Think of space as a resource

We are all aware of what happens when we spend more than we can financially handle. Most of us have a fairly good grasp of budgeting and balancing our income with our expenses/savings. Because the consequences can be so dire when we don’t manage this area of our lives, we will take action fairly quickly to restore stability.

We also know what happens when we eat more than our bodies can process through normal daily life, given our lifestyle and exercise level. There is a wealth of information available to assist us in fine-tuning this relationship, either ‘amping’ up our energy output, or paring down by dropping useless or non-nutritive foods. For most of us, we will not let this get too out of hand, starting some kind of program within a 5-10 lb. weight gain.

In either case, the message is the same – you have to work within the limits of what you have.

This same principle applies to Space Management. We do know what it is like to experience space deprivation, although we may never actually call it that. Anyone who has ever sat in gridlock on the highway has experienced what happens when the number of objects in a space exceeds the capacity of that space to process the movement of the objects through it.  Nothing moves. In contrast, when the number of vehicles is few, we flow through effortlessly, enjoying the road as it was meant to be enjoyed, (as shown in car commercials) and in a much better mood.

And, the luxury of interior automotive space was spawned, at least in part, by the experiences of previous generations scrunched together during long road trips, while trying to enjoy a vacation. Some of you might remember those pre-SUV days.

You might have had a sampling of space deprivation on public transit at rush hour.

Not only is one’s space limited when squished together, so is one’s freedom. Just think of it. You are not free to sit down, despite how tired you might be. You certainly can’t fling open your paper and browse the sports section. And, no matter how small your latest gadget is, using it is hard if one arm is hanging from a grab strap, while the other clutches your daily commute bag(s). But we usually grin and bear it, as we know this restriction is temporary. Soon we will reclaim our personal space.

But, what about Space Management at home?

Well, to start with, once you cross your threshhold, somehow the Laws of the Universe change. For instance, after 30 days, any objects within your environment actually visually disappear, merging seamlessly with the existing field. And for some strange reason, we will tend to decrease our need for personal space, deferring it to our possessions. Hoarder exposés show the degree of space annihilation to which some individuals will go for their things. In the extreme of self-destruction, they are similar to the morbidly obese or the financially reckless.

What is space, anyhow?

So let’s talk about space. Is it just an empty vacuum to be filled? Ancient wisdom, (and modern physics) would disagree.
Space is actually a resource, a commodity. Businesses /Real Estate measure space by dollar value per square foot. If our space were to be reduced drastically, as in a prison cell, we would certainly notice its absence.

With what does space provide us? Among other things:
1. Space provides us with movement.
2. Space provides us with growth.
3. Space provides us with potential.
4. Space provides us with freedom.
5. Space provides us with relationships.
6. Space provides us with self-discovery.
7. Space provides us with perspective.

1. Space provides us with movement.
As we have seen in the examples of rush-hour travel and prison confinement, we need space to move. Although individual ranges of movement may vary and change with our life stages, the space must allow for us to extend to our capabilities. Obviously a brand new baby has fewer space requirements than a six-year-old, and a 30-something may have more activities than an advanced senior. Nonetheless the space should exceed, (albeit slightly) the amount of movement within.

2. Space provides us with growth.
Forest trees need a certain amount of space in which to grow. If too dense, the taller, stronger trees will crowd out the weaker ones, blocking their light and rooting for water/minerals. The result is some trees die.
Grow or die, and growth needs space – to work, to sleep, to eat, to play, to relax, and for expansion opportunities. If there were no extra space beyond which we already occupy, where would we expand?
I will continue discussing the benefits of space and how this applies at home in my next instalment. In the meantime, I suggest you take some time to observe if you actually have sufficient space in your environment.  Stay tuned for Part 2.

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