Friday, October 7, 2011

Changing Habits for Fall and Winter

Now that it's truly fall here, and we're spending a lot more time inside and wearing warmer clothing, a few things are changing in our habits and around the house. First of all, we are welcoming a new housemate, Lisa, who is moving in this weekend with her cat, Maggie! We're all looking forward to living together, and think it will be a really nice fit. I'm also excited to have a kitty around the house!

Since I've been inside the house a lot more these last couple of weeks, I've been feeling like it has gotten a little bit cluttered up, and I want to do something about it. Somehow we managed to accumulate a lot of stuff since moving in (most of it for free), but we don't have anywhere out of sight to store it. I really wish we had some nice built-ins with drawers and cabinets in the living room, but no such luck. Instead, we have these two shelves, which are great, but which quickly fill up and look messy:
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

Beyond just organizing these shelves to make them tidier, I might start keeping an eye out on craigslist for a cheap or free little chest of drawers or a small trunk or something that would be nice to look at and useful to have in the living room, and that we could hide away some of this stuff in, out of sight! It's all stuff we use on a regular basis, but I'm tired of looking at it!

I also want to see what I can do about this area by our front door:

It feels messy and crowded, and I want to make room for Lisa to be able to store coats, purse and shoes here too. The basket is full of shoes, maybe some of them can be moved into our closet.

With the transition to cooler weather, I went through my closet and dresser drawers a few days ago, and swapped out my summer clothes for the winter ones that had been packed away down in the basement. With our relatively small closet and the fact that Matt and I are sharing 5 dresser drawers, space is at a premium, so it makes sense to keep only what I am currently using in the bedroom, and put the rest in storage. I also took the opportunity to pull out the clothes I haven't worn in the last few months or ones I am tired of, and set them aside. My girlfriends and I are having a clothing swap  ("Naked Lady Party") next week, where we will all bring the clothes we don't wear, and come away with "new" ones for free! Through this method, I regularly get clothes that are new to me. I think that in the last three years or so, I've actually paid for maybe 10 items of clothing, apart from shoes, socks and underwear.

Now that we have entered the permacloud that is Portland between October and April, we are no longer able to hang our laundry outside to dry on a regular basis. This means transitioning to hanging our clothes on lines and racks in the basement.

Clothes definitely take a bit longer to dry here, but we'd still rather air-dry them than use the dryer. We usually turn on the fan to give them some airflow for the first couple of hours, when they are extra-damp.

We're beginning to adapt to my school schedule, and to some of the unanticipated challenges that came with my studenthood. For example, we have been sharing my laptop from when we left for New Zealand, which has worked out pretty well, especially since Matt's dad gave him an iPad as a gift this summer. However, now that I am in school and have a lot of writing to do, as well as a lot of reading of online articles, and Matt is constantly job searching and working on job applications, we have to carefully plan and juggle for use of the computer. The iPad is fine for job searching, checking email, and I can use it for some of my online readings, but of course it doesn't have any word processing programs and it can't open PDF files, so I need the computer reading PDF articles and for typing papers, and Matt needs it for completing job applications. On days when I need to take the computer with me to school, Matt has to anticipate what he needs finish and get it done before I leave.

I am developing a schedule that works for me, usually being on campus all day on the days when I have class, and usually one other day besides. I can bike or bus downtown in the mornings, spend the day in the library reading and researching, then go to class in the evenings and be able to come home straightaway when class is finished. One night a week I don't get home until 10 PM, and the other I get home around 7:30 PM. It's working out well so far, when I can get most of my work done at school, and Matt makes a dinner that produces leftovers, or starts making dinner so we can eat right when I get home on my early nights.

It's all an adjustment, but I am so happy to be where I am, and am so encouraged by how many people feel, like me, that our nation (and the world) needs a major systemic overhaul that makes good health and lifestyle choices easier than poor ones.

1 comment:

Laurel said...

You can probably create a storage ottoman pretty easily - basically a box with a padded lift off lid = hidden storage + comfy footrest. could be an inspiration to make more simple. Or