Friday, November 30, 2012

Square Feet

While traveling the past week, I had a chance to visit family that lived in relatively tight quarters and family that lived in lavish quarters.  Both were families with grown kids.  One lived in an apartment that was roughly 700 square feet.  The other lived in a colonial house with a finished basement that was probably around 4500 square feet with a 3 car attached garage.  I feel like both situations have advantages that I can apply to my own life.

The larger home is not necessarily something I aspire to, but it was really nice to see a place for everything and everything in its place.  The living areas were spacious which could be nice for entertaining.  However I don’t do much entertaining.  I do respect having a dedicated office, his and hers closets, a dedicated fitness space in the basement, an island in the kitchen, and cleanly displayed decorative items.  I could make a lot of this happen by being a little more organized in our home.  Similar to holiday decorations, I intend to start rotating pictures and decorative items to provide a visually cleaner environment.  Our biggest sources of clutter are coats, shoes and mail.  While these can’t be addressed with more space, I see a huge plus to having a mud room as part of the entry way.

The smallish apartment is also not something I aspire to.  I really admired how functional a space could be with some organization.  I also noted how few personal items are required for daily living.  A person needs at most a couple of pairs of shoes and clothes that can fit into a chest of drawers and armoire.  The majority of our cooking at home is done with the same half dozen pots and pans, yet we keep significantly more than that in the house.  Similarly books and media can be pared back significantly if one were so inclined.  I really felt like the tighter quarters brought people closer together which could be a blessing or a curse depending on your outlook.

It has been over a year since I inventoried the house as part of my 100 Thing Challenge.  I am probably due to make that happen again.  In the past year, I have donated some clothes to Goodwill and have another pile going as well.  We have organized the house a little more to provide the kids a dedicated play area, but they usually prefer to be closer to us.  That is certainly reasonable and I think the kid’s area should be more of a toy room than play area.

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