Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Let's Make a Spring Resolution to Make Space

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Let's Make a Spring Resolution to Make Space

Article excerpt

Instead of putting organizing on top of your spring cleaning list, I'd like to make an alternate proposition.

Don't think of it as organizing, i.e. getting rid of a few things and then finding ways to hide the rest of the stuff you own with clever containers and storage options until you mysteriously outgrow them.

What if we resolve instead to clear some space that we are not allowed to fill?

Imagine. Space for space sake.

Not room to grow but room designated as open, clear, clutter- and tchotchke-free.

But here's the hard part. You can't just shove some items over so that you can wedge some daylight between them. You have to remove the unnecessary.

Most things, including our bodies, perform better with free space your computer hard drive, your refrigerator, a flower bed, digestion.

But many of us thwart nature and feel the need to expand our possessions to fill whatever space we have. Funny how every closet, cabinet, drawer and counter in most homes fills according to availability, not necessity.

I'll illustrate with a confession.

On my desk at home is a can of compressed air I've had for at least three years. I probably bought it on impulse. Can of air for less than a dollar at a checkout counter? Sure, why not? Now it's an albatross.

I might have used it once or twice (and I was probably goofing off), but does that make it worth keeping indefinitely for some future event in which regular lung air won't do? I think not, but there it sits taunting me.

A single person living alone in a three-bedroom residence should have at least an empty drawer somewhere. Ummm, hypothetically.

OK, that's been bothering me for months. It seems ridiculous because it is.

So I opened a junk drawer and grumbled at its contents.

It was crammed with whatever I didn't want to deal with at the time. Magazine clippings that were six years old, name tags from networking events, instructions for the toaster I no longer owned, an expired container of camera film, screws and leftover hardware from DIY projects, matches, a dozen nearly spent tea lights; and then there were some items I decided were actually just cute trash. …

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