Monthly Archives: March 2014

Could you Live in your Parking Space?

There is a new twist to down sizing. And it’s not the size of a Manhattan studio, or even the size of a European hotel room.  People are setting up house in a space the size of a SUV right here in Los Angeles.  The LA Times reported a story on the Olympic Studios in Santa Monica, California where individuals live in a 350 square foot space.

Is this just a fade or perhaps a shift in the mind set that in this day and age being practical is not only cool but environmentally sound?  We live in spaces full of stuff and clutter, which we like to hang onto as mementos of days gone by.  Or we just enjoy having the latest equipment, items, luxury cars and toys.  Is our worth tied to these possessions?  Do we really need to surround ourselves with so many unnecessary items to be happy?

I often hear, “I have too much stuff.”  It is funny how the majority of people use this phrase. Once we start the process of purging and readjusting their space they feel lighter, allowing new, fresh thought from within.  New healthy attitudes about life emerge, paving the way for downsizing.

Perhaps the era of bigger and extra no longer equates to more is better.  Having just what you need creates calmness and clarity within your space.  Hopefully this type of living will not just a trend, but a lifestyle saving your life and not breaking the bank.

A Clutter Free Kitchen

bowls023So many times I encounter this conversation with clients: “I hired an organizer and they were great and my place looked wonderful and clean when they left. However, after a few weeks it was back to the same mess.” Organizing a space is easy, but finding the solution to keeping it organized must be tailored to what works best for you and your circumstances.

This last week at the gym I was perusing magazines and came across a page with brief tips on de-cluttering your kitchen in the September issue of Health. Two of the suggestions were to group similar kitchen items together and setting a permanent table to prevent mail from piling up.

Always having a set table does not necessarily prevent a clutter stage and grouping items together doesn’t always save time. Making your kitchen work for you requires simple elimination of non useful items and the dedication to maintaining your newly established routine.

If you are going to group items make sure they are essential items of current need. A grouping of a rarely used pizza slicer with an often used spatula because they are utensils does not make logical sense.

Group together:

Spices
Counter appliances
Seasonal bake ware
Utensils
Dishes
After this process, see what inventory you have. If you have several of one thing and use only one of them, the others are taking up valuable real estate. In addition, group things together that are used in conjunction such as a spatula and tongs. I like to say “like with like, use with use.”

Find out what the clutter in the space represents to you and its sentimental attachment. No matter the size of the space it is not always an organizational issue.

I have clients who have multiple sets of dishes and feel they must have all of them. These sentimental items are pushing them out of the kitchen by taking up space, unless you have a room dedicated to dishes. Continued success in an organized space requires finding out the reasons for the clutter and then mapping out a plan of organization which makes sense to you.

In our new book, A Recipe for Life by the Doctor’s Dietitian, there is a section on organizing your kitchen. Since a kitchen represents the heart of the home it must be nourished. Once you decide to change your space and experience the benefits it will be easy to maintain.