I’ve often wondered why we describe houses and other buildings in terms of square footage. Though we live in a three-dimensional world, when it comes to real estate, only length and width seem relevant. What happened to height, the 3rd dimension? The question becomes more meaningful (and personal), because I’m a six-footer and a professional organizer.
One of my greatest challenges as an organizer, is changing the way clients think about and use s-p-a-c-e. We seem to have a big disconnect. Everything we own is three dimensional, yet when it comes to placement and storage, the person on the street thinks in terms of floor space – two dimensions. Look around the average home and it’s obvious that outside of the kitchen, most of our things are stored from the floor up. For example:
A 19” TV roughly measures 19” wide, 17” high, and 18” deep. It’s fair to say that most people we meet automatically put their TVs on a stand, or dresser, which pretty much makes the space above the TV useless. Who mounts TVs on the wall? Hospitals, who discovered long ago that mounting a TV on the wall frees up the precious space below.
Shelving units – There is no question that shelving units are great for organizing books, CDs, and other of life’s necessities. Assuming that space is valuable and at a premium, why do so many of us use bookcases or floor-standing shelving units (which usually stand 5’-6’high) in the garage, carport, or shed? Knowing that some things, such as mowers, bikes, etc. have to, or are likely to take up floor space, wouldn’t ceiling mounted, hanging shelves be a wiser choice?
There are countless other examples, but the point is that in a increasingly cluttered world, thinking vertically, and making better use of wall & ceiling space, opens up a whole new range of possibilities.