“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Airman’s Odyssey
Many times I did not know when to stop buying furniture or kitchen appliances or any other little house objects. Many times when I cleaned, I found myself being a hoarder. When too much is simply not enough.
In “What Makes the Difference Between a House and a Home” I talked about analyzing your own self and understanding your pleasures and hobbies in order to create a little space/nook for them. This time I am going to talk about day to day tasks, chores and the frustrations created by them.
First stop: The kitchen
Probably the room with the most traffic. You cook, eat, sit at the table alone or with your friends and family, work at the laptop, or just smoke a cigarette. I can imagine that you, like me, have specific and probably unnecessary things for each and one of those situations, but you still feel that’s not enough and that you want and need: an electric kettle for example or an electric knife, because why not, it’s on sale anyway.
Before purchasing these items you should write down and answer sincerely:
• Do I need it?
• Do I have something that does the exact same thing?
• Do I have room for it?
• Am I going to use it more than 3 times?
• Am I buying it just because it is on sale?
If the answer to any of the questions is no, then I advise you to spend your money elsewhere, like investing in your health, personal development, or watching the latest movie at the theater.
If you are not passionate about cooking (or cleaning after) then don’t invest a big amount of money in your kitchen, don’t buy the latest oven generation just because you might use all its functions one day (believe me that day will never come) or stack the kitchen with furniture. Think about your habits and yourself and choose the most suitable approach.
Second stop: The living room
First question: What do you actually do in this room? Many people just sit on the couch and watch TV. Fair enough, I said the exact same thing, and after some time I found out that I didn’t use the space properly for myself and my needs. I bought too much furniture, that of course it’s stacked with all kinds of unnecessary things, instead of analyzing myself and needs.
In my case these should have been the questions to be answered:
• Where am I going to study? (I was at the beginning of 5 long years of university)
• Where am I going to put all my books? (and boy, oh boy, I had and still have a lot of university books and not only)
• Am I comfortable enough to read on the couch or do I need an armchair? (my spine has the answer for this questions, and it is not a good one)
• Should I invest money in an extensive couch? (My friends are very happy for making the correct decision)
Instead of asking all these questions I, like everyone else, bought a big screen TV, a couch and an enormous sideboard. The truth: I don’t watch TV, I crave for a desk, and I ended up studying in the kitchen, and the books? Well, let’s say they’re in unconventional places…With all that being said, we should all think a little bit in advance and take all the time we need to figure out the best we can do with an empty space.
Third stop: The non-existing pantry
Only after I moved by myself I realized the great need for a pantry. If you have a little space that is not too big but neither that small, create a pantry. It is a must. Why?
• Where do you put the cleaning products, vacuum cleaner, broom, tools, bathroom items etc?
If you didn’t think about that space, like me, I bet you have a hard time placing them around the house and then forgetting where, for instance my tools are in one of the gigantic sideboard’s drawer, I think, I hope.
Because of the non-existing discipline and order around my house I have a hard time finding my things. Instead of thinking and designing the most suitable place for myself, I rushed in getting everything done.
I wrote this article in hope of, you – the reader, to learn from my mistakes. I know the feeling of “I can’t wait to move in”, but you can, you can wait, in order to design and build a space that is just perfect for you; nothing that needs to be added or taken.
Consider it a cautionary tale, if you will.
Goodnight or may your coffee be strong!