Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Living Economically

Now that I am FINALLY getting settled into my new life in a tinier space in a much bigger city, I find that one must change every part of their daily life from what they knew out in the sprawling suburban spread.  It is challenging and often times frustrating, but I am finding it to be rather freeing.  Let me explain.

Our apartment is "cozy" which is a real estate term for small.  Luckily, our space really is cozy as we have made it that way by filling it with bits and pieces of who and what we are as a family.  Many things are in storage as they could not possibly fit here--some of our larger pieces just wouldn't make it through the front door.  The pieces that I did bring with me, feel huge and overpowering almost compared to how lost they were in our home.  A friend of mine came into the city to visit over the weekend and kept asking, "Where did you have that piece?" or "Are those chairs new?".  You walked by it every time you entered my front door and no.  So many things went unnoticed in my home because, well, there were so many things.  Not any more.  Cleaning, purging, selling off stuff--it felt so liberating.  A lot of work but well worth it in the end.  Even now, as I continue to unpack boxes, some things are just staying right where they are in those boxes so Goodwill can pick them up this week. 

Living in the city as I do necessitates being economical in every action you take.  Grocery shopping--if it is last minute on my way home late in the day I can only purchase as much as I can carry.  For "big" loads I pull my little "bubby basket" behind me--you know, those baskets on 2 wheels that grandmas all over the world pull behind them to do their marketing.  I have gladly joined their ranks.  If I can get enough for 3 meals I consider it a good trip.  And I really can't overbuy.  Storage is practically non-existent so you make sure you have just enough.  Finally, brains are no longer growing in our vegetable drawer!! It's awesome.  

Last, I find that I, not being the neatest person in the world but not a slob, pick up after myself all day long.  With counter or closet space at a premium, you can't leave things thrown all over the place.  My closet looks like a display in a Gap store with everything hung in the same direction and sweaters folded just right to make more space.  It's feels crazy for me, especially if you saw my previous closet.  I used the one year rule and had to extend it to two with all the crap I had in my closet and I am now down to only those articles of clothing that I absolutely love putting on.  OK-yes, that I know is going to change as all the fall collections make their way to the stores.  All my purging however will pay off as I get to economically (or not) fill some of my unused space.  

Move over honey, your shirts are on my side.

Photo credit:  tolemaker@flickr    


Phivos Nicolaides said...

Like your post1

La Reine said...

I have gone through the same downsizing process...recently from 6000+ sq feet (St Louis) to less than 1200 (Chicago)... and finally solved the dilemna buy adding an equally small vacation house (SoFlo). Now my dilemna is trying to figure out what is where...and I have an overstuffed storage unit in both places.

I realize its a problem many would like to have, but still... c'est ma vie.

bon courage!

Kim said...

La Reine
You do have some good problems!! I find that with all the moving I wake up some days and am not quite sure where I am or who exactly is sleeping in the same house as me.
It is all wonderful stuff, just requires one to be very flexible!!

ShaneS said...

Welcome to my apartment in the burbs of Tokyo, Kim. I do my shopping with on a bike that is affectionately know as a mama-chan in Japan and my husband claims I souped it up when I added a back basket! Not stylish but very functional :)

I can also relate to La Riene...I often go looking for something only to remember that it's in Honolulu...

Kim said...

Oh Shane, I have heard that living space is at a real premium in Tokyo. But honestly, if all 5 of us aren't in it with our assortment of boxes not unpacked and unpacked crap everywhere, I really enjoy the smaller space and the tight proximity to all my neighbors. Sitting out on my stoop at five o'clock with a glass of wine, I get to meet everyone as they walk by!!

Kim said...

PS--I really want a Vespa to scoot around town in but know that I would kill someone or myself so I am sticking to walking right now;-))