The Importance of Leaving Room To Grow

The Importance of Leaving Room To Grow


One mistake I see people make who want to get more organized is, not thinking about tomorrow. Meaning, they look at the amount of stuff they have, and then they look at the amount of space they have to store said "stuff.” And then they think that time stands still. They think that if everything fits nicely today, that is good enough.

There is a big problem with this goal, however. And that is that they don't leave room to grow. They don't think about tomorrow. And then time does pass, life happens, and before they realize it, they are looking at some very pricey organizational solutions that are now buried under a lot more stuff that “tomorrow” has brought into their lives, all because they made the critical mistake of not leaving room to grow.

It's a rookie mistake, but also very much a part of human nature, focusing on the present and not thinking about the future, especially when it comes to all our stuff. But it is a main reason why people have a hard time staying organized. A key to being organizing is having enough room not only for everything you have now, but everything you will acquire in the future.


Whether it is books on your bookshelf, socks in your sock drawer, pens in your pen holder or can goods in your pantry, a good rule of thumb is "keep a quarter free." Meaning, for whatever square feet or inches of storage space you have, keep one quarter of it open for new things to be added over time.

Why a quarter? Well, because a a quarter is as manageable allotment. It’s not a lot, but not too little either. Plus, there is a time component to what a small portion of your excess storage space will allow. It gives enough time to add an extra few things, but also sets a perimeter of when you fully fill your space. Thus forcing a larger purge.

My suggestion is just a guideline. Specifics will depend on individual life experiences, items being stored, etc. But whatever the “who” or the “what,” leaving room to grow will provide for a more efficient, long-lasting, and successful organizing strategy.

Plus, leaving some open space looks pretty too.