White Space

In design circles there is a term to describe the limited use of graphics on a page: white space. A similar term regarding the placement of text is called margin. Whatever you call it, the idea behind it is that specific elements stand out in relief. In other words, an uncluttered background allows the focal point of a design to come to the fore.

My wife is helping a friend of ours, who happens to be a fellow editor, organize her living and working space to better function at home, both personally and professionally. And the first move toward a more beautiful space is to remove the clutter from it. Nothing mars a homescape more than too much stuff and no system in place to corral it.

No matter how cramped one’s quarters might be, any space can be made more livable by weeding out the detritus of life gathered over the course of time. For example, I am one of the more organized people I know, but even I found myself with an odd surplus of electronic gadgetry accumulating in the storage closet of my office.

So I finally tackled the tangled web of cords and discovered that, among several outdated devices, my wife and I had collected one set of earbuds, two cell phone cases, three old cell phones, four cell phone chargers, and five corroded batteries. But the best part of the process was my discovery that a set of Aiwa speakers I had stored work wonderfully with our Apple laptop.

Never mind that I’ve had the laptop for 4 years and the speakers for 24 years and somehow they are only now being united in sonic bliss. The sole reason for their belated coupling can be attributed to the saying: “out of sight, out of mind.” As my wife and I often remind each other, “it helps to know what you own so you can use it.” If I’d only explored our spare electronics box earlier I could have been jamming long ago.