Monday, January 23, 2012

“Small Space Organizing”

January is “National Get Organized Month,” and anyone that is acquainted with me at all probably knows, or can tell, that I am a pretty organized person. I have just always enjoyed living in an orderly way, and I truly feel that it saves time and frustration. People say that it takes too much time to be organized, and they just don’t have the time. But in actuality, it is quite the opposite! While it is true that it may take time to set up your life and home in an organized fashion, once things are in place, it makes everything that you do so much quicker and easier. An organized person can put their hands on something in moments, while the person living in disarray will tear their house apart and waste time looking for that desired object… not to mention the additional mess that they have just created that will cause new problems!

William Morris, socialist and textile designer of the Arts & Crafts Movement in the mid- to late- nineteenth century in England, expressed his golden rule in the now infamous quote “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

Image Victoria and Albert Museum

This should be the anthem for us all regardless of how much space we are living in. Bigger is not necessarily better when it is filled with meaningless objects in a disorderly setting. And while an organized household is desirable in general, when it comes to living in a small space it is imperative! There is just no way to live a full and harmonious life in a small space without being careful to edit your belongings and lay out your spaces in a way that, as Morris referred to, are useful, meaningful, and of course beautiful. Just because your space is small, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a gracious place filled with stunning design and lots of personality.

If you live in a small space, and all of this sounds very appealing, but you just don’t know how to go about it or where to start, I have a suggestion for you… a brand new book “Small Space Organizing, A Room-By-Room Guide to Maximizing Your Space” by Kathryn Bechen.

Image Kathryn Bechen INK

Kathryn and I met several years ago at a weekend-long event on living a happy and gracious life hosted by an interior designer and lifestyle author that we both find inspiring, Alexandra Stoddard, at Alexandra’s home in Stonington, Connecticut. It is not surprising that like-minded people come together in such ways, and stay connected through the years.

Kathryn Bechen and me

in Alexandra Stoddard's home, Stonington, Connecticut

Kathryn is a journalist who specializes in lifestyle topics, and has herself been a professional organizer. What makes her approach to the topic even better is that she and her husband Steve have personally lived in thirteen small spaces themselves, and with Kathryn’s concepts and style, have done so artfully. In Small Space Organizing, Kathryn starts you off on your organizing journey by looking at what kind of small home dweller you are (newlywed, empty nester, etc.) and encouraging you that you can dwell well in that space if you make the lifestyle commitment. She also makes the case for “small space grace” verses “big house blues,” for those of you that still yearn for more square footage… you might rethink that after you read what Kathryn has to say!

The great thing about “Small Space Organizing” is that it is a practical guidebook in which Kathryn gives you all of the framework that you need to analyze the space that you have (and what you might not be taking full advantage of), how to look at your belongings to determine what to keep and how to dispose of the rest, how to make the most of the storage spaces you do have, how to arrange your furniture to maximize flow and functionality, and even suggests furnishings that can do double-duty… all while expressing your own personality in a visually attractive way. She also shares plenty of her resources for organizing products and supplies, furnishings and accessories suitable for small spaces, so you will be able to bring your newly organized small space to fruition.

For more information on Kathryn Bechen, and her new book “Small Space Organizing,” please visit Kathryn Bechen INK, or just click on her link under my "You Must Visit" list to the left!

Happy organizing!

1 comment:

  1. I'm what you'd call "sloppy" organized. I never lose anything (well, almost never)and usually can find what I'm looking for. But the pile in the in-box is huge!


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