My husband Jon and I were sharing dinner with good friends. Conversation got around to our work and how things were going.

I mentioned that I was taking a course called “Uncluttered.” The inevitable question followed. 


That was also the question Joshua Becker put to us in the first session of the course.  You see, Joshua knows full well that unless there is a strong clear reason, a written stated purpose, many will simply give up on completing the course.  He understands human nature.

I thought often about this question throughout the first week.  I am an orderly person.  I don’t have a tendency to collect “stuff.” I am not particularly sentimental and definitely not prone to disorder.

So why did I commit to this and what would motivate me enough to stay engaged on this 12-week journey?  (Twelve weeks, people!)


My business, Upscale Downsizing was birthed out of the joy I discovered as I walked alongside a number of wonderful mature couples who were leaving large family homes to settle into smaller places.  In each of these cases, it was their adult children who engaged me because they knew full well that someone without personal emotional attachment would be needed in the process of helping their parents to 'let go.'


Our homes tells our stories, and so they should. As you walk through the rooms of my home, you will get a sense of what I enjoy, the things I value, and perhaps a bit about the places I have traveled or the hobbies I have embraced. 

Our homes can also be places where things accumulate and before we know if, we can feel stifled; overrun with clutter!

Downsizing is taking the time needed to edit our stories.  We elect to continue to surround ourselves with only that which continues to serve us well, and gives us great joy.


It’s two fold. 

I hope to gain new tools in understanding how to walk alongside the wonderful people I serve AND I want to live an uncluttered life. 

I long for the daily rhythms of my life to be joyous and peaceful.  I want to know where things are; be able to quickly put my fingers on something I need, and know the peace and emotional freedom of traveling “light.”  

In a culture that can be engulfed in the accumulation of material goods I want to be another voice that calls, inspires and encourages people to pursue the MORE OF LESS.



Colour is such an interesting thing.  Colour trends are even more fascinating.

Simply White. How does it make you feel?

Simply White. How does it make you feel?

Simply White was Benjamin Moore's color of the year for 2016, and is it any wonder?  With our busy, non-stop lives, a clean uncluttered environment enabled us to deal with the nagging sense of overwhelm.  We needed our restorative spaces to be peaceful and calm.  


In 2017, the color pendulum has swung in a completely different direction with Shadow, a smoky greyed amethyst. It is rich, deep and regal - moving from a royal amethyst in daylight, to a graphite charcoal at night.  It pairs beautifully with a myriad of colors to create spaces that can be classic and elegant, or edgy and dramatic.

I love following colour trends, but I refuse to be a slave to them.  

For me, selecting colour for my personal space and that of the clients I serve is about understanding how I want a space to feel. Color is a powerful way (and a relatively inexpensive one too, I might add) to create a specific feeling and mood.


In order to create spaces that say what we desire, we have to understand how colour communicates.

For the sake of simplicity, colour typically falls in two categories - warm colours and cool colours. Warm colours are those with yellow undertones, and cool colours have predominately blue undertones.

And as is suggested, warm colors most often create spaces that feel warm. Colors with warm undertones literally bring the sun into your space.  In kitchens, family rooms and dining rooms, these colors create a sense of warmth and welcome.

Conversely, cool colors have more blue or grey undertones. They bring refreshing and relaxing feelings into space. They are the go-to colour family for resting spaces like bedrooms, or areas for concentration and study.


Whether you are downsizing into a smaller residence or you hope to redecorate and simplify your home, refreshing a room with a new wash of colour is a relatively inexpensive way to transform a space. But is it enough to pick a colour from a swatch in a paint store?

"No. It is more complicated than that. First, answer this question: How do you want your space to feel? Welcoming? Peaceful? Refreshing? Energizing? Neutral? Calming? You'll need to pinpoint this first."


Next, consider the furnishings you own. How about your upholstery, rugs, and window coverings? Are you hoping to use what you currently have—an applaudable and conscious choice as a consumer—or are you planning to select a host of new furnishings which will need consideration as you select a colour? 


The amount of natural light will affect how the colour responds in a space. Understanding the impact of daylight helps to navigate the colour wheel so as to not warm up or cool down a space too much.


Hiring a trained colour analyst or interior designer will help take the guessing out and guarantee your space will be bathed in the perfect colour to achieve the feeling you're after. It will spare the headaches of repeated trips to the store and save money in the long run.


It's more important to honour your furnishings and how you want to feel than it is to have the latest, trendiest, colour. That way, you'll end up with something that is more enduring and will bring you joy as the years go by.

Are you putting off painting because you don't know where to start or you're afraid to make a mistake? I'd love to help you. Colour is my world. Let's connect.

Feel free to play around on the web. Benjamin Moore's tool is a great, albeit limited, way to try on different looks. Which colour makes you feel on top of the world?



Her eyes filled with tears last night, as she spoke about leaving the home where they raised their family.  So many memories and special traditions and rituals happened in the space, and she was processing the grief of it all.

She knew the changes that she and her husband were embracing were good, and she was excited about them, but she also was keenly in touch with her impending loss.


Grief is a natural part of the process of leaving any home.  No matter what the reasons for a change of address, there is a letting go of what is familiar and known, and a stepping out into a new and uncharted course.

We need to give ourselves permission to grieve these losses.  They are real.  It is part of adapting to something new.  It implies a letting go - a releasing of something old and taking a huge step of faith.  So don't ignore the feelings.  Embrace them.


In the scenario I am describing, Mom and Dad are selling their big family home and electing to move from the suburbs into the city.  Their children are launching, and they no longer need the big space.

But this kind of loss and radical change will be felt by the entire family. Their story is a common one. It's helpful to process the change together.  Walk from room to room if that is what feels right, and talk about the special memories and moments that you will cherish.  Weep together if that's what happens, and don't be ashamed.  

Doing a walk through together before leaving a beloved family home will allow for each family member to verbally recount what is precious, and in so doing, will write a chapter in the family history that will be honored and treasured in the years to come.


In due time, it will feel right to celebrate your new residence.  Processing the sadness and loss of leaving in a healthy way will enable the entire family to move toward celebration of a new story line.

And there will be a wonderful new story line.  With time, you will settle into your new place and establish different routines.  You will soon discover delightful new restaurants to enjoy, parks to explore, and neighbors who may be on a similar journey.

Downsizing will surprise you with opportunities for a richer life you didn't know was possible. The freedom and flexibility of living with less will enable you to create a life that focuses on that which is of greatest value.


If you're ready to embark on your own journey, I'd be happy to chat with you. Feel free to contact me here.

Do you have a similar story? Post a comment and share some of your journey.