Allowing White Space Into Your Life

White Space

Today I’m linking up with my friend Andrea at DreAm heART sMart ArT for her blog challenge. The prompt is “allowing.”

There’s this concept in publishing called “white space” that literally means leaving blocks of empty white space on a printed page.

If you fill up every available inch of space in a magazine or book with text, photos, colors, logos, and other content, it will make the page very difficult to read, and you risk losing readers.

I use white space on my blog at the bottom of my sidebar and all around the edge of my content (although, you might call it “gray space”).

People use the term white space to refer to anything in their lives that invites openness. Giving yourself permission not to fill your life with unnecessary things is a great way to increase your happiness.

Here are some ways you can allow white space in your life.

Breathing Space

When we first moved from the city to the suburbs, I wrote about how I was astounded by the breathing space. In the city, my life was filled with cars, advertisements, buildings, people, flashing lights, and other distractions.

In the suburbs, parks and walking trails replaced much of that busy-ness. I was literally able to breathe comfortably without worrying about getting run over by traffic or harassed by a crackhead on the corner.

Find some breathing space in your life. This might mean you have to drive to a quieter neighborhood or park on the weekends, but your mind and body will be able to relax in ways that aren’t possible if you are constantly stimulated.

A Place for the Eye to Rest

You can also allow for white space inside your home. By removing some clutter, knick knacks, or other items you don’t need or use, you give your eyes a place to rest.

Is your coffee table so full of books, papers, toys, and junk that there’s not even room for a coffee cup? Start small and see how much better you feel when you clear away the clutter.

Room to Grow (or Not)

One of my favorite writers, Gretchen Rubin, always leaves an empty shelf in her house. No matter how stuffed the other closets or drawers get, this one shelf is always completely clean.

She knows she has this empty space if she really needs it, but what she enjoys more is the freedom of knowing she has room to grow (even if she chooses not to).

Do you have room to grow in your life? Is there room in your closet for future pieces of clothing? Is there room in your refrigerator? Is there actually room for your car in your garage?

See if you can find an area to clean out that you can keep as your secret weapon if you ever need the space in the future. But I have a feeling you’ll like the white space too much to fill it up again.

“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.” Eckhart Tolle

How do you allow white space into your life?

3 Simple Steps to Become a Productivity Superstar

Dump your excuses, transform your habits, and become the most productive person you know.


  1. Tinfoil Tiaras on February 12, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    I could certainly leave more white space in my house, the clutter is everywhere! But first I need to let go and realize that not everything is worth holding on to. I like leaving white space in my ‘line a day journal’ so that I can read through my gratitudes easily.

  2. Martha on February 11, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    My blog has lots of white space. It didn’t always but I needed to find it somewhere in my life! Really great post Sage.

    Dare I ask if you did your 20 minute walk today?

    • Sage Grayson on February 11, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      Hey Martha! I really appreciate it when people use white space on their blogs. It’s easier for me to read, and that means I’ll linger longer.

      I did do my 20-minute walk today! It’s more doable than saying I’ll run on the treadmill for an hour. 🙂

  3. Sarah @ This Is What I Eat on February 11, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    De-Cluttering is always a goal of mine. I have accumulated so much. Every time I de-clutter it just seems to come back so I really am trying to focus on maintaining the empty space that I create. I’m going to do a spring cleaning soon actually 🙂 And it’s funny because I actually have an empty shelf in my room, despite all of the clutter!

    • Sage Grayson on February 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      I don’t have an empty shelf but I aspire to have one soon! What’s on your spring cleaning list? I could use some inspiration to tidy things up around here.

  4. Molly on February 11, 2013 at 3:35 am

    Well, naturally I love this post since it’s right in line with minimalism! I feel so much better now that we have more space in our house. It really frees up the mind!

    • Sage Grayson on February 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      I like having space to move and breathe too. But it’s sometimes very tempting to fill up space just because it’s there.