Fear of Emptiness

Before leaving for France, I took my cats up to my parents’ place. It’s in the country with no other buildings around it. One of my cats refused at first to go outside. In the city, at a cat’s level, there is very little open sky. In the country it’s all open sky. Now he only goes out at night (when he can’t see how empty the world is).

A lot of people are like my cat, terrified of empty space. If space exists, it must be filled. When working with clients, I’ve suggested getting rid of everything in a cupboard.

“But then I’ll have nothing to put in there,” they explain in some confusion.

My “So it can stay empty” response is met with a mix of horror and a complete lack of understanding.

I think houses cast spells on their residents. The house says “Feed me! I’m nothing without your stuff filling me to the rafters!” And the residents comply, buying without thought, keeping everything, and never streamlining.

I know the spell thing is not true, but sometimes a witchy-house is the only explanation for how sensible and intelligent people allow their houses to accumulate so much unnecessary stuff.

Having a lot of available storage space is actually more likely to create disorganization than a very limited space will. When people have too much space, they can continue to collect without streamlining. When they eventually do run out of storage space, they realize it will take months or years to streamline what they have.

And who has time for that?

Someday Lessons:

  1. Don’t be afraid of empty spaces; cupboards don’t have to have anything in them.
  2. An abundance of storage space can cause, not solve, disorganization problems.

Lunch Today:

In a restaurant in Orthez: Steak with Roquefort sauce – mmm… (lunch yesterday was a Tomato, Leek & Bacon Soup)

Update on earlier posts: I went back to Pau today to pay for the other car repairs (don’t ask how much!) and couldn’t resist trying on that white shirt from my last trip into town. It totally didn’t suit me. I looked all box-like. It just goes to show that some things should remain fantasies!


2 thoughts on “Fear of Emptiness

  1. Garry says:

    I miss my organizer!

  2. Monica Ricci says:

    I always tell my clients that too much space is often more confusing and detrimental than too little space. One almost feels compelled to fill it up! I’m glad to see I’m not alone in this thinking. I’d rather have a smidge too little space than way too much. Love, Monica

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