Friday, July 31, 2015

Living Small

When I sold most of my belongings and moved across the country, I assumed I’d be moving into a blank space. I stuffed two director’s chairs, a fold-able table, and an aerobed in the trunk of my car, assuming these would be my furniture until I could buy some. I recently moved into my one bedroom condo.  What I didn't sell or give away I left for the young couple who bought my house. Included in that were a lot of my cooking supplies, some lamps, towels, furniture, my toolbox (I kept a few critical tools), and yard maintenance tools.

In a way you could say I paid it forward, because the condo I put an offer on came with a bed, two lamps, a couch, two chairs, a set of dishes and other kitchen/cleaning supplies. The couple who owned it didn't actually live there; it was a weekend and occasional residence when business brought them to Seattle. They are retired, and no longer needed the space, and generously left the contents. I am slowly filling in the gaps of what I need.

I don't need to steal any of Jena’s knives because the owners left me a nice, sharp set, along with other spoons and cooking tools.  When my shipment from storage comes some of my own utensils will get donated to Value Village, which is a local second hand store.

I didn't want to share my bathroom with cats again. Three weeks in the hotel stepping over cat boxes to use the toilet were enough for me. Across from the bathroom is a utility closet, which after I moved the vacuum cleaner and step ladder, (The bedroom closet is huge and accommodates these) I had enough room for the boys’ boxes, even though a potential issue in a small space like this is cat litter odor.

I went to Pet Smart to buy more cat litter I discovered a Litter Genie. It’s Similar to a diaper Genie, which I had thought of buying until I saw this. You scoop the poop or clumps of pee into the chute, pull a lever, and it disappears, No odor. Allegedly one bag lasts for three weeks, but because Henry pees several times a day. Poor old kitty. I have a feeling I will be cleaning the unit out once a week.

Because the couch is ultra modern in white leather, accompanied by a white and a black leather chair, I wanted to add pieces that complemented them, but also acted as storage. I bought two red naugahyde foot stools that double as storage and the lids can be flipped over to form serving trays.  I also found a red bookcase that fits on a short wall, and paired it with a sea green glass lamp.

I’m trying to select pieces carefully that coordinate with existing furniture, but also serve a function. I also bought an oak (well, processed oak) desk and bookcase to match the kitchen cabinets. Hauling the pieces upstairs took several trips. Once built, these will go in the dining room next to the small oak dining set the owner’s left. (Next blog post will be about why I would have failed Shop Class.)

Until my storage stuff comes I’m on hold from any more large purchases. I know there’s a cedar chest coming, as well as my crock pot, wicker foot stool and cobalt blue lamps, but I’m not sure what else is in there. Books, of course, yet not as many as I once owned. (I probably sold or gave away 80% of my books.) I also shipped Fall and Winter clothes, several paintings, art supplies, and a few miscellaneous items, yet some of what’s arriving could end up at Value Village.

Because I am living small, I need to be cognizant of being well organized, and learn to live with less. My old desk held lots of stuff, and the roll top feature provided instant hiding for the usual messy surface if company came over. I no longer have that option. I love office supplies, but from now on I will need to second guess buying packages of cute paper clips. I don’t have anywhere to put them.

Luckily the bedroom closet is ginormous because all seasons of clothing will have to go in there. I live close to a Half Price books, and every time I finish a book I don't plan to read again, I will trade it in on another.

In a way I’m changing my personal style. I’ve always been a fan of patterns and pillows, but that just won't work with my new modern decor. I’m okay with that. I had way too much stuff for one person anyway. How much do we truly need?

 Interesting footnote. when I went to get something out of  my car earlier this evening I smelled pot smoke. In Ohio the toker would get busted, but it's legal here.


  1. sounds like you are getting settled in nicely. Hopefully your pothead neighbors are mellow. Its legal here in California too.... well, if you have a card. otherwise if its under an oz its a$100 fine. You must be retired? you don't have to look for a job? cool.Thats quite a journey to do by yourself. good job!

  2. Come visit my new and improved blog . I'm leaving on my Ecuadorian adventure on Wednesday.