Admitted Slob Finds Order in Loft Life
By Donna Huffaker Evans
Loft living isn’t for everyone.
That was the first thing my realtor said, before I’d even plopped into his metal office chair.
“It’s very different than living in a house,’’ he said, passing out a questionnaire to my husband and I. We had to fill out paperwork before the guy would even take us as his clients. I knew it would be a perfect match: he and us and us and the loft.
However, as I sit writing this on the roof of my building some months later, watching the sun rise above the fourth street bridge and backlight the Verdugo Mountains, I can see how living in one open room has its challenges.
For one, I’ve had to unlearn years of slovenly behavior. Turns out, everything has its place. Like Tetris, you just have to learn to place it correctly.
When I met Dan, I marveled at how this bachelor lived in a tiny Long Beach apartment with nary a sock on the floor. He made his bed, dishes were in the cabinets (he didn’t even have a dish washer) and the only things on his desk were a computer and cup of pens. The notebook usually protruded from his back pocket. He had no washer or dryer in the unit, yet somehow crumpled socks and yesterday’s boxers found their way into the hamper, which never overflowed onto the floor.
My floor was my hamper. In Burbank, I prided myself on the piles I stacked about my desk, office and room. Grandma lived with me at the time, but she never came into my room, nor rolled into the wash room, her wheelchair stymied by the step. I cleaned her clothes and dishes every day, and her sheets every other day, but never bothered to toss in my towels or trousers. They just piled up until they fell over.
Some time after Dan moved in, I threw a towel over the largest piles as we were having guest over for a barbeque.
“Do you think you’ll ever do all of your laundry, dear?’’ Dan asked through grtitted teeth?
“I don’t know. It’s in the laundry room. Who sees the laundry room?’’
In a loft , everyone sees everything.
Our unit is a spacious, open room that we’ve hung sliding doors to wall off our bedroom and the closet/guest bedroom. Yes, the closet and guest room are one in the same. Another thing about loft living – it’s only for you if you enjoy creating interesting uses of space. The unit came with zero closet or cabinet space. You know all that crap you have in your garage? Purge when you move out, purge again when you move in. Then give away that stained Mickey Mouse sweatshirt from Great Aunt Hilde because something better should hang in the closet you might need to build.
All those errant clothes and dusty boxes filled with stuff I don’t remember that sucked up every inch beneath my bed for years in Burbank?
Our bed is on a riser now, completely visible from the main living area. Who wants to be eating dinner wondering if those gnarled socks are the cats’ chew toy, or something I wore for a sweaty afternoon run?
The piles of clothes and stacks of laundry?
We downsized our hampers so each holds about two loads. When I can’t jam one more fiber in there, it’s time for Tide.
And my husband’s all-time biggest pet peeve about my Oscar Madison-style house keeping: shoes strewn about like the aftermath of a Macy’s sale. Now, unless they’re on my feet, they’re on a shelf in the closet/guest room.
The running joke is, “Have you slept in the closet yet?’’ But in reality, it’s a creative space that accommodates a full-sized inflatable mattress, plus guests enviously eye the order we’ve achieved in life, just by having everything in its rightful place…Except for his boots. And that helmet.
This posting is sponsored by: http://www.LoftLivingLA.com