Jack of Many Trades

Small Apartment Living

Originally posted: 2012-01-09

My apartment is a mess. I wasn't really aware I still owned enough stuff to have a mess, but I do. I guess in 500 square feet, it's pretty easy. There's the sorted laundry that needs to go downstairs to the laundry room. It wouldn't kill me to take the trash out, either.

The downside of a tiny apartment is that your chores are always staring you in the face. From my current seat, I can see the laundry, the trash, the mail that's waiting for me to buy a new shredder.

Sometimes this apartment feels much smaller than 500 square feet. Part of the problem is that it (and all of  our neighbors) were carved out of a single home. This means we ended up with a kitchen that's quite large, but not large enough to really do anything but cook in, a long, narrow closet that didn't have any hanging bars at all when we moved in, and my girlfriend's closet-sized "craft room". All of these things take up some of the square footage but make it really hard to use that square footage effectively.

Also, just to make things interesting, the stairwell is oddly angled and low ceilinged, so it'd be nearly impossible to get any larger furniture up here. The table was hard enough and it has hinges so it's barely two feet wide.

I have acquired more books - these things happen! - and more art, which is my real weak spot. Worse than books, I think. I'm okay with getting rid of books. I'm much less okay with parting with art. I'm trying to stick to small pieces, so they're easier to group on the walls, and paper prints instead of giclee canvas - canvas is nice and all but they're much harder to move or store if I want to cycle through them. I'm speaking from experience here.

Speaking of canvas, I haven't painted since the move. I think that's a combination of factors weighing in - I gave away my art supplies to save space, and I can't really justify the cost of new ones right now. I also don't have the space for an easel, or to store finished art.

I also ended up donating a bunch of my paintings with all the other thrift store stuff when we moved. It wasn't that I thought people would like them, particularly. Just that I didn't have space for moving them. I didn't think much of it at the time because I was in a huge, last-minute hurry, and I wasn't really satisfied with my work anyway, but I think that's probably at least part of the reason why I haven't felt like getting back to it.

I should attack my watercolors anyway, though. It might help me feel better. Of course, so would starting on the mess in here. Maybe I'll go do the laundry.