Small house living
I’ve been absent from Kerrplunk for a couple of weeks, partly because I’ve been moving to a new home. I have moved from a fairly large two-story flat I shared with three other people to a backyard cottage semi-studio (more on that in a moment) attached to a regular house in which two other people live. I haven’t actually given up total space—in fact, I’ve gained a bathroom, a larger kitchen, and even a supplemental outdoor “kitchen” (more on that in a moment) and some gardening space. But the size of my bedroom has approximately halved, much of the remaining space taken up by furniture that came with the new place. So my long-standing interest in the tiny house movement is serving me in good stead.
The rest of this evening, in fact, should be spent organizing and putting stuff away. I’m a stuff-lover in recovery. I unloaded a tremendous amount of stuff before my move. Still, I have an enormous pile of sentimental objects, old papers, and might-be-useful-somedays that somehow made the cut to put away in sensible places, something I’m not, as a rule, very good at.
So what’s the space like?
Well, as I said, I have a bedroom in a single-room backyard cottage that was formerly a shed. The size of the bedroom is about 9×13. It has a sliding glass door facing west and a skylight above the bed on the east end of the room. The cottage is detached from the main house. I have my own bathroom (yay! I feel like a grownup!) attached to the house, about eight feet away from my bedroom door. Those eight feet are covered by corrugated plastic and paved with brick. The bathroom is very small—it has a 4×4 shower and a toilet so close to the shower that to sit on it I have to have the shower door open. A door opens from the (slightly larger) sink area of the bathroom to the kitchen in the main house, which is almost twice the size of the kitchen I used to share with three others, but without too much more counter space. While I have the use of the main kitchen except for meat, there is also an outdoor kitchen on the covered patio. It has an ancient all-in-one unit with a sink (working), under-counter fridge (not working), and two-burner electric range (which remains an unnerving lurking question mark). There’s some cabinet space and a countertop held up by rope (I am not kidding). And while the garden is shady, thanks to the landlord’s enthusiasm for corrugated plastic and looming vines, there are a few places in which I can spread out my pots of herbs and baby tea plants, and maybe get a couple more for fall vegetables.
The bedroom contains several pieces of cheap storage furniture which will serve to keep things out of the way and organized. But right now it also contains several boxes and some bags of unsorted stuff. Today I usefully procrastinated by pruning the unruly vines a bit, but tonight I will be using the “in-box” unpacking method—everything I haven’t dealt with yet will go on my bed, and then I will unpack, sort, and put away everything on my bed before I can sleep in it. At least, that’s the plan.