expiration date

Garages...last night I dreamed my whole house was clean!

As much as I would love to continue working inside the house, the garage needs me more. And, lucky for me, there is a community-wide garage sale on Saturday. So for the next few days, I will clear a path through the garage deciding what to set outside for this timely event. One man's discards are soon to become another's treasures. This will eventually create more space for, dare I say it, my car. Now that would be a feat in southern California given the lack of basements and attic space.

Having a few cupboards in the garage gives me overflow pantry space and emergency supplies. Good to take inventory of expired items and what is missing. Keeping paper, sticky notes and a pen handy will save time in the long run. I don't know about you, but I tend to become easily distracted. Remember the book, "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie?" Well, if you send Jen to the kitchen to make a list, she is going to want a cup of tea, and then remember that she didn't eat lunch and before you know it, the list is long forgotten. So... my rule of thumb is to keep supplies at arm's reach to stay on task! Pockets are also a good idea.

You might be surprised at what you will discover about yourself as you clear the clutter. I have learned or should I say, remembered that photographs are one of my favorite art forms. I have stopped along the way to reframe photographs taken by my family and have created wall collages in my office, in the hallway, and a few other places in the house. My desk and countertops are clear leaving me more space to work. Not only do they bring a smile to my face, but cleaning them is a breeze!

If you aren't using Swiffers yet, try them!!!! Another favorite staple of mine is "earthquake putty." I put a little dab on one back corner of each picture frame. The picture frames are stable which adds to the sense of order and calm.

I am heading back to the garage now and will let you know what else I discover.

Kitchen...leaning in a new direction

Before you ask, I have not finished recreating my office space, because a new need presented itself. So I took a little detour and found myself in the kitchen.

I suspect most of us find this room particularly challenging. I did not intend to work on this room yet. Gadgets alone can be overwhelming. But while making dinner a few weeks ago, I overheard Ellen Degeneres speaking with Kathy Freston about her new book, "The Lean." I admit I was intrigued, stopped what I was doing to look for it on the web and ordered it there and then. It arrived in the mail a few days later...you have got to love internet shopping, and I have been reading a chapter a day ever since.

You may be asking yourself what does this have to do with creating spaces in your home and to uncluttering? Everything! I am learning, at least for myself, my health and happiness are not in a neat and tidy little box either. I needed to take inventory of the food in my kitchen and make some adjustments to follow this eating plan that is really more of a series of adjustments.

So at least for this week, the changes that I made in the kitchen were food related. Checking expiration dates and freshness of ingredients, replacing empty containers with healthy grains and keeping the fruit bowl full have kept me from reaching for the unhealthier choices that have beckoned me in the past.

If you have considered vegetarian or vegan eating, Freston's book is sensible and easy to follow. The pantry is in order, at least for now, and I am "leaning" in a new direction.