Sometimes I think about the spaces in our home and how we use them. Some rooms are obvious: Bedrooms, for example. We need those and spend lots of time in them. Some spaces feel underused. We have a beautiful loft area with custom book shelves built by my wonderful husband, but I don't spend as much time in that space as I thought I would. (Full disclosure: My son loves that space.) We recently reclaimed our screened-in back porch and made it a more welcoming space to be in.
If we had a way to track our room usage, would we like what we saw? I feel like the dining room would be neglected, (although we do use it more than we did the first few years in our home), and I think the great room wouldn't get much traction either.
The point of all my wondering comes down to this: Did we buy the right sized house for our needs?
My husband and I spent a long time thinking about what we wanted in a home - especially in terms of space. While I know we compromised on some areas (sadly, no three-car garage for us), I think we were good about not falling into the trap of "more is better."
It is possible that I am biased. A group tracked a single family's use of the spaces in their home and determined which rooms got the most (and least) amount of traffic: It's those "extra" rooms that we claim we need for those just-in-case scenarios that we never go into. The formal dining room only gets love around holiday mealtimes; the guest bedroom only gets used a few times a year.
The result is that we are paying for spaces we rarely use.
Of course, I can't imagine myself being comfortable with a lot less space. While I know some people enjoy living in smaller homes (or have to if they live in more competitive housing markets), I have a pretty good idea of where my sweet spot is in terms of personal space. And, I'm fully aware that it changes over time.
So don't take the spaces in your home for granted. Maybe you need them all and maybe you don't. For the ones you never go into, it may be worth finding out why. Maybe you could transform those spaces into places you'd actually venture.
Do you have any underused areas of your home you'd like to put to good use? Tell me in the comments.