Judy Nollet
White Plume Communications

writer, instructional designer, eLearning developer

Creating Space

Moving to a new location or even just rearranging things at your current one can be a great incentive for simplifying and downsizing.

Yet even after selling, donating, recycling, or throwing out excess stuff, it may still be difficult to find the right spots for all the remaining items—and to keep your new area from becoming as overloaded as the previous one.

Rearranging my home office got me thinking about an acronym I heard quite a while ago: SPACE. If SPACE is what you want, then you need to Sort, Purge, Assign, Contain, and Equalize. Alas, I don't recall the source of this useful acronym, but I'll describe it more fully below.


Put similar items together, such as the various papers for the printer or all of your reference manuals. Or, if you're looking for space in your home, this could apply to your your craft supplies or sports gear.


That's right. Ruthlessly get rid of stuff you don't use and won't need. Unsure about disposing of a set of files? One consultant I know recommends putting such items in a box. Label the box, and write the date on it. Then put it in a closet. If you haven't opened the box in a year, it's probably safe to get rid of whatever is in it. (Caveat: That trick does not apply to tax-related papers and other legal documents. Those typically have a much longer shelf life.)


"A place for everything and everything in its place" as the adage goes. Take the time to figure out where to put things. At your desk, keep the most-used items as close as possible. Oh, and don't forget that after you use something, you need to put it back where it belongs.


This is the step in which you actually acquire more stuff: filing folders (and a filing cabinet, if you don't already own one), CD/DVD holders, plastic containers of various sizes, and the like. For example, I have a wonderful spinning container that's divided into a number of slots. This lets me easily sort, assign, and contain regular pens, red pens, fine markers, thick markers, highlighters, and scissors.


This refers to maintaining the balance of your set up. Yes, you actually have to follow your system once it's in place.

In other words, keep your SPACE so you don't lose your mind!

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Copyright Judy Nollet, White Plume Communications. 
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