Real Life Survival Guide Episode 59

Sep 23, 2012

"That's meaning of life isn't it - trying to find a place for your stuff." George Carlin. The man is a genius.

Our family downsized about three years ago, and, after we donated/sold/pitched out box after box of junk, it occurred to me that "stuff" might be a good topic for the Guide. I invited my architect pal Duo Dickinson, fellow downsizer Mary Eliott, basement flood refugee Gaye Hyre and professional organizer Lisa Lelas to join me for a conversation on the subject.

We met up at Thali Too, a wonderful Indian restaurant bordering a courtyard on the Yale campus - as the bells chimed and, at the end, Mary noticed her freshman dorm room!

 Duo Dickinson has written seven books on architecture. His latest, “Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want”, was published by The Taunton Press in November 2011.

He has been the contributing writer for home design for Money Magazine, is the architecture critic for the New Haven Register, and a contributing writer in home design for New Haven magazine. He has written articles for more than a dozen national publications including House Beautiful, Home, Fine Homebuilding and was the “At Home” editor for This Old House.

Mary Elliott is a stay-at-home Mom with four children, one husband and no pets unless you count that ant farm on the dresser in her son’s bedroom.  She has a Yale B.A., a Ph.D. in English from Boston College, and—in her old life—taught writing, English and American lit courses at B.C., Gonzaga University & Whitworth College in Spokane, WA.

Upon the birth of her twins in Colorado, she perished rather than published, but has written a couple of novels that need serious rework before they see the light of day.  She likes to play the fiddle, hike, bike-ride and unwind with good friends.

Gaye Hyre is the Founder of ArtBra New Haven, the community of breast cancer survivors, supporters and fine artists helping under and uninsured patients, through creativity and fun. Her "organizational skills" were honed as a stagemanager, being challenged to make and keep order out of chaos.  (Not that chaos doesn't win on occassion, but we'll pass over that quickly.)  Despite often feeling like King Canute, shoveling against the tide, she succeeds in keeping her exits clear.

Lisa Lelas is a professional organizer, author/speaker and time management expert. She is the owner of Life Styling, and is the host of "Simply Organized" (public access TV Show airing in 48 CT towns), the organizing segment reporter for Channel 8's Good Morning CT weekends, and a columnist for the Shore Line Times newspaper.

Lisa is also a magazine editor and current President of the National Speakers Association/CT Chapter. She has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Today Show, and more. Folllow Lisa on Twitter @organizerLisa.