life in a tiny apartment.

October 10, 2012
coats

Tip #34: Outerwear.

{Part I in a two part series about winter clothes and tiny apartments}.
 
Let me start by acknowledging that the blog world–and perhaps all the world–appears to be utterly and totally obsessed with the weather and even more so, the changing seasons. From the moment the temperatures take the slightest hike or dive, my twitter feed and blog reader erupt into ecstatic accounts of the joys of a particular season. In late spring, it’s all about how much lemonade we’re ready to drink and how great it feels to get our feet into green grass. In late summer it’s apples and turning leaves. Any day now we’ll jump right into rosy cheeks and hot cocoa and scarves. We love this stuff. I love this stuff. The sensory descriptions are irresistible and changing seasons make such good use of onomatopoeia. In my world today there’d be pitter patter, crunch, crinkle, creak. You? 
 
I’m not sure precisely the reason for the obsession, but the best answer I could muster would have to do with human nature and habit and, if we got really into it, survival. Doesn’t everything roll back around to that one? For this tiny apartment dweller, the most recent shift in seasons means at least a bit of a change in expectations of sparseness. Here’s why:
 
For six months of the year, the back of our apartment door is host to a bag full of canvas totes, and depending on our laziness and/or frequency of biking, our bike helmets. It’s not glorious, it’s not terrible. But come October, that fearsome month when the wind whips and whistles through increasingly bare trees (see? seasons are fun), the back of the door starts to accumulate a pile of coats. In early October, things aren’t so bad. James has the Carhartt sweatshirt (kinda like this) he’s been wearing since his landscaping days in high school (hot damn), and I have my woolly cloak which James not-so-secretly thinks looks like something out of a witch’s closet. I take his opinion as a compliment, I rearrange the coats so that my cloak covers the sweatshirt, things are manageable and mostly neat. 
 
But then the wind whistles some more and out comes James’s peacoat. Then his scarf. Then my huge puffer-of-a-sleeping-bag-coat, then his, and I promise you, the scene is bad. There’s not really a great solution. I have a pretty high tolerance for annoying tasks that maintain the peace in our tiny place, but unlocking the padlock that keeps our hall closet safe from intruders and hanging up my winter coat each time I use it, is not among them. In another life, we might have room for a coat rack (how pretty are these?), but for now, the solution is mostly to not give a damn. 
 
Also this:
 
If you realize that you haven’t worn your Carhartt sweatshirt in two months, ’cause it’s way too cold and you’re not exactly doing any landscaping anyway, hang it in the hall closet (insert your own out-of-reach place). Same goes for your windbreaker, and your poncho, and that fancy velvety number you wore last week to the ballet and won’t wear again until New Years (I wish).

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10 Comments

  • Reply Kate Fitchett October 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Growing up my dad had stuff vanish from his wardrobe, due to my mom's craftiness. If he didn't wear an item for a year, then it would go into a bag, then if the bag wasn't touched for six months it would *randomly* disappear. My mother is one smart lady.

  • Reply Kaitlyn October 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    We live in Canada and my parka is so large and cumbersome that I store it rolled up in one of my kitchen cabinets as we are blessed in the cabinet area but not in any other storage type.

  • Reply Kelsey October 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    i have this same problem…i just want some more storage!haha.x

  • Reply Neurotic Workaholic October 10, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    My winter coat is bulky too, and I keep misplacing mittens because I don't always leave them in the same place. It'd be easier if the closet in my apartment wasn't so tiny.

  • Reply Kari October 10, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    We have homemade versions of those Schoolhouse hooks. You know what? It doesn't help. (Well, it might for just the two of you.) When you've got a variety of garments for four people to suit the vagaries of a Canadian winter, and no closet space or real entry because you live in a tiny old house, all you have is mess, no matter how pretty the hooks or how OCD the mother (me). I wish there was a solution because it drives me crazy to have to look at it all day, every day.

  • Reply Evelyn of Smallish October 11, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    This post speaks truth. Seriously. We have two coat hangers on the wall that are currently jumbled with all sorts of outerwear and bags and diaper bags. From here, I can count one, two, three… five coats and four bags hanging off those poor hooks. But seriously. With four humans living in such a tiny space, whattreya gonna do?!

  • Reply Elisabet October 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    We recently replaced the chest of drawers in our entryway with a rack with hanging bags made of linen, open bags kind of like baskets. Perfect in our narrow entryway and easy to access for the kids (they got the lowest bags). At least all mittens and hats and scarves have a place now, and the floor is free and there is room for the pram.

  • Reply Elisabet October 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    We recently replaced the chest of drawers in our entryway with a rack with hanging bags made of linen, open bags kind of like baskets. Perfect in our narrow entryway and easy to access for the kids (they got the lowest bags). At least all mittens and hats and scarves have a place now, and the floor is free and there is room for the pram.

  • Reply Elisabet October 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    We recently replaced the chest of drawers in our entryway with a rack with hanging bags made of linen, open bags kind of like baskets. Perfect in our narrow entryway and easy to access for the kids (they got the lowest bags). At least all mittens and hats and scarves have a place now, and the floor is free and there is room for the pram.

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