6 February

How have you been getting on with your empty surfaces? Have you put much back or have you discovered that the space is appealing. I discovered that there were some ornaments that I had, which on closer inspection did absolutely nothing for me at all. In fact, their absence was attractive.   They no longer clogged up my vision and the clear lines and space made it so much easier to appreciate the things I really did love.

Furthermore I started to have a lot more flowers in the house, both cut flowers and plants. No longer did I have to struggle to find somewhere for a vase or a pot. Also I could see the flowers, they weren’t tucked between a pile of books and a table lamp.

If you only tackled one surface last week. Be brave, tackle some more. Try the kitchen.   How many kitchen gadgets do you need on your surfaces (actually how many do you need full stop, but that is for another day)? If you use your juicer on a daily basis then you need it accessible. But if you have to move the rarely used toastie maker and ornamental spaghetti jar in order to get to it then you are going to be just a little more frustrated and/or irritated than you need to be. And if you start your day irritated then there is a very good chance it will continue in that vein.

My main kitchen area is a central island which also houses the sink and the hob. On that surface is a grape hyacinth plant, a salt pig, pepper pot, olive oil and vegetable oil pouring bottles and a utensil holder by the sink. I still cook from scratch every day and make endless cups of tea and have not found it any more complicated without an array of stuff on the surface.

But what is interesting is how the rest of the kitchen seems to have tidied itself up as well. Seeing that clear expanse of space in the middle encourages everyone to keep it that way. Yes, it gets used and things get put down on it, but they don’t stay there. They move on. Just as clutter attracts clutter so space attracts space.