Monday’s Meditation: On Why Hard Things Happen To Good People

Monday, June 26, 2017

The other day, I was talking to a friend about a health issue that she’s recently been experiencing. 

She is brilliantly gifted at understanding the internal workings of the body, and of taking measures to establish ultimate wellbeing. She told me how she’s spent months trying everything she can think of to aid the issue, to no avail (yet). She was somewhere between frustrated and resigned. “It is what it is right now,” she said.

Something else though. In the wake of sharing the news of her current health condition, close to a dozen people had messaged her saying, “Hey, I think I might have that thing too.” And, “I thought that happened to everyone.” I’m also out here, dealing with this challenge, they were saying. 

It seemed so obvious to me, then: she isn’t experiencing this thing alone. She is personally tackling a challenge for the sake of those people who had emailed her. And for the who-knows-how-many who hadn’t messaged, but are dealing with a similar issue. 

With her specific knowledge and her particular skill set, she is in the unique position to be able to break through this barrier to health. Yes, for herself, and also for us all. 

Things don’t just happen to one of us. They happen to us for everyone else. They happen for us to be able to give to others.

They happen to us so that we’re pushed to discover the cure. They happen to us so that we can share the story. They happen to us because they are the individual assignments we have been given as ways to contribute.

Hard things happen to good people because those people can then turn the hard things around into learnings, not just for themselves, but for everyone. 

And what is the learning, in the end? 

Compassion. That’s what it boils down to.

Our hardships are the bridges we build towards greater awareness and understanding for our fellow woman and man. Our cures and the stories of how to cope with this big, beautiful mess are our human-currency we perpetually owe each other. 

Face challenges bravely. Be patient in uncovering the silver lining. Live lovingly and courageously for others.

You solve a problem and I’ll solve mine, and we’ll share the answers. 

26 Rules For Ideally Designed Kitchen Storage

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

I’ve logged thousands of hours in people’s kitchens working to optimize existing storage, and lamenting having to work around the constraints of unfortunate (and sometimes downright stupid!) design decisions.

“Man, if I could have had a word with the shmahgegy that designed this situation…” I’ll find myself thinking. “It wouldn’t feel like finding a place for this tea cup was akin to moving heaven and earth.”

It is for this reason that I derive so much sympathetic relief when clients ask me to review their proposed kitchen remodel plans, let’s get this right from the get-go, style. 

So for what it’s worth, although it won’t be particular for your kitchen, and I won’t have an intimate knowledge of your spatulas, I thought it might be helpful to rattle off the storage design rules that my extensive Kitchen Simply experience has proven true. Off the top of my head then, here’s twenty-six of them. 

26 rules For ideally designed kitchen storage (from a professional organizer)

Image credit: Heather Bullard


1. Generally speaking, the more drawers, the better.

2. Having at least 4, big, deep drawers will make your kitchen life loads easier.

3. Open shelving is best done in small portions.

4. Built-in custom drawer dividers are an optional luxury, albeit a very useful one.

5. Consider the placement of the waste can.

6. Consider the placement of essential and necessarily cumbersome cleaning instruments, such as the broom, mop, and vacuum.

7. If you’re going through the work of remodeling, don’t skimp on the area under the sink

8. Your cabinets should be deep enough to fit your largest plates and bowls (you say duh, I say: seen too many storage travesties to joke about a think like this).

9. Measure also: your tallest/widest pot, your tallest glass, your tallest/largest-small appliances. Take these dimensions into account when designing your storage.

10. Identify, in particular, the items for which you want to have concealed-storage-homes, rather than sitting out on the counter, as they may formally have, much to your constant annoyance. Consider giving them garages.   

11. This. (I wish this was something I could speak to personally). 

12. The counter space immediately next to the sink is fair game for customization.

13. Make it easy for people to keep the chef company.

14. Shallow drawers are as crucial as deep ones. The ideal kitchen has several of both. 

15. Vertical racks for sheet pans, trays, and cutting boards are worth their weight in wood. Or whatever. 

16. If your vertical tray rack can pull out, even better. 

17. In almost all cases, a pull-out shelf > a shelf.

18. Pot-filler faucets. Practical and classy as hell (IMHO).

19. Don’t you dare let a contractor leave you with a dead end Dreaded Corner Kitchen Cabinet. At the least, you require a two-tiered lazy susan. At the most, maybe this.

20. Most people don’t love looking at their microwave or toaster. Just saying.

21. Most people use their warming drawers for storage. Just saying.

22. Ease of traffic flow is everything. Accordingly, an island should be as large as it can be…without being too big to fit in the kitchen. (How big? Dunno; ask a designer.)

23. Consider the cookbooks. They need a home, too.

24. Maximizing your vertical storage is definitely smart. So is having a reliable way to access said vertical storage locales. 

25. For what it’s worth, I still think this is a really cool idea.

26. Ditto this



Was that helpful even??

What Do You Need To Live Simply This Summer?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Like everything else, the way to a relaxing (read: stress-free) summer is paved by the measures of preparedness one takes.

Nothing about summer needs to inherently be complicated. If done right, summer, in my mind, should be Simple. And with a bit of foresight into the main activities yours will be comprised of, the material belongings relating to said activities, and systems needed to support those items, you can ensure yours runs as smoothly as possible.

From a GPS-capable smart suitcase to a wet sac into which you can deposit sopping wet suits, I’ve got you covered to fulfill the goal of your most organized summer. 

summer organizing essentials, from a GPS-capable smart suitcase, to a sac for sopping wet suits.

1. If you need help corralling water toys and wet towels, this post is for you. 


summer organizing essentials, from a GPS-capable smart suitcase, to a sac for sopping wet suits.

2. If you fan-cy something to cool you off without burning hole through your retinas thanks to by way of its thankless appearance, you’ll be pleased to know this resource was created just for you. 


summer organizing essentials, from a GPS-capable smart suitcase, to a sac for sopping wet suits.

3. If you’re going to be doing a fair amount of park-going, snack-toting, and swimming, these 9 items might just save your sanity this summer.


summer organizing essentials, from a GPS-capable smart suitcase, to a sac for sopping wet suits.

4. If you’re hoping to add “ultra savvy traveler” to your resume this summer, consider adding these tech tools to your arsenal. 


(Summer Simply by Annie.)