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 (http://www.imom.com/). 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.