STYLE Savvy: Keeping Clear Space Clear

"STYLE Savvy: Keeping clear space clear" by Lisa Hess (

Image credit: Pixabay (2012), CC0 Public Domain

Clear space: the Final Frontier (with apologies to Gene Roddenberry). A respite for the eyes and a goal we all strive for. We sort and we find homes and we even let go of our belongings in order to gain this one, often elusive thing.

So why is it that we so often let it slip away?

Time and space — or shortages thereof — are the most common culprits. Since we can’t magically create more of either just because we want to, we need to treat this valuable commodity like the endangered species it is. Here are a few ways to do that.

Stake your claim. While our eventual goal may be lots of clear space, this is no small feat in a busy household. Choose one clear space that matters to you and declare it a “no clutter/no dumping” zone. Go public, letting your family know that this space is off-limits to all clutter. Items that have homes should go where they belong and homeless items need to land somewhere else.

Practice what you preach. That “no clutter” rule goes for the de-clutterer, too. If this is newly claimed space and breaking the dumping habit proves challenging, put the Don’t put it down, put it awayguideline into action. This simple change can grow into a habit that allows you to preserve that coveted clear space.

Expand your territory. Once you’ve got one area under control, try the same steps in a different spot. If you’ve got kids, this might happen slowly, but creeping clear space is better than none at all.

With apologies to Oscar Hammerstein, when it comes to clear space, once you have found it, never let it go.

Copyright 2018 Lisa Hess


About Author

Lisa Lawmaster Hess has contributed articles to local, national and online publications, and blogs at The Porch Swing Chronicles, The Susquehanna Writers and here at She is the author of two non-fiction books (Acting Assertively and Diverse Divorce) and two novels, Casting the First Stone and Chasing a Second Chance. A retired elementary school counselor, Lisa is a lecturer in psychology at York College and enjoys singing with the contemporary choir at her church.


  1. When we were traveling this weekend, I noticed that on the eaves of the rest stop plaza, there were clear spikes on every flat surface. The looked like inverted icicles. I presume this is to keep away birds, but you could still seem small birds nesting and flitting about, even between the spike.

    But, I do wonder if some kid of jagged deterrent is what I need to keep our surfaces clear of clutter!

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