Sep 13, 2013 - Personal    6 Comments

A Good Home Should Be Able to Grow With You

There’s something about the fall that makes people nest. I sell more copies of Sorting It Out between September and December than I do the rest of the year combined.

Many people have told me they have gone through the process outlined in my book and that it has been transformative. I agree. I don’t look at my ‘stuff’ in the same light today. I don’t think I’ll ever again be able to have a home where I forget what I have and let clutter waste valuable space and energy. I no longer think “I wish I had more space” but rather “let’s see what I need to get rid of to get the space I need.”

Take my breadmaker, for example. I hardly ever eat bread anymore and I certainly don’t make it. Why let a huge machine like that eat up three quarters of a cabinet? And why are things that I do use, like the rice cooker and salad spinner, much less my pots and pans, so awkward to access? So the breadmaker went to the thrift store, I added yet another shelf to my rig, and voilà:


I’ve also been having serious pantry issues. Out here on the frontier, you really have to stock up. It’s not like being in Dawson City where you can get a little bit of stuff in Whitehorse and go treasuring hunting at the grocery store, but you’re mostly stuffing your face at world class eateries. This is the first time in my life that I have had to really keep the pantry stocked It’s been an interesting experience that has resulted in stubbed toes because of having to leave bags of cans lying on the floor.

Surely there was a space to store them? Maybe I could just convert the carpet cleaner cupboard to pantry? Do I really need that carpet cleaner anymore? Yes, it’s great for cleaning upholstery. Okay, maybe another shelf is in order, like so?


I’m having to cook more from scratch at Haven than I have had to anywhere else in my life. It’s nice to have the objectivity to get rid of something I don’t use (breadmaker) so that I can make room for something I have used way more in one week than any other appliance I own (food processor).

Does your home have room to grow with you? If not, whose fault is it really?

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  • I think I have the exact same iron and definitely the same carpet cleaner 🙂 I also don’t like clutter and edit constantly, though I am in a house.

  • As I prepare to head out for another winter I’m carefully evaluating what I’m likely to eat and what that means in terms of appliance and food storage. Why does it seem to be different every year?

  • OK Rea, I would love to add some shelves like you have, but have absolutely no idea how to go about it in my ry. How about a Squidoo lens on how you add a shelf.

  • You found out why people who live in the hinterlands have root cellars and copious pantries. Near cities, you can use the stores as the storage by shopping frequently. When it is a significant drive to get to one, you have to have food storage space. The plus side is that it is almost always healthier to cook your own food rather than depend on the food-like substances that may be used in prepared food.

  • Yes, the food storage issue will be one I’ll have to watch. For the time being, I’m moving every few days, so I restock along the way. Later this winter, I expect to sit still for longer periods. Thankfully, I followed Andy’s example and added a pantry. I’m glad you’re still posting, and reminded us about this.

  • Since you were wondering what to do with the space when we saw you last,
    what about using the space in Miranda’s front passenger seat? At least while you’re not on the move. Remember to buy bulk what’s on sale that week. Check the store’s web site for that info. Pack extra food & supplies anywhere you have space for a “can” or two.

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