial Means

  1. kwajmamasita

    One of my biggest pet peeves for the very generous, but often size/space irrelevant, kid’s gifts. Since having children, I have not once purchased a gift for anyone that requires much space at all, since having to manage that myself (which often means, donating). Great article!

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  3. Deneen

    This is oh so true! Especially poignant to me since moving to another state & down-sizing. Taking time to discover how best to store what is useful & loved is key when creating a new home.

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