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Unlock Your Home’s Potential with the Magic of Margin

Did you understand that being organized isn’t really about stuff? It’s in regards to the empty space between the stuff called margin. This can be known as white space, respiration room, or buffer. No matter the name, margin allows our possessions to maneuver out and in of an area freely and stay organized too. 

When I design organizational systems in a closet or cabinet, I spend plenty of time planning how the items might be stored within the space. But I also consider how often they’re used. I strive to create margin each time.

No matter what space you’re working on, the secret’s to declutter first and organize second. It’s the margin in these spaces that has essentially the most impact, especially in terms of staying organized. Because whenever you reduce the quantity, spaces have a way of organizing themselves. 

Margin not only allows spaces to operate higher but in addition makes it more attractive. Did you understand the margin on a bit of written work is roughly 37% of the page? White space makes the paper easy to read and creates a wonderful document. Margin ensures the work is presented in an organized fashion. The same is true of physical spaces.

Here are five spaces where margin will provide help to get organized and keep it that way:

Clothing Closet

Is your clothing literally stuffed inside your closet? Do you push clothes aside to place away clean laundry? Or perhaps you struggle to seek out an item you’re in search of. There’s no margin in a closet like this.

What in case your closet contained only your favorite clothes? And the items hung freely with fewer wrinkles. Empty space in a closet means that you can easily put away laundry and prepare within the morning.

Start by taking a look at your closet and determine how much you have to remove to create respiration room. Set a goal. Most closets require a 25-50% reduction to realize this. 

When you downsize your wardrobe, you might have less laundry. Yes it’s true. You have more time to properly look after your clothing and extend the lifetime of your favorite pieces. This margin saves you money and time.

Dishes and Kitchenware

Are you fighting to store small appliances like a griddle or the Instapot contained in the cabinets? Margin means having clean kitchen counters where you may unload groceries, cook dinner, and pack lunches without cleansing the kitchen first. 

Open the kitchen cabinets, step back, and observe. Which ones are embarrassing to depart open? Are there any items you may easily donate or throw away?

Look for the best spot to store items you utilize often. Rearrange based on frequency of use. Remove lesser-used items until each cabinet has margin. When you’re done, step back and have a look at it again. The empty space will give your eyes a spot to rest so the cupboards are functional and exquisite at the identical time.

As you make decluttering decisions, be honest about items you don’t use. Use objective criteria to make decisions. For example, count the variety of dishes in comparison with how many individuals live there full-time. 

As a family of three, we typically host 2-3 extra people. So, six dinner plates, 4 sandwich plates, and 4 bowls are plenty.

When you come dishes to the cupboard, make sure you stack each category individually. Heaviest on the underside shelf. Practice removing and reshelving them to see how difficult it’s. Make adjustments. Margin helps a kitchen function efficiently.


Too many books and decorations could make a bookshelf feel heavy even when it’s organized. Most bookshelves are full or overflowing onto the ground. Unread books on a shelf tell your brain you might have unfinished tasks. Instead, try leaving empty space to lighten your load physically and mentally.

Start by reducing your books. When I donated most of my book collection, I started reading more. I selected books that were interesting to me and borrowed them from the library.

As you select which decorations to purchase or keep, ask yourself, “Do I find it irresistible enough to dust it?” Downsizing means less dusting and cleansing. 

Create a Playroom Not a Toy Room

Margin also means making a playroom, not a toy room. Do you see the difference? Since the ground is the most important flat surface in your private home, it will possibly change into cluttered quickly in a toy room. Do not store things on the ground aside from furniture. 

Research found that the common 10-year-old owns 238 toys but plays with just 12. Seriously, kids need extra space to play, no more toys. They thrive on an empty floor and use their imagination with open toys.

A crowded toy room steals the play space and prevents them from finding their favorite toys. And they’re less content playing for long periods of time. Children are smart. They can see that more toys mean more cleanup and no room to really play. They will avoid playing in a toy room. 

Margin also matters when creating organizational systems for youths. They need easy systems which are age appropriate. Teach systems to your kids and commit to owning fewer toys, shoes, and clothing.

Calendar and Schedule

Margin influences not only your physical space but your calendar space too. Margin in a schedule is vital. As the old saying goes, “Show me your calendar and I’ll show you your priorities.”

Does your calendar have any white space this week? You can create margin in your schedule through the use of one easy word, no. 

To combat overscheduling, discuss trade-offs along with your kids when signing up for sports and activities. Determine a budget on your money and time. Children don’t know to ask for break day. They get caught up in the thrill until they’re exhausted. 

As a parent, our role is to set boundaries and protect the white space. Saying no also creates room for spontaneity. And the smile in your child’s face whenever you drop every thing and spend the day together is value it each time. 

Get Started

Start by decluttering one space of your personal stuff. Not your husband’s hat collection or the children’ toys. Grab a box for donations and a trash bag. Ask the next questions as you remove items. 

  • Is this item adding a vital function to my life? 
  • Would this space function higher with margin or white space?
  • Where do I would like to set boundaries? 
  • Do I like this decoration enough to dust it? 
  • Is this invitation something I’m looking forward to or is it an obligation?

Where will you create margin today?

Amy Slenker-Smith is a living simply coach and wonderful author at Simply Enough. She lives near Washington DC along with her husband Steve, son Zack, and Zeke the cat. You also can find her on Facebook.

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