Over the weekend, J and I finally (FINALLY!) got rid of the last of our “extra” stuff. We donated the vast majority of it (including the last of our free furniture from when we were first married) to a local group that runs three thrift stores that benefit disabled veterans– Disabled American Veteran Thrift Stores. If you happen upon this and are in San Diego, I recommend them. They were easy to contact (there’s a form online to fill out), they come pick up your donations, and will take anything, including old TVs.
At any rate, we have been climbing over things ever since we first took delivery of our belongings back in October. True, we’ve only really been here for about two months, but it’s been a long, slow process to unpack and organize. The square footage (in terms of actual living space) is about the same as our house in Hawaii; the bedrooms are even a little bigger, I think. The difference is that we no longer have our own garage, and we don’t have storage space, except the two bedroom closets. So bear in mind: we lost a garage (which held all of the camping and outdoor gear), a large storage closet (we also had one in Virginia and it held all of the seasonal decor, including my plethora of Christmas stuff), a backyard storage closet (for all of the gardening and yard equipment), and (this is a bigger one than you might think), a staircase with hallway. So all of those thing I listed had to either go away, or find a home inside our condo.
Losing a hallway and staircase is having a bigger impact that we expected. There is no separation between anything, and the bedrooms open off of the living room. You would think that might increase the living space, and it probably does a bit, but there’s something visually about having two separate floors, or at least having the bedrooms in their own part of the house. Here everything feels on top of everything else.
The good thing that came out of all of this is that J and I have had to be smart in our downsizing. We finally had a reason to get rid of the “just in case” and streamline. We also got the push to pass on the things passed to us (like an end table from a neighbor in Virginia) that we don’t have use for anymore. And we discovered what was important to us, because we worked REALLY hard to find a way to keep certain things (like our saddleback bar stools that I love but don’t have a breakfast bar for them at the moment). We talked about renting a storage unit, but the cost (and the effort of having stuff in another place) was really more than we wanted.
At the end of it all, we wound up becoming extremely organized, moreso than either of us is naturally, and fit quite a bit. I’d say we gave away about 25% of our things when it was all said and done, which feels good now but was exhausting at the time.
So now, without further rambling, here’s the (finally put together and mostly organized) condo!
When you walk in the front door, you’re in the dining room, facing the living room (as with almost every single condo we saw when house hunting here). We had a really hard time finding a place with a big enough space for the table. Apparently people don’t do dinner parties for more than four here? It’s odd.
To the immediate left is the desk (where I’m sitting right now! Oooh!), and the stack of old photos I’m working on scanning (that’s what all the tubs are).
To the right is the kitchen. That’s a Julian Pie Company pie on the counter. ^_^
It’s a pretty decent kitchen with plenty of storage, but a strangely deep pantry– I can’t quite reach the back, so I’ve had to put empty storage containers back there to keep stuff within reach. Anyway, if you walk forward you’re already in the living room. Notice the lack of boxes? I sure do.
The door in the back corner leads to our little porch. We got a large shelf and a couple of weather proof footlockers for all of the camping and gardening stuff. We’re in the middle unit of our building (people above, below and on both sides), so the porch is incredibly well sheltered. We don’t even get rain blowing onto it.
And finally, the view from the porch door, back toward the front door.
See what I mean about it all being very close together? The master bedroom is to the left in that last photo, and the guest room and guest bath are to the right, where the wall recesses. The odd things on the floor are, of course, cat toys. And speaking of the cats, they really seem to like it here. ^_^