Learning to Live Small
HGTV can be addicting, no doubt about it. After years of watching their programs and admiring renovated kitchens, trips to Lumber Liquidators to check out hardwood flooring types, plus online samples, numerous visitations to the kitchen department at Home Depot as well as critiquing friends’ granite counter tops – black with gold specks, very nice but clean up? – I have finally made my decision. It was a tough one but here it is in all its glory….
… all 71″ of it. Yes, five feet, eleven inches.
Now, that includes the sink. Deducting a half of the sink width, as there is a built-in cover for the other side, I lose 15″. If I need to use the stove, that means lifting the white area, losing 20″. That leaves me a flat counter top of 17″ and the covered-over sink, 12″, to work in. I’d love to see Gordon Ramsay perform a miracle in this ‘kitchen nightmare’.
But I’m getting used to it. I used to be quite good at living small when I was living in hotel rooms 24 days of the month, though I didn’t have to cook. I’m amazed that I’ve gone from a two-story house, to a 625 square foot condo, to a 26′ x 8′ box-on-wheels and am surprised at how much storage space there is.
Though a few adjustments had to be made. I’m down to 12 golf shirts. That hurt. Just enough socks and underwear, a handful of t-shirts and jeans, two pairs of dress slacks though I can only find one pair, two colors of dress shirt, and sweaters tucked away under the bed to be retrieved if necessary. Most everything else – food, cleaning supplies, paper towels, dishes, saucepans and cat food has found a home.
A number of things have already been jettisoned because of: don’t need, no room, haven’t used in years. Next, though is the cutlery (knives and forks, flatware). I can adapt to pert near anything but I do have some standards, though that may be hard to believe.
Standard #1) Women. Higher than I deserve.
Standard #2) Towels. The thicker the better. I really dislike threadbare towels. I don’t care if I can’t use my index finger to dry my ear canal because the towel is too think. The rest of my body loves it.
Standard #3) Dishes. They must match and have no chips or cracks. Plain white is a bit busy for me but as long as the plates are in perfect shape I can adapt, though not to a Little Mouse on the Prairie design. I greatly admire those who struggled Westward Ho, but I don’t want to be reminded of them every time I take a bite.
Standard Number #4) Cutlery. No Waffle House cutlery. You don’t need The Amazing Kreskin with his mind to bend Waffle House cutlery. Stabbing a french fry should about do it. I want cutlery heavy enough that after eating a steak, my wrists are tired. I want cutlery that you’re afraid to drop on a ceramic floor in case a tile cracks.
Here’s mine. The pattern is a little busy, I know. But they’re heavy. If you could still get them, Overstock.com wants $40 for a set of four. I think I have ten or twelve of each… salad/pastry fork, dinner fork, knife, soup spoon and teaspoon.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about living small, it’s use it then put it back immediately. As in, immediately. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve asked myself, “How can you lose something in a 26′ box?” Every time, unless you use it, clean it and put it back.
So, why do I need twelve soup spoons and twelve pastry forks? Obviously, I don’t. They take up room and combined, they’re heavy. So, good-bye to you, all but three of each. Maybe I’ll just keep two of each. One for me, one for you if you come to visit and to heck with Gordon Ramsay. He can bring his own.Share