Q: Do you consider small space living a "quality of life" choice and if so, why?
Kathryn Bechen: Indeed, I do. Whatever housing lifestyle choice you make for your family I think is okay, but I think that you should make sure you're consciously choosing, and not just going with a McMansion in the 'burbs or an acreage in the country with a big house because you feel outside pressure from anyone else to do so. I believe housing size is a lifestyle choice too in that housing size and the number of possessions in it take up time in your life, and time IS your life, so you want to be sure you're spending your time in a way that feels right for you because you can never get time back! If living in a large home with a large yard full of flowers makes you happy because you like having big family and friend gatherings there, and you are comfortable with all the time, maintenance, and expense that all involves, then I think a larger home is right for you. If, like me and my husband, you would rather live in a (high-quality) small space that does not require hours of cleaning and large outlays of money for home maintenance, lawn care, and furnishings, plus gives you more time to spend doing enjoyable things together, having small dinners with a few friends, and traveling, then I think small space living is for you. And always, no matter what the size of your home space, personalize the furnishings and decor to your taste so it feels beautiful to you. That doesn't mean you have to spend tons of money; it means choosing furnishings and accessories within your budget that you feel are attractive.
Q: Can someone really be happy, and stay organized, living in just one room?
KB: Absolutely! Some people actually prefer it, especially if they live in a studio apartment in someplace like New York City where the excitement and culture of the city is their "backyard," or in San Diego, where parks and beaches are the same. In one room, everything has to have its place, and I believe every home should have only the things in it that really bring you joy, but when living in one room, that's even more important. Make your home beautiful to you, even if it's one small room!
Q: What free download do you have today for our readers/listeners so they can get started right away in organizing their small space home?
KB: Go to www.SmallSpaceOrganizing.com and sign up to get the free article I wrote, Small Space Savvy in a Big Stuff World. There's also another free home organizing and decorating article there as a bonus.Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.