Sunday, March 04, 2007

Pre-Cure Spring 2007

Ever since I started this blog, I have been thinking my ideal home will be small. However, I now have a 520 sq ft apartment [How do you figure this out?] and I feel it is stuffed to the brim. Will it be possible for me to have an 1,040-1,600 sq ft home and not do the same to it?

When I look at my files of apartments and homes that I want to emulate, I see space around each piece of the furniture; bookcases with books and tchotchkes arranged with a lot of white space; all objects up off the floor with skirt-less chairs and sofas, and all the tables without stacks of magazines, papers, and bills strewn all over them.

However, I am a researcher at heart, so I have many hanging files on design ideas, DIY projects, future recipes, insurance info, and all of my tax returns since the very beginning (almost twenty years). Therefore, even if I pare down stuff there still has to be a lot of storage space for these items. I also a have a few garments that my late mother made me when I was in high school, and some of my first (and more advanced) garments that I made in college that no longer fit. Yes, I Am a Pack Rat.

So how do I reconcile these two sides of me?

This will be the third time I participate in the Apartment Therapy Cure. I thought I did a very good job both times getting rid of stuff. My Out Box was always packed and most of the stuff actually did leave and stay gone. However, I still feel claustrophobic in this space. What am I missing, or what SHOULD I be missing? I hope someone out there will be able to help.

I know people who can get rid of furniture because they know that in their next place they will be trading up. My life has been so dramatically changed in the last three years that I can’t depend on that. Four years ago, I was less than $300 from being 100% debt-free, school and car loans were long paid off, making a decent salary, and possibly would have been buying property before that year was over. Instead I ended up out of a job and returning to college to finish a long unfinished degree. Two months ago, after attending classes part-time and working full-time for two years, I decided to put more of the emphasis on school and am now taking classes full-time. So for me “trading up” will take awhile as I first need the degree and to get another well-paying job so I can start paying off these new loans.

In the meantime, what do I do? I really don’t own that much furniture but it suddenly seems like too much in my living room. Is it the way I have it arranged? Could the “flow” be better? Can someone help me?


Susie said...

I've admired your style ever since I first came across you in the last AT cure - and I think we might be on a similar wavelength (I'm a historical researcher and inevitable packrat). Your apartment doesn't look too cluttered to me - it looks like a home of someone with joie de vivre.

But... if you're looking for storage solutions, one thing I would consider would be building built-in (or fitted against the wall) bookshelves with cupboards underneath in the corners either side of the window. These could be L-shaped, as high as the window, and extend along the wall level with the far end of your sofa. Then you could get rid of the thing your TV is on and the existing bookcases and maybe the green table. Also, perhaps consider hide-away folding spare chairs for your dining table?

jessica said...

Just for some words of encouragement, I love the jelly mats in your kitchen. I love your kitchen in general. Its a brilliant, cheap, pretty idea and I'm very much going to steal it ;)

lsaspacey said...

I have to admit those are pictures without the clutter. They were taken after the last Cure. I might have the guts to show the actual clutter tomorrow. I like your idea about built-ins but that isn't possible since I'm renting and on a student budget.

Thanks! Go ahead. I used spray adhesive the first time but some fell off so I suggest double stick tape along the edges.

Miss Kris said...

First, I'd like to say that I really enjoy reading your blog. Second, your home doesn't seem too cluttered in the pictures, but I do see what you mean about the need for storage. Your place has such great high ceilings - you can definitely go up without making your place seem crowded. Right now, you have lots of little pieces of furniture and lots of smaller boxes for storage. Magic solution: another closet! Since that's not going to happen, maybe a room divider / screen that could be used to hide clutter that can be stored and still be attractive?

Do you have a freecycle group in your area? That and Craigslist is a good way to get your hands on free used shelving that will fit a student's budget.

And honestly, I don't think size really matters when it comes to clutter. Clutter happens. My husband and I recently bought a 1400 sq ft townhouse which is by far the largest home I've lived in in my adult life and I'm constantly battling clutter and trying to find better storage solutions. The thing I have to remember is that in all of those pictures of places that I'm trying to emulate, the clutter was cleaned up before the picture was taken :)

Good luck!

whitney arlene said...

I always seem to like my apartments and homes best when I haven't moved anything in yet. The sunlight comes in, there is minimal clutter.

Breathing is easier, almost.

With this new house that we're getting, I will have more storage space than I've ever had before--mostly due to our basement and attic. I have to learn that I don't need every important book next to my bedside, or all my favorite photographs displayed on a wall. It's tough, good luck to us both.