How To Organize With Negative Space and Conquer The Mess!

Conquer and organize with negative space


Are you ready? Negative space will completely change the way you organize your home.

It’s taken me time to live and learn how to organize on my own as our family grew from 1 to 3 kids. The more kids we had the more stuff came with them. How many moms can relate? I just got busier and finding time to organize or keeping things organized was difficult. If there is one thing I have learned is that your organization needs to be organic. As the kids change your needs and space changes. But I learned the power of negative space and it changed my whole thought process of how I organize.

My youngest just turned one and recently I had a bit of a temper tantrum. Everyone else can why can’t I? You know what I mean moms when you get to a boiling point with the household and you just are totally annoyed. It was because there are still a few areas in the house that are not completely organized and so the clutter of those eyesores finally got to me. I just needed to refocus and make time to tackle each area a little bit at a time.

Negative space around each bin to
create a visual organization

Organizing with negative space what is it

I learned about negative space during my college years while pursuing my graphic design degree. If you have no knowledge of design this may sound like a foreign concept to you and you may be wondering what negative space has to do with organizing your home.

In the interior design world, designers use the power of negative space to create clean define spaces and well put together rooms. You know the kind of rooms you see in better homes and garden and think to your self. Pfff, not my house. Negative space is the area around objects and in between the things you organize.

You may have heard of creating positive energy or the art of Feng Shui. Organizing with negative space defines boundaries and established spaces that are easy on the eyes. The spaces are easy to navigate and create a well functioning organized system that everyone can easily see and use.

Think of it this way. Positive space is the furniture, books, boxes, toys etc. It’s the stuff. Negative space is the breathing room or empty space you leave around the organized objects.

Negative space with defined breathing
room for each item

Why is negative space important for moms?

Running a household is a never-ending, exhausting and tedious job. At any given time everyone needs something, the chaos is enough to make a mom scream. But when you take control of the household by using negative space it creates a calm, more unified home. The arguing tends to decrease, the kids can find things on their own and guess what ladies your husband can actually help too.

Using negative space when you organize decreases the amount of time to find things when you need them. Your productivity level increases. You no longer have the overwhelming feeling when you walk into a room that has piles of books, papers, clothes, and toys.

This very process is the holy ground for me when I organize my home. The concept of negative space creates a foundation for my decluttering by giving be a layout.

Negative space around baskets

How to organize with negative space

My husband loves “clean lines” as he calls it. For him, he says it makes life calmer when he comes home. For me, it makes picking up the house so easy and quick that even if the kids throw toys all over we can use our defined areas for the toys and it’s like hitting a reset button.

Step 1: Remove the clutter

First, you need to trim the fat. What I mean is get rid of all the excess. You can do this by using Marie Kondo’s rules. Don’t keep unnecessary items. Put all like things together so you can take an inventory of what you have. You’ll probably find out you have doubles of things you didn’t even realize. When you have kids they tend to accumulate toys you will need to pair them down. Which ones are they no longer truly using?

Marie Kondo likes to talk about keeping only things that spark you joy. I like that it kinda makes things seem fun. I use this more in my line of thinking when it comes to my clothes. My rule of thumb is if I haven’t worn an item in 6 months it goes. I do this as well for the kids. Lastly, then I use the concept of “spark joy” with how does this article of clothing make me feel. If it makes me feel uncomfortable in my skin then it needs to go. Ask yourself questions when you de-clutter to help you figure out what you need to get rid of. Do we use this often? How will it be used? etc

Negative space above shoe organizers

Step 2: Configure the space

I like to recycle items that can be used to organize such as shoe boxes, plastic containers, plastic bags like the ones you get from comforter sets. Organizing doesn’t require expensive gadgets. In fact, my ultimate place to find organizing tools is Dollar Tree and discount stores like TJ Max, Home Goods, Marshalls, Burlington, and Ross.

When you find a container or organizing tool the purpose is to help you keep the items in their homes. In other words, don’t get a clear bin and shove everything in it and think that now it’s organized. That is not using negative space or creating an organized home.

For example, let’s create a kitchen junk drawer. Everyone typically has one of those. Let’s say you got a couple plastic small bins from Dollar Tree to clean up that drawer. You can use these for example to line the drawer and each compartment gets only one item in it. The sections created by the bins create the negative space. keeping things neatly in their place. Easy for the eye to see and where to put things back.

235323-Clear Plastic 3-Compartment Storage Trays with Lids

Step 3:

Once you have figured out the proper way to put your space back into its new home. You must at all cost not put any more than what belongs there. If you do you will undo all your hard work. This means if there is an empty shelf now or just an area with nothing in it. It is ok to have that. Don’t feel the need to fill everything back up. Need some inspiration on how to organize and get started? Follow my all time favorite person Alejandra TV.

Enjoy it you deserve it

Your home should always be a place of rest and relaxation. Taking steps to create this will be the best for you and your family. Explain the new spaces to the kids and hubby. Make sure to label things to be easy to read.

Don’t overwhelm your self and try to get it all done in a day. Unless the kids and hubby are out of the house. If so, YAY for you. But realistically tackle one project at a time.

I hope that this helps you out in creating a home you love. May it encourage your organizing goals and that you to finally reach them. If you enjoyed this don’t forget to pin this post and save it to refer back to later. If you found it helpful please be sure to share it with another mom.

How do you organize your house?

If you use negative space to help you do visual organizing how does it help you? What are your top favorite organizing tools? Please comment and let me know.

Hi, I am Lisa a busy mother of 3. My blog helps moms rediscover that they are more than just moms. Helping them achieve balance to reach their personal goals. Your mom village aims to provide you with tips on parenting, time management, home management, self-care and working from home. I love to travel the world, my Jeep, glitter, dancing and being creative. If you find cleaning weekly a drag check out my 5-day cleaning schedule here. It’s never too late to work on your goals every day is a new beginning.
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