Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Downsizing

When we moved into our spacious apartment, we assumed that we would live here until we got tired of the city, moved out into the county, and bought ourselves a big house with a lot of rooms and a big backyard.

Then we realized we liked city living, that having a clean and short commute is something we value above almost anything else, and decided to buy a house in Baltimore, in spite of the financial stupidity of paying 2x the taxes of anywhere else.

The problem with our area is that parking is difficult, inventory is low, and the really awesome houses are out of our price range.  I hope to eventually write a post about some of the finances of buying a house, but one of the things I didn't realize is that the homebuying industry is set up to reward people for not having significant savings.  I assumed because we saved furiously for awhile, we would be able to afford any house we could put 20% down on, and that mortgages were all kind of the same amount.  Boy, was I wrong.  But that is a different post.

Anyway, we are looking at downsizing significantly to be able to buy in the city and keep our monthly payment affordable.  And the thing we are losing the most is closet space.  At our apartment, we have two coat closets, a utility closet, a linen closet, and three clothing closets.  SEVEN closets.  We have more closets than we know what to do with, actually.  So how do we downsize SEVEN closets into a rowhome?

For starters, we will have a basement.  A basement is a must-have in any house for us, so we know we will have storage.  Most of the camping gear and suitcases that are currently stored in a closet will move into the basement.  The cleaning supplies and costco bulk purchases, like extra paper products, can all move into the basement.

But how do we live without a coat closet? How do we live without a linen closet?  The linen closet seems to be the easiest solution, because we can keep extra towels on shelves in the bathroom and we can keep extra linens in a storage trunk in the bedroom.  I don't know about the coat closet.  Hooks, probably, and hope they don't end up looking too messy.

Obviously, Pinterest to the rescue.  There are whole boards of closet solutions.  I find myself wandering between houses, checking Pinterest to see what other people have done to deal with x issue or y problem.  As long as there are 2-3 viable solutions, the house stays on the list.  The same is true when we see a house where we would have to add a bathroom, or divide an existing large bathroom into to small bathrooms.  Then I go check out the tiny houses and remind myself that moving into 1300-1500 square feet is really not "downsizing."

Where do you live, how many closets do you have, and do you have any ideas for a freestanding coat closet?

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