Saturday, May 12, 2012

Organizing Small Spaces.

Small spaces give us the opportunity to live sincerely, forcing us to choose which of our possessions make our hearts sing - Kathryn Bechen

I borrowed Kathryn's book on organizing small spaces from a coworker, Nancy, who writes content for our Espresso Minutes (  She always has the most amazing resource books on her desk and I'm always looking to improve my home.  Lord knows since I've decided I want to adopt 63 Haitian orphans I may need these household managing skills, right?

I borrow this book most recently and dove right in:

Most of you probably think of a townhome as 'small spaces' right?  Well, I live alone in almost 1500 square feet which probably takes me out of this category.  Once my 63 orphans arrive, yes, but for just me I actually have A LOT of space.  I just have an overwhelming desire to use the space wisely, efficiently, and without creating clutter!

As she was writing in the first chapter about different types of households I was struck by a quote from a woman who apparently decorated a beautiful home in antique and then said 'my house may be beautiful, but it has no heart'.  My desire is to have both.  To have a home that is full of heart, memories, and more often than not people while maintaining it beautifully as well.

I am a minimalist when it comes to furniture. There are few things I hate more than a room that's been 'over furnitured'.  You each probably got a perfect picture of a time you've witnessed this in your own or a friends house.  I do not want to feel like Alice when she drank the potion and got too big for the room. I like to be able to move comfortably in rooms without bumping into things and I don't want to be able to reach every piece of furniture in a bedroom from the bed.  I need space between.  But I want a lot of life in the spaces of my home as well.

Here's a few goals that Bechen sets early on that I agree with:

- You sleeping areas should be serene and orderly, ensuring a good night's rest.
- Your garage should house cars, not overflows of stuff.
- Your storage needs are taken care of in a manner that works for your lifestyle and budget.
- If you like to read (is she reading my mind?) you should have a little library organized in a way that makes finding your books easy.
- You've put put your unique personal stamp on the decor with items you've collected that speak to your heart.

I want to e-mail her and ask her if she wants to be friends.  I think keeping your bedroom the most relaxing place in your house is key!  I can't tell you how many crazy garages I see in my complex and wonder, if you don't have a place for do you really need to keep it? She appreciates my need for a mini library, enough said.

I've been in a several month process of purging my house.  I have craiglisted, ebayed, goodwill'd, etc until I'm blue in the face.  But what I've found to be motivating for me is keeping a list of things I want for my house and using the money I make from purging to reward myself with things I do want/need.  In fact, I think for a bit there I was mildly addicted.  I sold my graphing calculator from high school (which was more than a few years ago, amazingly) and put the money towards paint which is being used to paint my entire house right now and I'm loving it!

If you live in a small apartment, condo, RV, or house I recommend this book. I love the authors attitude and how she encourages you to keep your space in a way that allows you to comfortably entertain friends and make memories!  She shares about hosting a Thanksgiving for soldiers in a small beach condo she once had and about using her washer and drier with a pretty table cloth as a buffet while having guests over. She has great ideas, perspective, and a sweet heart for loving on others in your home. A special thanks to Nancy for lending this to me.


1 comment:

Kathryn Bechen said...

Dear Becca,

Thank you for so thoroughly reviewing my book, Small Space Organizing, on your blog. I am so happy you enjoyed it and found it useful and your insights into what you liked about it were very helpful to me as an author. Great job on your purging! Wishing you happiness, beauty, and order at home always, whatever the size of your space! I have a newsletter and blog, so hope you will join me there at :)
Sincerely, Kathryn Bechen, Author