Thursday, October 7, 2010

Living in a Tiny D*mn Space

The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing. – Marcus Aurelius

When I saw this quote (which I happened upon quite accidently when my day planner opened to the page bearing it) I laughed. I laughed because it hit home, my home. I'm sure that's not what Marcus Aurelius had in mind, but ... it's how I related to it.

It’s particularly true of a small space. I’ve been in homes where ballroom dancing is entirely possible. In fact, if I had that much open space, I might actually dance through the house. (And if you know me, you know I don’t dance. At least not well. Or often.) Around here, you’d bust into something before you completed a twirl.

I laughed because when I opened my closet the other night to deposit a few new purchases, the contents appeared ready to burst. Mind you, my closet is in name only. It’s only marginally bigger than what passes for that tall narrow cabinet (where brooms and mops and sometimes ironing boards go) in most people’s kitchens. So I did the only thing that anyone in my position would do: I purged.

‘Tis the season, you know. We’re riding that cusp between summer and winter that is fall. That cusp which produces 80-degree highs and 38-degree lows. So for at least the next month or so, I have to be ready for any of the four seasons on any given day.

That means making way for some of the new fall/winter clothes I purchased in the past week. At first, it was easy. I started with clothes that are just too small or ones that I know I haven’t worn in two years. Others are well worn but still in good shape, just not particularly good on my shape anymore.

Then, it started to get more difficult. I turned loose of a suit that I’d be embarrassed to admit its age, a suit that it’s been at least five years, maybe more, since I’ve even worn it. Before I knew it, I'd nearly filled a trash bag. The Salvation Army received those clothes yesterday.

I also removed two trench coats and a half-dozen light-weight articles (including some summer whites) and ferried them to the basement closet. The closet that Lawrence and I built almost three years ago. The closet that my scrapbooking stuff lives in one small corner of. The closet that the mother otherwise took possession of within days of its completion while I was gone for the weekend. But I digress.

My point is that it takes some maneuvering to live in a tiny space and that’s why I found this slideshow on so interesting. It’s a handful of some really cool ideas for maximizing limited space.

I’m particularly fond of that stair-drawer idea. Not sure it work for us, but it’s definitely worth contemplating.

Hey … Lawrence?!


Kate R said...

I just bookmarked that Houselogic page! I've seen those storage stairs before & thought the idea was brilliant. Just wish I had some stairs to put it to good use.

I feel for you on the lack of closet space. My previous house was a 1940's 4-room bungalow w/ a basement. The closets were TINY! Thank God for the basement. Everything that was not used on an almost daily basis got stored in Rubbermaid bins in the basement.

Kate R said...

I for got to ask earlier ... is Lawrence still around? I was thinking he retired & moved somewhere warm.

Chris Simon said...

My daughter has a set of bunk beds that have stair/drawers instead of a ladder. Very cool. Never would have though to do it on regular stairs, though. Wouldn't it be neat for basement stairs? Could use it as extra pantry space and stock up on non-perishables when they're on sale cheap. I also love that wrapping paper idea! Thanks for the link.

NV said...

Kate -- Isn't it though? To my knowledge, Lawrence is still working a day job (which is why he's been noticeably absent). I need to call him and see what he's up to these days .. and if I can get him back for even a brief return!

Chris -- I thought this was a fabulous idea. Glad you did, too!