Papers began to pile up, meal prep was frustrating at best, little things were irritating.
George was on mission. He was determined to improve his home, his life, AND his family's life. He was frustrated with the choppiness of his first floor (a single family converted from a two family). Luckily, there were things he LOVED about his home, too.
George sent me a message.
" Hey Aly! Just wondering if you are available for a quote for organizing our insane house and life. Honestly, I’m not even sure how this works. But…we are only able to deal with the basics: cleaning, cooking, simple repairs (barely), and raising kids, so I think our long-languishing garage and laundry room will remain last priority…forever. (Despite the massive stress they cause us.)".
At the consultation, I immediately fell in love with George and his wife. (If you know them, you'd love them, too!)
We got to work applying the Four Tenets.
We started organizing in the kitchen. As we all know, the kitchen is the heart of the home. It
keeps everything "pumping". A healthy kitchen enables nourishment for the body, soul and family bond.
George's kitchen had acquired excess. This excess clogged up the pumping and the kitchen became stagnant. Papers began to pile up, meal prep was frustrating at best, little things were irritating. It was not an acceptable situation for a family that enjoys cooking and baking together.
We pulled out the 4 Tenets of Organizing, relying heavily on Minimum Plus One. We "demoted" items that are used seasonally to the basement. We talked maintenance. What is George's current system? What easy tweaks can he do to keep the clutter at bay? This is a whole lot of the Third Tenet, Find Your Truth. We tested his new system. Life was getting
pumped back into the kitchen.
But! We weren't done yet…
The Pantry Problem
Auditing the food, getting all the "birds of a feather together" in a way that worked for George's family had a profound effect on the kitchen. The before and after pictures of the pantry DO NOT COME CLOSE to describing the impact of organizing. (Therefore, I am not showing them off.) George eloquently described the impact via text.
"Can't believe I forgot to text sooner, but Jane absolutely loves the pantry and agreed with everything. And honestly, when I told you this would make meal prep easier, I wasn't kidding. We were all exhausted after a long day plus the kids' karate last night, and I made us an enormous breakfast-for-dinner feast. It was great knowing where everything was, and also fantastic being able to get to all the ingredients quickly!"
With the cupboards, counter and pantry organized, we dove deep into the flow of the kitchen. One family member severely (though unintentionally) disrupted the flow. By "family member" I mean the four-legged kind. You guessed it, the dog, Astro.
It was hard to find the right place for her bowls and crate. Her bowl was next to the stove, placing her body in the way of, well, everything. Her food container was a menace placed at the top of the stairway. Not good.
And there was her crate. In the "perfect" location by the back door. But "perfect" it wasn't. It became a "hot spot" that collected clutter. After much consideration, her crate was moved to the living room. (Stay tuned for that transformation!)
Astro's bowls and food container were placed where the crate was. Now Astro eats without getting bumped and the food container is no longer a hazard by the stairs.
With the clutter gone, and a system to keep the clutter gone, the kitchen burst alive with more positive energy. George even danced in the new space.