A place for everything and everything in its place.
Imagine living in an organized home – where there is a place for everything, plus a little extra breathing room. Not an over-full home with too much “stuff” tightly organized into a barely-maintainable system bound to fail if you add just one more thing. But and empty shelf or drawer in each room, and space in-between. Leaving you room to breathe – and not having to exert super-human organizing forces just to maintain even a semblance of order.
Imagine spending time at home, able to be present and focused on what really matters, instead of distracted by clutter and “to-do” lists.
Are you with me?
Here’s why I think everyone needs an empty drawer (or shelf, or cabinet, or room…) in their home.
1 – It shows you have space for space
Yes, I know that last sentence about space may make me sound like a complete space cadet. BUT… hear me out.
You have spent considerable time, energy, and resources into organizing your stuff. The focus is constantly on STUFF. Well, what are you doing to show you have room for SPACE?
2 – It shows you have room to grow
By making a conscious decision to make room for space, you also send a subconscious signal that you have space for something new. You have room to grow.
And I’m not talking about having room for more STUFF.
I’m talking about having space in your home and your life for the way-more-precious intangibles.
You have space to toss guest coats and shoes when you invite new people into your home.
You have space for the kids to hide in during a game of flashlight hide-and-seek, which I can guarantee they will remember WAY more than that latest toy you bought them.
You have space in your home to just relax, spend time with the people who matter to you, or enjoy a hobby – without being surrounded by distracting clutter and over-stuffed spaces.
3 – Open Space is Calming
Think about that feeling when you first walk into a nice hotel room. White sheets, clear desk and nightstand. Space. It’s calming to not be surrounded by stuff.
Now, imaging re-creating this in you home.
We are lucky enough to have a spare room that I (mostly) use for this purpose. Although, when house construction projects take over, it becomes our “overflow” room for boxes and supplies. But, at least that overflow isn’t in the living room!
Think about creating a “space” in your home – free of distractions and stuff. Maybe it’s your bedroom. Maybe it’s a corner of your living room. Maybe it’s on your back patio. Wherever it is, think of it as your mini hotel room where you can decompress from the busyness of everyday life.
Going beyond empty space – creating margin in your life.
We could all use a whole lot more margin in our lives – blank space, empty time. Our lives are so jam-packed and over-scheduled, and our houses and closets are filled with way more stuff than we could ever reasonably want or need. At’s all disturbing, distracting, and muddles our minds and our thinking.
My best days are the ones where I wake up a full hour before anyone else in my house. I’m not saying that I’m always great at doing this, but I wish I was.
I feel a noticeable change in my energy on days when I wake up at the same time as my kids. I feel frazzled – like I’m playing catch-up all day long, and I’ll never quite be on top of the day.
Having that hour to myself allows me time to look to the day ahead. To prioritize my morning. To tackle a few things off that never-ending “to-do list” before I’m thrown into a new day.
Create Margin in Your Day
Schedule space in your day. This may sound counter intuitive – schedule ONE more thing into your already stuffed schedule.
Set aside an hour a day for “space”. I love having an hour in the morning, but it can be any time of day that works for you.
Now, I’m not talking about setting aside an hour to read. Or an hour to exercise. I’m talking about an hour for SPACE. Maybe you use that time to read or work out. Maybe you use it to mentally decompress and do nothing. The point is to have margin in your day to let other areas of your life overflow into, leaving the other areas of your day a little less packed.
So go empty a drawer, a shelf, or an hour in your day. Embrace the margin. Enjoy the space.