Isn’t it amazing how you can look at something every day and not see what’s really there?
A few years ago, I was going to lunch with a friend, and we were stopped at a traffic light behind a delivery truck. My friend randomly asked me if I noticed anything strange about the logo on the truck.
Immediately, sensing a trick question, I searched to find something different … out of the ordinary … obvious. I couldn’t come up with a single idea.
(Here, you give it a try – it’s this company.)
Never one to back down from a challenge, I guessed: the colors? The size? The style? No, no, and no.
I was out of guesses! It was a logo I had seen countless times on boxes, trucks, and airplanes. In theory, I should have been able to see a difference, but at that moment, the logo appeared the same as it always had … and so I relented.
Grinning mischievously, my friend told me to look directly between the last two letters of the logo, or the “e” and the “x.”
And there it was – the shape of an arrow, hidden in plain sight between the letters.
Many times, your usable or extra space can act like that arrow – in full view yet unnoticed, and thus, unused. Aside from the obvious option of de-cluttering, here are three simple ways to double your storage space for organizing:
- Change your spatial perspective.
Problem: During your waking hours, you generally observe your living space from a vertical angle, either standing or sitting. Doing so limits the imprint of your environment in your mind’s eye.
Solution: Grab a cushion for your head and lay down on the floor for five minutes, taking the time to focus on everything from floor to ceiling and corner to corner. Does scrutinizing from a horizontal angle allow you to see storage capacity where you didn’t previously? (It also might help you to do this with a spouse or friend for a second opinion.)
- Check your familiarity at the door.
Problem: If you agree with the saying “familiarity breeds contempt,” then you can appreciate that, if you experience a certain living area day in and day out, you tend to see what you want to see (I don’t have enough room!) instead of seeing the true storage potential of the space itself.
Solution: Move something substantial to a new spot, like switching your computer from the left side to the right side of your desk. Leave it there, and repeat this step with a new item for five days in a row. By the fifth day, the small acts of rearranging will have a large impact how you view the space – and storage possibilities – around you.
- Look up and over.
Problem: 80% of everyday organizing is accomplished downwards from 3-4 feet high. Think: baskets on the floor, drawers in the dresser, cabinets in the bathroom, and containers under the bed.
Solution: While lower-level storage is important and should be fully utilized, there is a lot of storage room at higher levels, too – walls, ceilings, rafters, and doors. Ensure you are not ignoring the upper spaces that are readily available to you.
WARNING! If you are thinking something like a wall is a wall is a wall – not more storage, then consider the discovery process this way. When an oil prospector finds oil, it’s a given that the oil is under the surface of the earth and that it has to be drilled and refined in order to become a usable resource. Such is often the same when you discover storage space! It’s there. It just has to be “tapped” by using proper storage and organizing solutions.
Carmen Coker is a former US Air Force officer turned professional organizer. If you want to get organized and calm the chaos in your life, go to CarmenCoker.com for her free video how-to called the Secrets of the Super Organized™.