Thursday, June 5, 2008
When we think of containers, we tend to think of plastic bins, pretty baskets, file cabinets, and such. But in a larger sense, the rooms in our homes are containers, too. And while we don't usually label them with physical labels, we do label them in our minds.
Sometimes we need to changes those labels. For example, quite some time ago "my guest bedroom/office" became just "my office," with the guest bedroom moving elsewhere. I've seen clients struggling for space when they had a room getting very little use; re-labeling this room mentally allowed them to see all sorts of other possibilities.
How we use (and label) the rooms affects what we store in them. My guest bedroom is also my room to dry clothing that needs to lie flat - and it's the staging room for projects, mostly projects to dispose of things (mine or my clients', at their request) on Freecycle or on craigslist. I'm in a heavy dispose-of-things mode right now, so the bed has piles of stuff being picked up later in the week, and things I still need to list.
Once I labeled the room this way, I made sure all my pending Freecycling went on that bed, instead of on my office floor, in the hallway, etc. - and now I can have the piles and still not feel cluttered.
My living room is a place the cats and I hang out - so it has furniture for both of us. But it's also my exercise room, so at both ends of my comfy curl-up-and-read sofa is the exercise equipment. One side has my foam roller (with another half-roller on the way), in a great new hamper I got at The Container Store.
The other side has my exercise ball and various other items; the hand weights sit on a bookshelf (in the shadows, under the basket) which also does have some books.
OK, it may not be an elegant look - but it supports my day-to-day living and I can easily put the exercise equipment (and the scratching post) elsewhere if I want to fancy it up for company.