5 Ways to Declutter and Maintain Space

Find the previous article here: 5 Reasons Why you should Minimise Now.

Do you know the saying, ‘Nature abhors a vacuum’?

It’s an idea that comes from a Greek philosophical lineage, starting around 2500 years ago with Parmenides, and continued by Plato and his student Aristotle. It’s an idea that says,

A space will always become filled.”

It’s an idea that is incredibly useful… The barometer, the vacuum pump and the steam engine are all inventions based on horror vacui.

And it can be an incredibly useful idea to you, enhancing your organisational skills, improving your ability to focus and elevating your quality of life.

building-225120_640Alexander the Great was mentored by Aristotle, and this approach to philosophy and science spread throughout his empire. The idea has influenced not just science but art as well. Take a look at Greek influenced architecture and design and you’ll notice the symmetry… the space is equally filled on the right and left.


The implication is that it’s natural to fill our space with objects, and to fill our time with activities. In art this idea is represented by Kenophobia, (fear of the empty), and is associated with fear of the unknown.


Here’s an example of a kenophobic photo. Can you see how tightly the space is filled?

Eastern philosophy recognises another kind of symmetry where space is part of the balance; objects on one side and space on the other. The implication here is that by maintaining a sense of space you allow movement of energy and the circulation of ideas. Your attention is drawn towards the space, as if an invitation has been made.


The focus is on ‘being’ instead of ‘doing’.

This flow of attention is associated with creativity and health. By allowing space you harness the power of the void… Inspiration can fill the space. If it’s your home space, it can be filled with love, care and play. If it’s your work space it can be filled with focus, clarity and energy.

When you allow space by maintaining it, you also allow the bubbling up of the unknown from your consciousness. You connect with your inner hero, because it takes bravery to stare into the void. Your intangible creative spirit can become manifest, because instead of suppressing it with the stuff and clutter of life, you liberate your awareness.

If it’s in your space, it’s in your mind.



The organisational state of your space is a reflection of your state of mind.

Remember, nature abhors a vacuum… if left unattended, space will fill with clutter. Like an abandoned garden gets overgrown with weeds. When clutter builds up, every item is calling for your attention. Each object says, remember me, use me, spend your attention on me. Every item has a demand, a function to be fulfilled or a memory to be relived. These demands are an open loop of attention, distracting you from being present

You can close these loops; silence the demands of clutter and neutralise the distractions by giving each space a purpose and each item a home.

So where do you start? How can you start to declutter and minimise?

Follow these 5 Principles of Space and you will find more energy, create balance and harmony in your home and work life, and connect with your own sense of well being.



Do you want more clarity and abundance in your life? Contact Khalil for a no-cost conversation about how to apply these principles in your space now.


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