BTR: Downsizing from 3,200 to 800 Sqft.

Room:  Kitchen

Hours to Complete:  7.5

Main Objective:  Coming to terms with the size of the new space and simplifying our client's personal list of hobbies and specialty crafts. 

The Details:  Oh yes, we're back with some seriously gorgeous photos of our most recent client, N.  We had the pleasure of giving a major NM overhaul to most of her sunny one bedroom Marina apartment.

While the apartment itself was beautifully updated and has plenty of built-in storage, our client had recently downsized from a 3,200 square-foot home to an 800 square-foot apartment.  Like many people making big moves, work and life responsibilities seemed to take over and she never had the time fully purged her belongings to match her accommodations. 

Over the course of three days we tackled the Office Nook, the Bathroom, the Kitchen and even had a little extra time to tackle the petite Entryway. To date these were some of our most ambitious and exciting projects, primarily due to the  sheer number of items we processed. 

A note on downsizing + self-love:

Though there is room for N to continue releasing items, we know that Space Clearing is a deeply emotional process.  For anyone going through a large downsizing, it can be helpful to process items in stages.  This is so you don't get too worn down and so you don't feel like you are suddenly letting go of everything you own!  

In this initial stage we were able to downsize to the point that every item had a place to call home.  Our goal for the next stage is to even create greater organization and spaciousness by releasing items that are out-of-date for N's current lifestyle (foods from out-of-date eating routines and large, unfinished projects and crafts) and letting go of items that simply do not fit in her reduced living space.

Overall, N's home is a huge success.  It's a seriously big deal to part with several truckloads of items all within a few days.  What impressed me most about N was her willingness to release old items from her space so that she could make room for some new (BIG) relationships and opportunities to enter her life.

If I could sum up our biggest lessons from N's home it would be this:

  1. Moving is an amazing chance at a fresh start -- but that doesn't mean it's easy.  Whether downsizing, moving across the country for work, or just across town to be with your partner it's a big step.  Allowing your new home's size, inhabitants, and personality to dictate what stays and goes will keep you feeling light and fresh.  Prevent overwhelm by enlisting the help of friends and professionals.
  2. Clearing off counter tops and visible surfaces can change the entire feel of a home AND the way you feel in it.  Take a few minutes every evening to remove items from your counters and tables.  It's surprising how different it feels to wake up in a home that is clean and light versus one that is cluttered and unfinished. 
  3. Give it time.  Throughout this process N did a great job of giving herself room for her feelings "percolate."  After a few days away from the process N was always able to release more and feel better while Clearing.  If you're facing a big project like downsizing or moving in with a partner, be sure to give yourself plenty of time away from the project to keep your perspective and attitude fresh and optimistic!

BTR: Duboce Park Entrepreneur's Kitchen

Room:  Kitchen

Complete: 6

Main Objective:  Removing unused appliances and optimizing the layout for creative and consistent cooking. Also creating space for others to be in the kitchen with the cook.

The Details:  This is the 3rd of a 3-part series. Check Part 1: Bedroom and Part 2: Livingroom.

While C is an amazing cook with an even better selection of whiskey, his kitchen was not living up to its potential. You can see that the counters were crowded with everyday items, because the cupboards were filled with many items he no longer used. 

Before:  Cluttered counters make both prep and cleaning a struggle.

After: Counters are reserved for only the most used items, making prep and cleanup a breeze.

Decluttering Tip: As any seasoned chef will attest, counter space is pivotal to a well-functioning kitchen. After going through hundreds of items in the kitchen, we donated over 50% of the cupboard contents. That freed up space so that the counters could serve as prep space. 

In the corner he had a bar hutch that was devoted to his whiskey collection. And while inside it was brimming with some of the finest selections, the top was cluttered with everyday kitchen items. 

Before:  The surface of the bar is covered in excess kitchen tools, making C's favorite spread of whiskey's challenging to access.

Before:  The surface of the bar is covered in excess kitchen tools, making C's favorite spread of whiskey's challenging to access.

We cleared the top and removed the bar and brought it to the living room. With the desire to have others in the kitchen while he cooked, we suggested C fill the empty corner with a small round table and chairs, at counter height. 

Redesign Tip: Whenever you have seating in the kitchen, it usually feels more comfortable to have seating at a similar height to those standing in the kitchen, otherwise it feels as if those standing are towering over those sitting. 

Before: Cluttered counters...

After: C's kitchen is transformed into an airy, spacious and highly cooking-friendly space.

While we couldn’t do anything about the water heater, we could clean up that corner so that the counters were clear of oils and vinegars. 

We kept C’s most-used oils near the stove, and edited the rest to fit into the spice cabinet that was previously overflowing with spices that were past their prime. We removed the microwave and toaster from the counter by the oven to let more natural light in towards the stove. C said he rarely used his microwave, so we decided to test how important it actually was by stashing it in the closet. 

Before:  The little prep space there was next to stove is dominated by rarely used appliances.

After: The stove now has it's own prep area, holding only C's most used tools and oils.