@dacort turned me on to a blog recently that is an interesting read. Sufficient Thrust is a smartly named place where I read a piece about having no furniture. I understand and appreciate her point that ‘things’ (i.e. furniture) can become clutter, but they can also be used for organization. Of course, containers can be both good and evil as they can both organize and sustain useless expansion of junk.
(One design concept I really liked about her place was this, “I put eight dry-erase boards up around the living room area and hung my inboxes on the wall next to them.” Imagine an entire wall of dry-erase!)
For me, open spaces are dangerous because they can be used, just like containers, to collect things that do not need collecting. I like to use small spaces as a preventative measure against clutter. I like small cars, apartments, desks, etc. because they force one to be efficient. With limited space you carefully analyze if something really deserves retaining, placing, or displaying. I dread the thought of having “storage space” or a basement because those are typically places where old things go to eternally hibernate.
Growing up my mom would tell me to clean my room, but instead of getting rid of things I would just organize them in organized and visually appealing piles. I mastered the art of creating piles of papers, toys, clothes, or anything that needed cleaning. The visual shift from clutter to piles passed my mom’s inspection and thus reinforced in me the importance of an organized mess. 🙂