We have all been there. The small 8 foot square room stuffed with a Queen bed or with two full size sofas with the giant projection TV and possibly a bird cage. I always considered men to be builders, so when the space we created becomes overwhelmed, it can be tough to admit that there is a problem. So, I wanted to give a few simple rules so you know when your room has had enough.
Cleaning is a huge part of keeping a room looking good, but if there is too much stuff, it will never feel clean. Any often-used pathway in a room should be at least 3 feet wide. (This should be looked at almost as a minimum. I look for statistics about the size of the “average guy” (Not like that) and found the Fire Apparatus Manufacturer Association Anthrometric Data. This tells the average size of fire-men and women in inches so that they could design equipment. This states that the average shoulder width for guys is 20.8″. This means a 24″ pathway is tight for people who are in peak shape, let alone your fat Uncle Eddy who sweats when he eats.
While this is the rule for pathways, not everything is a traffic area. Less traveled areas, which I’ll call “side streets” should be 18″, or strafe worthy. (If you don’t know what “strafe” is, you probably haven’t played enough video games in the last decade). Thise is a place you don’t really walk through. These are places like the side of the bed where you only use occasionally. It also counts for areas like between the sofa and the coffee table. While this may sound like a high traffic area, keep in mind it isn’t much fun to stand up everytime you want to get a sip of Irish coffee.
I consider these numbers to be minumums. If you do not have this in your home, it is time to reevaluate what you need. Making your living room a living room/ dinning room/ office is bound to lead to problems. Move the computer to another room, get a smaller table, get rid of the chairs you don’t use. Having tons of storage is great but eventually “the things your own begin owning you”. Going through your place twice a year and getting rid of all your impulse buys should be standard operating procedure.
Go through your home tonight with a tape measure. If there is a room where you have to walk like an Egyptian should get the pros-versus-cons treatment and decide what gets its own post on Craigslist. Toss out anything you can’t sell or move them into less cluttered rooms.