While Jane is on vacation, I'm stepping in to write the blog post and talk about how I have gained a new way of looking at things after I hired Jane to help me and from all the work we've done with clients.
I've been working with Jane for two years now. I first met her at one of her talks at the Dreambank. I DEFINITELY didn't want to hire her for organizing, because that was something that I was good at and could take care of on my own, even though I rarely got to it! (more on that in my next newsletter). So, I loved what I heard and hired her to help look at my tired, brown living room. No one had ever been able to help me much with the decorating and no one had a clue as to what to do with our monstrosity of a (ugly) brick fireplace.
In comes Jane! After talking to us about our goals and Feng shui, she immediately starts moving things - the big sunburst mirror down to the foyer, move the couches to different locations, etc. And the fireplace that no one could ever figure out - a beautiful upgrade!
Jane's help breathed new life into our home. After doing the upgrades in the living room, it didn't take long for us to want Jane to help us redo our 40 year old kitchen. Things were so out of balance with a beautiful living room and this old kitchen that really needed a lot of work.
It was Jane's help with the kitchen that really got me looking at things in a new way. She suggested new, bigger windows for our dark kitchen. And to help with the light even more, to not put in any upper cabinets on the window wall. But where would I put all my stuff??? Not to mention that the cabinet guys thought we were crazy - why NOT put cabinets everywhere? :) By then, I had been working with Jane with our organizing clients. I realized that although I loved to organize, at home it mostly consisted of just moving things around and putting them in a new place. The big piece I was missing was doing a meaningful edit of my things.
With the new kitchen design, I had to take a good look at what I was holding on to and why. It turns out there were a lot of things that were old and tired or things that I didn't really need anymore. I was also storing a lot of things that were used infrequently - like specialty pans, fondue pots, a big crock pot, etc. I realized that those things did not need to live in the kitchen, so I did some editing on my shelves in the utility room and moved them there. It has worked really well, and not anything I would have thought of before because it had fit (stuffed) in my original kitchen. The result is that it is easier to get to the things in my new kitchen and the overflow things are still really easy to get to the few times a year I need them. And I've realized that there's a few things I've never used since they've been downstairs. Those will be going soon!
After putting all my things back into the new kitchen, I had a new revelation of thought. I realized that I had become okay with less stuff in my kitchen. I liked being able to open drawers and doors and easily see what I had. I liked being able to easily take out what I needed without having to move 10 things just to get to it. I also loved that with less stuff, I was able to put all like stuff with like stuff, instead of having categories spread all over the kitchen.
After working with more clients and looking at the situation in my own home (still need to get to some of that organizing! ), I started to think differently on my buying habits too. That really surprised me. It was a huge shift in thought that has stayed with me. I'll write about that in another newsletter. In the meantime, here are some before and after shots of my kitchen. These are not professional photos, but I think you can at least get an idea.
The window wall and the back wall that was removed. This is in the packing phase :)
The back wall was removed, bigger windows were put in and an additional window was put in the dining room. And no upper cabinets on the window wall!