The key to living in a smaller space is organization. A place for everything and everything in its place. However, first you have to find a place to put it. That was our initial problem moving from a three-bedroom condo into a two-bedroom apartment. Deciding what to keep and what to give away was the primary step, but once we got everything in place we needed to give away more. It was trip after trip to Goodwill and call after call to 1-800-Got-Junk. We weren’t into having a garage sale and maybe making a few bucks, but rather finding a new home for our no longer needed possessions. We gave items to family, friends, neighbors and strangers in the process. We also rented storage space for items that we might need in the future.
I’ve always been intrigued with Tiny Homes and the people who live in them. They seem to be the epitome of organization. Every square foot has multiple uses and there’s so much to learn from their occupants. I’m currently struggling with the fact that I always seem to have to move one thing to get to another. There are pictures stored under the bed, closets filled to capacity, and stuff in my car that simply don’t yet have a place. Even storage is stacked to the ceiling. I’m slowly learning to adapt and do a better job of picking up after myself. Hooks need to be installed in the kitchen cabinets to provide more surface space and closets need extra shelves. We miss the custom built-ins from the condo, the garage, and attic that were a catch-all for non-priority possessions.
When I was a kid and we moved into a new house, I always wanted the smallest room for some reason. However, I was never very tidy so I often had to wade through the dirty clothes to get into bed. I’m now intrigued with owning a Murphy Bed in lieu of the inflatable bed that our guests will have to use. Maybe we won’t have as many guests when word spreads? I did discover that William Lawrence Murphy (1876-1957) of San Francisco was wooing an opera singer and the moral code at the time frowned on a woman entering a man’s bedroom. He only had a one-room apartment so he created the “disappearing bed.” I also had my share of bunk-beds and trundle beds growing up to accommodate overnight guests. Our cars are now essentially parked on bunk-beds with a hydraulic system to raise and lower them. Lofts are also appealing from a space-saving standpoint. Small living quarters require neat occupants, a discipline that I did not apparently inherit in the gene pool. I’m slowly learning to be better organized. In retirement, I certainly have the time to take that extra step.