Key Takeaway: Your space at home and your bag’s (or suitcase’s) space could be lacking in size, but that doesn’t mean it’s useless. Knowing how to Make The Most of that space can actually get you very far with even a small apartment or a carry-on-sized bag.
For two days this week, I wrote about simple living (click here for parts 1 and 2), with Part 2 discussing in more detail about how it is all about living smartly rather than in a conservatively austere manner. My new favorite thing to read up on, life hacks (thanks to BuzzFeed among others), is one way to exemplify living smartly from the personal perspective. It saves up on money and uses otherwise-unused or underused resources in innovative manners for uses with higher utilitarian satisfaction. How’s that?
And, doesn’t that ring a bell? Personal CSR… Hmm…
That said, I find there are two situations above all – or most – where I believe Making The Most is most crucial for an effective and efficient life. Of course, one should Make The Most in everything, and of course, you ought to Make The Most as well from your studies or your work. But aside from those, these two situations don’t receive as much hype in the maximizing campaign.
First is the need to maximize the space you have in your home. Whether or not you live in a small apartment or a grandiose detached home, especially with the latter, there is bound to be a lot of unused space hitherto thought of as unusable – for example, the dividing wall in a room. Or the wall space top to bottom. You don’t need a huge house to be able to put everything you want in it: careful planning is the key. A modest two-room apartment can be more efficient and more fulfilling than a five-room mansion that leaves a lot of dead space hanging.
The layout of Etihad Airways’ new Airbus A380 is one example of this. It introduced a beyond-First-Class class that greatly outshone even the Suites on Singapore Airlines’ own A380s, called the Residence. Though the Residence is a three-room suite (in fact, the only one in the skies), it amazingly takes up relatively little space on the A380’s upper deck – about 40 economy class seats. By utilizing a hallway and maximizing the space where the ceiling curves downward, Etihad was able to create a very luxurious suite even with a relatively small amount of space. (You might need to be careful when sleeping in that bed though.)
In relation to this – and your everyday commutes – the second situation I believe warrants attention in space maximization is your bag, whether it be a handbag or a suitcase. In fact, containers in general, not just bags! Well, what is a house but a container for a family and their possessions? While we seek to Make The Most of the space in it, we don’t want to suffocate ourselves in it, and we want to keep it nice and spacious without wasting space. It sounds paradoxical, but it is very possible: My mother’s vision for my own bedroom is becoming an example.
Suitcases in particular intrigued me when I started reading on this topic, because it’s very interesting to me how I manage to use up very little space in a suitcase when going abroad – yet still find, incredulously, that I could still improve on Making The Most of my space! Even my own shoulder bag sometimes falls woefully short of space maximization. Whenever I thought I had no space left for something, I just had to reorganize my other things inside the bag and, voilà, instant space without cramming into the bag!
There’s a difference between maximizing the space and just filling it up (hence, the previous comment on cramming). In fact, “maximize” isn’t even the right word, especially when it comes to profit – it’s optimize. One of my beloved mentors, Antonio Meloto, the Father of Gawad Kalinga, is the one to take the credit for this nugget of wisdom. As is in authentic capitalism, as is in life, so it is in the home: We seek to OPTIMIZE rather than MAXIMIZE.
I’ll write in more detail about Making The Most in living space and traveling space (heh!) after this, as there are so many resources on the Internet giving suggestions on how to do so. Not everything discussed there may apply as commonly as others, obviously, so I’m looking forward to doing my own little experiments in Making The Most at home and in my containers.