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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Go Up

If you’re indoors right now, look at the floor around you. You probably see some furniture, including the piece you’re sitting on, and some other heavy things such as appliances, cabinets, or big potted plants. There are probably also some portable things such as a magazine rack, a file box, a trash can, a dog bed, or a footstool. And then there’s the stuff that’s not really supposed to be there: piles of newspapers, clothing, toys.

Now look up at the ceiling. What’s there? Maybe a light fixture, a ceiling fan, some hanging plants. There might be a row of shelves high up on the walls. Perhaps there’s a skylight. No matter what’s up there, there’s bound to be less than what’s on the floor. If you could turn the room upside down and have that empty ceiling as your floor, wow, imagine everything you could do with that space!

We tend to allow ourselves to be controlled by gravity, crowding the floor with clutter and ignoring the elevated options that are there for the taking. I say, ignore the floor! Set your sights higher. Use shelves, wall-mounted racks, pulleys, nets, and anything else that will free up floor space and make good use of the empty air up there.

From now on, whenever you’re looking for a place to put something, think up instead of out. Can it stack? Your stacking options improve with the right choice of container. This principle applies to not just the floor but to enclosed spaces as well. Look inside a closet with a shelf. Is there no room on the floor but empty air above the shelved items? A-ha: An opportunity to go up!

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