As many of you may know, I live with my partner Keith in a one bedroom apartment. While we realize that there are larger places available, we are happy here, as it is situated in a on a quiet country road right across from the Meteghan River.
While it is small, there are many things we love about our place.
-It is quite and clean.
-Our landlord is a widowed paramedic and is only here one or two days a week. Her father built the house and she raised her family here, and many of the neighbors are related. It is a quiet yet close community where people look out for each other.
-Our apartment is located on the side of a sprawling ranch house, with woods behind us and a view of the trees which bank the river as we look out our front window.
-Our place is modern and well-kept, as our landlord used to rent the units to the elderly before she returned to work after her husband passed away. So everything is up to date and well-maintained.
-The rent is reasonable and all-inclusive, meaning no surprises or large heating bills in the winter.
Besides that, she allows us to have our beloved cats, even though she is allergic to them herself. She is kind and friendly and it is an ideal place for people such as us.
The one thing that we don’t have is a lot of extra space. If we could have one or two more rooms, we would probably never even think about moving. We do, however have a large amount of closet space and have learned to utilize it to the best of our advantage and looking for new ways to make use of the space we have to store the most. After all, we live here and both Keith and I like living in a neat and uncluttered environment.
Recently, we purchased some new dressers for our bedroom. Prior to that, I had a plastic storage dresser that I had purchased at Wal-Mart and used for the majority of my clothes. Simone (our landlord) had provided a cheap, particle board dresser when Keith first rented the place and it was one of those assemble yourself kits that had shallow drawers and sat directly on the floor. But it did the job for us until we were able to afford something more permanent.
The new dressers made us want to get things in a little bit better order in our room. Up until then, we had an old TV cabinet that Keith had built that my plastic dresser was set on and we stored lots of our thin dressed wood there. We also have acquired another small unit that we placed many of our longer boards on so we could weight them down. While this was a bit unsightly, it certainly did the job.
Last week, Keith decided he wanted to get rid of most of the pile and make the room look neater in the process. Since the new dressers were on feet, there was about six inches of unused space underneath them that he thought we could use for storing the boards. He didn’t however want unsightly boards sliding around on the floor underneath and collecting dust and cat hair and bumping into the legs of the dresser. So he came up with a great solution.
He made two sleds that would not only hold the small pieces of wood, but also keep it in order and allow us to easily slide it out to choose what we needed. He painted them black so that all you see under the dressers were the neat faces of them and things still looked nice.
Here is a picture of the long dresser with the sled underneath:
Then we can pull it out as needed to choose our pieces:
It is like having an extra drawer underneath and it holds quite a bit of thin stock.
He did the same for the tall dresser:
And it pulls out in the same way:
Between the two, we were able to get rid of most of the exposed wood in our room, making it look much cleaner and neater.
We still have the small unit, which also holds some paint, painting surfaces for me to use, and our shipping supplies. It has a much smaller stack of wood on top and we use some old weights to help keep the boards from cupping:
We also keep a few of the longer pieces under the bed, but we try to keep that to a minimum. Everything we have is easily accessible and besides the small pile near the window, you don’t see it at all.
Life is full of compromises. While many people wouldn’t agree with us living where we do and doing what we do, we feel that it is worth the small sacrifices we make. While some people feel they need a large shop or storage area for their tools and wood, we have learned very well to make due with what is available to us.
We are still working on finishing up our rehab of our living/working space. Tomorrow I will show you how we worked on the three storage closets and have utilized them in the best way too. I hope that seeing what we accomplished can somehow inspire some of you who don’t feel you have enough space to reevaluate your own situation and see how many ways you can make your area work for you.
I hope you like seeing our solution.
Have a great Tuesday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"