Have you ever had that feeling, when, in the middle of some routine activity, everything around you stops? Your mind seems to go outside your body, allowing you to peer in as an outsider. You can’t help but smile because you feel an overwhelming sense of contentment, knowing you are exactly where you should be.

I just had one of those. I have them a few times a year. This time, it happened as I was finishing a run and walking back to my car, facing Diamond Head at Kapiolani Park. I couldn’t help but think of how lucky I am, how lucky we all are, to call Hawaii “home.”



That’s not to say that paradise doesn’t come with a cost. The median list price for homes in my Honolulu zip code is $855,000, according to Zillow. My hometown in Ohio, on the other hand, has a median list price of just $135,000. Real estate here comes at a premium. Most of us have no choice but to be creative when it comes to saving space in everyday life. Whether you are starting fresh or need to make more room for the stuff you already have, consider these options.

• Use magnets. Take a magnetic board, which you can find at most office supply stores. You can paint it a color to match your decor or cover it in fabric using a decoupage adhesive. Then, stick magnetic tape on the back of frequently used items and place them on the board. Possible uses: makeup, desk accessories and spices.

• Organize. One of the best ways to save space is to use space efficiently. One trick I recently learned helps to keep bed linens together. Fold your sheet set as you normally would, keeping one pillowcase to the side. Then, place your sheets inside the pillowcase. Your linen closet will look better, and your sheet sets will stay together, too.



• Hang ’em up. You’d be surprised at how many items in your kitchen have holes in them: measuring cups, measuring spoons, ladles, spatulas, whisks, the list goes on. Install a horizontal bar, such as a towel bar, onto the wall. Then, add S hooks to hang your things. Make sure the bar is high enough and the hooks are small enough to accommodate some of the larger items like spoons.

To save even more space, follow the tried-and-true tactics: Utilize vertical space by stacking whenever possible. Opt for square containers over circular ones. Limit furniture to pieces that pull double-duty. And remember to clean out your closet frequently.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisinhawaii@gmail.com.