New Book 'Right-Sizing Your Home' Says Rethink and Rearrange. Don't Relocate.

Jun 08, 2010, 10:17 ET from Right-Sizing Your Home by Gale Steves

NEW YORK, June 8  /PRNewswire/ -- Is your house too big?  Or is it too small?  You can right-size it, says home expert Gale Steves, author of "Right-Sizing Your Home – How To Make Your House Fit Your Lifestyle" (Northwest Arm Press $21.95). It's a self-help book just arriving in the decorating section of bookstores, and written to help people maximize the usefulness of the space they already have. The book goes beyond clever storage ideas to delve deep into customizing a house to suit one's own style of living comfortably and efficiently.

"We used to be a society that said, 'Don't improve. Move,'" said Steves.   There's no need to discuss how that went wrong, she says, because regardless of new economic realities, "People don't use space appropriate to their own life."  Steves interviewed nearly 300 families in researching the book, and all said they had rooms and furniture that was never used, no matter if the house was big or considered too small.

Steves eschews traditional room names, such as living room and dining room and instead focuses on how a room is truly utilized.  "Right-Sizing Your Home" looks at Where You Cook, Where You Eat, Where You Relax, Where You Bathe, Where You Sleep, Where You Work and Where You Store.  Steves offers an audit to aid in evaluating the activity rather than the room. For example, to determine a dining area, Steves asks:  Are you a great gourmet?  A quick snacker?  An everyday feeder?  A reheat specialist?  Or a leisurely diner?  Her process leads to practical solutions for rethinking and rearranging existing space.

Right-sizing is the opposite of a one-size-fits-all approach, precisely Steves' point.  Forget the word "resale," she urges.  That was yesterday's way of building houses – for the next occupant. Steves is a long-time observer of home trends as editor in chief of Home magazine and industry consultant. Her advice for right-sizing comes at a time of economic, technological and lifestyle changes occurring -- from multiple home offices, to multi-generational families living together, to aging in place.

To right-size your house, Steves suggests starting with her "art of RE."  Rethink, reimagine, readjust, rediscover, rearrange, reclaim, recycle and replace.  "Anything but relocate," she says.

The book is available online and at bookstores everywhere.  Visit right-sizing on Facebook or at

SOURCE Right-Sizing Your Home by Gale Steves