In the ideal world of having stuff, we would be able to have all the stuff we want in the spaces we have. Yet, in the real world this isn’t always the case for those of us who have small spaces and not enough storage.

I’ve seen overcrowded bookshelves with more books than can fit on the shelves. I’ve seen clothes closets so jammed with clothes that you can hardly pull out a piece of clothing. I’ve dealt with stuffed food cabinets, jam-packed file cabinets, cramped linen closets, packed cleaning supply spaces, over-flowing hair and makeup products, more DVDs and CDs than you can listen to in half a lifetime, you name it.

Essentially, I’ve seen more stuff loaded into spaces that just aren’t able to fit them all.

Often times, the spill over of stuff ends up in other areas. That’s not a terrible thing if you have other areas to house the stuff. But that’s just wishful thinking to many of us.

So I’m going to bring up yet another organizing rule (the other rule is about time covered in my article Good Organizing Habits To Keep Your Sanity). This rule is: Fit items in the space allowed for those items without over-crowding the space.

What does this mean for those jammed areas of stuff? Well, simply put, it means to thin out the herd, to get rid of some stuff. It means going through those crowded areas of stuff and deciding what we can live without.

At one time my linen closet contained numerous blankets that I think I was collecting and saving for a guest-army sleepover. It wasn’t until a disaster hit another country resulting in supplies, like blankets, becoming in dire need.

So I went through my blankets and sundry of throws and began to fill a rather sufficient donate bag. When I was done, I had left myself enough blankets to accommodate weather change blankets and one for the guest bed. And my closet looked GREAT when I was done, the now perfect fit for my blankets! Who knew?!

Not only that, but it felt good to donate stuff that I really didn’t need but others needed. I feel the same way about donating to other places as well because people can find second-hand goods they need or want at half the normal retail cost. So, I’m contributing to a good cause when I’m getting rid of my stuff.

Okay, I may have gotten a little off topic on donating stuff, yet I felt it was relevant in what we can do with the stuff we’re getting rid of. I certainly don’t want you to box it up and store it! Please!

And that brings me to my last point on this subject – don’t store what you don’t use (unless it’s important papers or photos). Storage areas, like a garage or attic, should only contain archival boxes. For example, if you’re storing dishware that you don’t use, ask yourself, “Why?”

Space for most of us is a valuable commodity. Use it well without over-using its capacity. A freed-up space is a happier space, and that happiness bounces right back to you.

May all your spaces smile at you!