A page a day

Life on California's beautiful Central Coast

Signing on for small spaces

This week on the Yardi corporate blog, The Balance Sheet, we have an interesting post about a nice woman who makes her NYC home in a 105-square-foot apartment. She and her cat make do just fine with a space that’s roughly the size of my kitchen. I don’t know how she does it. I love my kitchen, but if I was confined there for all my residential needs I would go crazy in approximately ten minutes.

My approach to small living is less about the size of the space, and more about reduction of stuff. I could be packed up and moved out of my home in about an hour’s time – although I probably couldn’t fit all my worldly goods in the Volvo at once, especially since for some reason I own five bicycles. This is mainly a product of my heritage. I don’t know how many Danish women you know, but we love to throw things away. It’s a therapy of sorts. We also like to ride (and own) bikes, bake pies, and wash windows with vinegar. There are worse traits to inherit from your ancestors.

Anyway, I’ve been spending time contemplating how I would cope if for some reason tomorrow I had to move into the tiniest apartment in the universe. My friend Jody and I shared a one room studio one short summer in Isla Vista – it was actually completely OK, considering that we split the rent of $400 two ways and neither of us was ever really there. To be honest, it was kind of an awful apartment. But it was a good learning experience and nobody got hurt, although I’m pretty sure the people we sublet from still owe me about $75 for their delinquent phone bill. (Yes, there were still land lines in use when I was in college. I am that old.)

I’ve lived in some pretty amazing places since then, from my studio in Berkeley that was part of the ground floor of an over 100-year-old home, to my interesting sublets all over Santa Barbara, even a mobile home  – that van that traveled the Western U.S. three summers back. I’m lucky. I’ve loved everywhere I’ve ever lived.

I think I could live in a teeny tiny apartment like Genevieve Shuler, but I don’t think I could do it for nearly eight years like she has. I like having people over for dinner, having a fireplace and cooking way too much to sacrifice space to do those things. But I admire her ability to pull it off. Washing dishes in the shower is a pretty impressive accomodation, I’d say. I just wish I’d asked if she uses dish soap or shampoo.

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1 Comment»

  thehopshoney wrote @

I definitely use dish soap, Leah : )


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