Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Survivor: Kitchen Island


I was helping a client move from a very large gourmet kitchen to a small condo kitchen and we were having trouble trying to decide what could go to the new place. She had acquired much in her young life and realized that she really wanted to simplify her life. Judith Kohlberg, professional organizer and author, uses games to help clients re-frame their thinking and ease the decision making process. One of her games is "Friends, Acquaintances, and Strangers" and helps people make decisions based on how often one uses the items in question. It is brilliant and I love using this game, but sometimes it is lost on younger people who have 673 Facebook friends.

Light the tiki torches, tie on your bandanna, and cue the jungle sounds--my version of the game takes place on the Kitchen Island. This client was a fan of reality shows and my version of the "Friends..." game borrows from the reality show "Survivor". I challenged her to figure out what kitchen gadgets were her allies by what they could value they could add to "her kitchen team" in the new home. We opened the drawer and pulled out the gadgets out on to the island. She opted right away to eliminate the garlic press, egg slicer, and pizza cutter as a good knife could do the job of all three making it a much better ally. Tea cups (kept only because they came with the set of dishes) were tossed in favor of the coffee mugs that she used everyday. Gone were the panini press, quesadilla maker, bread maker, and a very elaborate juicer. She realized that these items were not adding value to her life each week and would require lots of space in her new kitchen. Inspired by her favorite show she ruthlessly and confidently voted appliances and gadgets off the kitchen island.
This game playing made the downsizing process fun and gave her a feeling of control over her possessions. We used other reality shows like "The Biggest Loser" in other rooms. I am glad to see these reality show games of elimination have a redeeming value!

What is your favorite reality show?