What is Space Planning and How Do You Do It? 10 Principles of Space Planning

Space planning involves designing and organizing an area to perfect its functionality and efficiency based on the intended purpose.


Why it Matters


Space planning isn’t just about arranging furniture—it’s about improving your quality of life at home and work. By optimizing your space, you can enhance comfort, reduce stress, and make daily activities easier and more enjoyable.

At its core, space planning is about organizing your home to maximize its functionality and efficiency for your needs. Finding the right balance of furniture, storage, and open areas to create a harmonious living environment will upgrade your lifestyle.


Ten Basics of Space Planning


1. Purpose  Consider how each room or area in your home will be used. Is it a place for relaxation, work, entertainment, storage, or all of the above? Clarifying the purpose helps guide your planning.

2. Needs  What activities will take place in each space?  Do you need ample seating for gatherings and televised sporting events, a home gym, shelving, or a clutter-free workspace? Would you like to park your vehicle(s) in the garage? Identifying your needs is key to effective planning.

3. Furniture Layout  Arrange furniture and other elements in a way that supports your activities. Consider grouping related functions adjacent to each other. Ensure that essential and frequently used items are easy to access and store. Multi-purpose furniture, such as a sofa bed or a hidden gaming coffee table, creates more options for the space.

4. Cable Management  Keep cables and cords organized and out of sight for a clutter-free environment. Clips, ties, fasteners, and trays are among the myriad of solutions available.

5. Traffic Flow  Make sure passages are the proper width for all activities and will remain clear and unobstructed to facilitate easy navigation through the space. This is especially important for older adults,  who may need to maneuver with a walker or wheelchair, to ensure safety and comfort.

6. Lighting  Effective light utilization involves strategically placing lighting fixtures to enhance functionality and create a comfortable ambiance, whether for work, study, gym, hobbies, storage, or entertainment. Maximizing natural light using large windows or skylights can significantly improve the atmosphere. Incorporating adjustable lighting options, such as dimmers and task lighting, gives flexibility for all activities and moods within the space.

7. Utilize Vertical Space  Maximize storage by using often overlooked vertical areas with shelves or cabinets. This approach keeps clutter off the floor and makes the most of your room’s height.

8. Create a Pleasant Atmosphere  Choose colors, lighting, and decor that reflect your style and contribute to a welcoming ambiance. Personal touches like family photos, artwork, and meaningful memorabilia create a space that feels truly yours and enhances your connection to your home. A well-designed space not only functions well but also fits your style.

9. Plan for Adaptability  Anticipate future needs and lifestyle changes. Flexibility in design, such as adding extra outlets and versatile storage solutions will allow your space to adapt and stay relevant as circumstances evolve over time.

10. Prioritize Safety and Accessibility  Ensure that your space meets safety standards, especially if you or your loved ones have mobility concerns or specific accessibility needs. Sturdy, well-constructed furniture and adequate lighting will reduce the chance of mishaps. Smoke detectors and accessible fire extinguishers should be installed as well.


Space planning is a smart and practical approach to making your home function well for you. Whether looking to create a man cave retreat, an outdoor storage space, or a functional work/hobby/craft room, utilizing organized and thoughtful space planning can make a profound difference.


Meet Ray Sagun, our Professional Space Planner at Ideal Organizing + Design

Ray Sagun, Designer, Organizer  Ray holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and is a member

 of NAPO, the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals. He has worked with architecture

 firms on projects ranging from high-end custom residential, mixed-use, hospitality and leisure, educational, civic and bridge projects. As a self professed organized hoarder, Ray empathizes with the struggle to manage the “stuff” in our lives. He enjoys the process of becoming organized and hopes to help others find their way. His interests include architecture, design, minimalism, tiny living and travel. 


IOD is a devoted team of talented experts with decades of experience improving clients’ productivity and helping them love their spaces and lifestyles again. Read our team members’ stories of how they became among the industry’s most dedicated Professional Organizers.

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