Monday, September 6, 2010

More thoughts on small space, city living

First off. People, my computer addiction has reached new heights/depths.  Right now I am blogging on my netbook while simultaneously uploading photos on our laptop and updating Facebook. That's right, I'm managing to waste time on TWO computers at once.  This cannot be good. At least I don't have the iTouch going right now as well...

So, I was having thoughts about my condo today as I have been steam-cleaning the carpets.  We're done with potty-training now (hurray Ethan!), so it was time to clean up some of the messes that he and the cats have contributed to our floors lately.  And as I was cleaning, one thought kept going through my mind "Thank goodness we only have three small rooms worth of floor!"

I think you are all familiar with my living situation, but in case anyone is not- we live in a 900 square foot condo on the edge of downtown Seattle.  It has a very open, very usable layout, which makes it possible for 4 people and 2 cats to live in such limited floor space. We're far enough out that it's a residential area, but close enough to the city to have lots going on. Daniel and I bought this condo shortly after we got married. Before that I'd been living in a studio condo further into the city, and he had a 3-bedroom house in the suburbs. So his transition was definitely greater.

The main reason that I've been thinking a lot lately about our space is that we keep getting asked when we're moving. And the truth is, we're not planning on going anywhere for several years yet. Yes, our space is small, but it's functional. The kids have their room, we have ours, the cats have the living room and we're all happy.  No, we don't have enough space for my kids to have many toys or large toys, but this means that my kids do not have many toys or large toys. Which is exactly the way I want it. They get books and clothes as gifts, not so many things that they will quickly tire of.

Living in a small space does require an enormous amount of organization, I do admit that. Fortunately I love organizing and think that getting rid of things is one of the most fun things ever.  We have to make fairly regular trips to both Goodwill to drop stuff off and to IKEA to find new and better ways of organizing and storing what we do have, but that's a good thing too. We don't keep what we can't use.

The other great thing about life in a small space is that I can pretty much clean our entire home in 30 minutes or less.  For a busy mom, that's a huge plus. And, since our condo is so small and I can see the whole thing from the dining room table, this means that I can watch the kids and make sure they're safe while doing important things on the computer like paying bills and looking up recipes for dinner blogging and endlessly updating my Facebook status.

And, in our opinion, the lifestyle that we are able to have and the city life that we're able to enjoy far outweighs our struggles with lack of closet space.  I know it's not a lifestyle that works for everyone, but it really suits our personalities and we love it. Whenever I look out the window there are people to watch and parallel parkers to mock. We go to museums and festivals and shopping downtown all the time- it's easy for us since we don't have to deal with the horror that is driving in Seattle and finding parking.

So I think we're staying put for a while.  Especially now that the whole family is going to the dentist downstairs and there are two Redboxes nearby and two sushi restaurants :)  We do focus on the important things.  Oh, and there's a Target coming to downtown Seattle next year, so I'm pretty much set for life.

Yes, there are challenges about where we live- it's hard to get away from someone who's annoying you when there are only a couple of rooms to choose from. And now that we have two kids, we don't really have the space for overnight guests (I'll refrain from saying if Daniel and I both feel that's a negative or if perhaps I find that to be a huge plus...).  Parking can be tough for our visitors to find, and in the summer we have to deal with the noise from the bar across the street. And we have to constantly be cleaning up the kids' things, because we don't have the space for mess. Oh, and occasionally we end up with neighbors across the street who like to sit around in the buff when it gets too hot, making it terrifying to look out the window.

Eventually we're going to have to move, and I know it will be a good thing for the kids to have more space and perhaps even a yard to play in. But for now, we're really happy here in our little shoebox home and our city life. Come visit if you're in the area! Just give me 30 minutes warning so that I can clean up first :)

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