From House to Home:

White Space and Elbow Room

When you create white space and elbow room in your home, you also create it in your mind. You have space to think and space to move and you don't spend precious time searching for things you need.

White Space, when successfully executed, draws the eye to the message. In the case of a home, White Space frames and sets off the things that are important to you. Elbow Room refers to that personal space you need to function in a room.

Here are four tips to help you achieve these concepts:

• Start with the garage. If you organize here first, you are less likely to store unwanted items from your house.

• Organize room by room. Tackle one room at a time. Keep what you need and what you enjoy. Toss what can't be reused. Take the rest directly to your car to be recycled or donated. If you're unsure about some items, pack them neatly away - you may soon discover that you don't miss them at all.

White Space frames and sets off the things that are important to you. Elbow Room is the space you need to function in a room.

• Tackle paperwork. The key is to not let it pile up. Carve out a nice space to sort your mail, pay your bills and file important papers. Keep your system simple and you'll be more likely to keep up on it.

• Clean. After you've gone through each room, give your house a top-to-bottom cleaning. Take your time and enjoy your newly organized spaces.

You're done! And you've probably discovered your mind is clearer because your home works as it should. Now, do something you've always wanted to do - you have the time.

Remember, your home is your sanctuary. It's your spot to unwind and rejuvenate. When it functions well, so do you.

This article originally appeared in Lifestyle Insights on September 21, 2009

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