Thursday, May 7, 2015

Making Space

Recently trying to clean up my sinkhole of a closet combined with my ever-disheartening search for a house have combined to bring you this blog post.

One of the biggest limitations in my housing search is the amount of storage space I require. I would happily live in a condo, never to mow a lawn or pluck a weed again in my life, except, compared to houses, condos offer around half the space for the same price. After looking at a couple houses and a couple condos, I am pretty certain I could not live in anything less than 800 square feet—and even that would be pushing it.

I don't want to be so high-maintenance. I care little about luxury, and I'm kind of embarrassed that I demand the equivalent of a penthouse suite for my day-to-day living. It's just that, between my boyfriend and I, we have a lot of gear. Way more gear than could ever fit into an apartment.

Originally, I was going to list all the things I own that contribute to my clutter, but that would take up almost as much space in my blog as it does in my home, so I'm going to practice the art of efficiency. The only thing that's important is how much space they take up (beyond  a few bookshelves and the cabinets and closets that come standard in any home), and that is as follows:

  • 2 standalone wardrobes
  • The area under my loft bed
  • A corner of the basement
  • A quarter of the shed outside
  • Under the front porch
  • The area around the access door to the attic
With my stuff scattered about the entire property like this, I feel like I need tons of storage space, but when I actually got out my tape measure and did the math, I could only account for about 600 square feet of living space and (very approximately) 200 additional square feet of storage space in use. 

In addition, there are plenty of things I own that I don't really need. If I were to vacate the premises, I'm pretty sure I could leave these behind without many regrets:

  • My dining table (pretty much spends all the time with the chairs stacked up on top of it anyway)
  • My soap-and-candle-making supplies (I'm pretty sure I won't want to invest in another block of glycerin once the ones I have are used up)
  • My airbrush (I love it, but when you use it only once a year, you begin to wonder if you couldn't just make do with spatter-painting when needed)
  • My holiday decorations and huge tub of Christmas lights (nice to have for parties, but really, who likes stringing up Christmas lights anyway? And wouldn't it be better not to waste all that electricity?)
  • My stockpile of containers (these take up a couple of 13-gallon tubs and a small bookcase. It's ironic that I require storage for storage, but you never know when a sturdy box or a lidded tin will come in handy! Nonetheless, in good time, and by the grace of Freecycle, all things come, empty containers being no exception)
  • My large collection of gardening supplies (kind of moot if you don't have a garden)
  • My exercise bike (it's a pretty regular part of my life in the winter, but many buildings have a gym, and I'd probably get more bang from my workout buck if I took up running, which requires no equipment whatsoever)
So could I actually downsize? Well, there are many other reasons not to live in a condo, foremost among them being fees, but the lack of bike storage coming in a close second. If, however, the price was right, and I could find a place to keep our bikes that wouldn't make me hate my life, I might survive. It's a scary thought, but if ever I still haven't bought a home and my housemates decide to move out, I might try to move out, too, into an apartment...just to see if I could do it.