The 5 Ways You’re Making Your Space Feel Smaller & Dirtier Than It Has To
Talking about things in their opposites can be oddly very effective (as was proven with this big time hit), and so we’re discussing the ways in which you’re proactively Un-Live-Simply-ing your life, as a way, of course, to encourage you in the other direction.
Here, then, are the ways you are actively making your space feel smaller, darker, and dirtier than is at all necessary.
1. You’re not living within your spatial means.
While there is a place for emotion in the realm of stuff, ultimately your feelings just can’t trump space. Why? Because one factor is intangible and lives inside your imagination, and the other lives in the real world of inches, capacity, and viable floor space.
If you want to Live Simply, you’ve got to live within your spatial means. That’s all there is to it.
2. Your furniture doesn’t match the floorplan.
If you want your home to feel spacious, inviting, and functional, your furniture must be suitable–which means both in terms of its style and function, and in its layout and quantity.
Sure, you can go ahead and pack your place to the rafters with large, clunky furniture. No one’s going to stop you. But Traversable and lovely that space won’t be.
Scale, people, are you getting me?
3. You’re not putting things back where they belong.
Wondering why it feels as though your walls are closing in on you? Oh! Well that’s because your habit of not putting things away has lead to every surface in your space being covered with various phone cords, long johns, greeting cards and the like. Even though those items may be useful and necessary, they nonetheless look like clutter when they’re kept in an unkempt manner.
Not only does visible mess cause feelings of anxiety, in a practical and visual way it also acts as a deterrent to your space feeling bright and spacious: piles of clothing, paper, and other non-reflective materials sitting on all your (otherwise would be slightly reflective) surfaces greedily absorb the light in your space, which instantly makes it feel darker and smaller.
4. You’re not utilizing tricks of design
Your space is not laid out in such a way as to acknowledge the path of sunlight; your floors are covered in thick, dark, and dirty rugs and carpets that eat up the light coming in through the windows; your furniture is not laid out so as to best invite flow, conversation, tread-space.
5. You’re not cleaning.
Ergo, your space is dirty-feeling…because it’s dirty.
So, how to fix these flaws in home and habit and make your space feel shiny and vast? Let’s review:
– Live within your spatial means.
– Get rid of any and all extras and unnecessaries, this includes but is not limited to: furniture, wall coverings, floor coverings, clothing, nail polishes, shoes, mixing bowls, decorative roosters, ETC.
-Make sure you select your furniture based on its functionality within your space. The smaller your space, the more multi-functional you’ll want your furniture to be.
Don’t be afraid to choose one or two large pieces–be they furniture or art, but keep the rest on the smaller side.
– Establish a place for everything and put the damn things back in their place. I swear this is not hard and depends solely on your holding yourself accountable to doing it. Even if you’re tired, and even if you’d rather go sit on the couch right NOW.
– Be aware of the light and layout of your space. Increase light by ditching heavy, dark and obstructive window coverings and dirty and dark carpeting. Hang mirrors to reflect that light. Add other reflective surfaces like mirrored tables, metals, glass, and so on, that will seem to disappear, while themselves helping to add to the lighting cause. Think about natural flow when arranging furniture–as in your intuitive walking patterns.
-Clean. Or get someone else to. Just because you aren’t really looking doesn’t mean it’s not getting real, real dirty.
Image credits: photographer Oberto Gili via Mrs. Blandings, Annette English, Homepolish
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Annie Traurig was born with the ability to see order through clutter. As a child, she spent playdates organizing friends’ closets and packing their duffle bags for summer camp.
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