The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

23 October 2005

We need our space

Apart from the mold and the leaks and various other offenses against tenancy in general, there's one thing wrong with Andrea Harris' apartment: it's too big.

I keep thinking I'll move out of here next year when the lease is up (my office is moving at the end of this year so the reason for moving here will be gone), and I hate moving too much crap. I plan to move into something smaller, maybe even a studio if I can find one. Want to know what's really funny? I actually miss the apartment I had last year, the one in the lousy neighborhood three bus rides away from anywhere. I think what I miss about it is the way it was open on two sides. It got a lot more light. And there was a park with a lake right across the street, and the neighborhood wasn't that lousy. Also, it wasn’t too big — it was 600 square feet, which I think now is just about the right size apartment for me.

I have had flats from 625 to 930 square feet, and every last one of them played hell with my claustrophobia; right now I live in a 1060-square-foot house, which isn't all that much bigger but which seems to be just about the right size for me. In my case, though, I'm thinking that the real annoyance came not from the smallness of the rental units, but from the necessity of cramming them as close together as possible; I didn't flinch at houses running a mere 800-900 square feet during the buying process two years ago, and I believe it's because considerations of "Geez, how freaking tiny" were overwhelmed by the potential delight of "Omigod, no shared walls!"

Still, there are limits. My younger sister once lived in a tiny stone house on the south side of the city that looked like it had received only perfunctory updates since Fred Flintstone moved out; it tended to make me scream.

Posted at 7:04 AM to General Disinterest

On the other hand, the 258 square foot studio I used to live in was way too small.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 8:38 AM on 23 October 2005

I've always needed space, but it's now gotten ridiculous. When I got married, my wife and I lived in Irvine, California. We went through two tiny 1-bdr apartments, each in about the 700 sq ft range. I couldn't stand it. So when we moved to Marietta, Georgia, we bought a nice house on about 1/3 acre. Well, with the basement, it's 3400 square feet. We have rooms we NEVER EVEN GO INTO. I'm sure once we have kids, that'll change, but at least half the house is never used. That, coupled with the landscaping demands of the property, and I realize I bought a house way too large for me (at least at this point in my life)...

Posted by: Brad Warbiany at 10:27 AM on 23 October 2005

We have rooms we NEVER EVEN GO INTO.

Sounds like my dream house.

Literally. I sometimes have dreams in which I open a door or climb a flight of stairs and discover a whole section of the house that is fully furnished and nicely decorated, but I'd "forgotten" it was there, I suppose because my daily routine didn't include it.

Dr. Freud, got any free samples for me?

Posted by: McGehee at 2:03 PM on 23 October 2005

My dream is to have a room for every activity I can think of--a computer room, naturally, a sewing room, a gift wrap center, an exercise room.

Plus three spare bedrooms.

Posted by: Miriam at 5:01 PM on 23 October 2005

I assume that dream comes with a maid. ;)

Posted by: MikeH at 5:22 PM on 23 October 2005

McGehee, I've had that same 'room discovery' dream a few times too. Let me know if you find out what it means.

600 s.f. is waayyy too small.

The 1600 s.f. house I'm renting now is just about right. I could do with less living space, if it was attached to a good-sized studio for computer, music & art.

Posted by: hatless in hattiesburg at 11:31 PM on 23 October 2005

I'm living in about 1060 square feet, and it's a bit cramped. I think I'd like about 1400-1700 feet, preferable with a basement so I could set up a workshop.

Then again, this situation is becoming an impetus toward divesting myself of "stuff."

Posted by: wheels at 12:01 AM on 24 October 2005

Ha! I can actually interpret that dream for you all. But it's Jungian dream analysis, not Freudian. The house or apartment represents you. The discovery of the new room(s) is a metaphor for your discovering new things about yourself or some aspect of your life.

Posted by: Lesley at 6:48 AM on 24 October 2005

The discovery of the new room(s) is a metaphor for your discovering new things about yourself or some aspect of your life.

Then I must either be some kind of freakin' Renaissance man, or these dreams are giving me the same damn hint and I'm too dense to figure it out.

I mean, I have been having these dreams almost literally all my life.

Posted by: McGehee at 8:25 AM on 24 October 2005

I've discovered that I don't need much in the way of living space. I do, however, need a great deal of storage space. I can live quite comfortably with a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room. The size of these four rooms can be as little as 800 square feet. My storage area needs to be about 2000 square feet (not counting the garage--which I also do not have), with a much better system of organization than it appears I'm capable of devising. I've got a great deal of stuff that I don't use regularly and therefore don't necessarily need taking up space in the living area but I can't afford to replace these items on the rare occasions I need them. I can't say that I've had dreams along these lines as I don't remember having them unless, of course, one is allowed to count daydreams....

Posted by: unimpressed at 5:29 PM on 24 October 2005

Actually, McGehee, it's a very common recurring dream. I have them periodically myself and have since I was a teenager. It's not necessarily the same thing that causes them each time. To sound really sappy, the only time you stop growing is when you're dead.

</70s pop psychology>

Posted by: Lesley at 7:58 PM on 25 October 2005

I'd hate to find out what some of my recurring themes mean.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:07 PM on 25 October 2005