Revamp your home with greater efficiency in mind

Is it possible to simplify your life and does it have an effect on the climate in our home?

I have written a few times about de-cluttering which I believe to be a necessary and regular occurrence for our emotional and physical health but I am now working on the process of simplification.

There are always easier, simpler ways to do things if we look outside of our routine.

For example, I grew up in a house with a kitchen ‘junk drawer’ and consequently my houses have always had that same junk drawer. This is a catch-all of all those things you have no idea what to do with and toss into a drawer while you are madly cleaning for company.

If you aren’t familiar with the term, consider yourself lucky – it is a trap! The houses got bigger, the junk drawer got bigger and the useless items just kept piling up. Simply looking for something in that drawer was a major source of frustration. I KNEW the item I was searching for was in there but had to move heaven and earth and old phone books just to get to what I was looking for.

My initial concern with moving to a much smaller place was where all my stuff would fit. I came to realize that a lot of my stuff was not necessary and I didn’t need to cart it around any longer. No more junk drawer! When I took time and went through that drawer, this box and that storage tub – I realized that a great deal of stuff I thought was necessary really wasn’t. A wise girlfriend asked me ‘What do you need to live?’ What do we truly need and why do we hoard so much excess?

Pick one system currently running in your home and analyze it for efficiency. My system that had to change was how I store and pay my bills (mail in general).

I no longer have a computer desk/office space to use so I had to revamp my way of keeping my household paperwork in check. The bills are sorted and stored in an accordion file in my closet and dealt with on a regular basis instead of piling up on a desk for months waiting to be filed.

It seems like a simple change but when you are working on your bills from your dining room table on a laptop you are much more motivated to organize and file! I find that I really enjoy this simple system and will appreciate the organization next tax season.

I was recently helping a client choose new kitchen cabinets and she was wondering about not having the phone desk in the kitchen anymore.

We discussed where she would organize her mail and to my surprise discovered that she has an office 10 steps away from the phone desk!

Now instead of putting mail one place then moving it again to the home office, she will be able to eliminate a step and create more cabinet space without the phone desk. Sometimes we perform functions or have spaces in our home out of habit or history (the junk drawer) and it can be a good thing to have to re-vamp those spaces to find a newer, more efficient way of doing things.

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Contact her at 403-343-7711 ext 227 or email her at