When I was eight or nine—I’m sure my mom can attest to this—I was determined to have a walk-in closet. What I actually had was one of those closets with folding doors. Ew, I know. All of my friends had walk-in closets. Some of them even had their own bathrooms! What injustice! Life is so unfair!
I got over it eventually. But if you had told my eight-year-old self that fifteen years down the road, not only would I still not have a walk-in closet, but that my room would be the size of a closet I probably have cried myself to sleep for, like, a year.
The experience as a whole hasn’t been as bad as I anticipated. But let’s just say I’m glad I only have three more months left in this room.
So if you ever find yourself living in a closet, here are some lessons I’ve learned that could help you out. (For those of you who don’t live in Europe or New York: it could happen…I’ve heard that if Obama is re-elected, in his quest to europeanize America, he will require every house to have at least one closet-sized windowless bedroom.)
1. If you have to live in a closet, live in a closet with a window. During winter it didn’t bother me so much that I didn’t have a window in my room. But now that it’s spring, I feel like I am being robbed of the sweet spring breeze, the honey-colored setting sun, the heavenly sounds of children playing on the streets, the soft flower blossoms, the precious light of God…
2. If you must live without a window go for soft lighting. Lamps and soft lights make your room feel warmer when there’s no way to let in natural light. Harsh lights will make you hate your life.
3. Don’t clutter your wall. In my free wall space I put a medium sized tapestry and a map of Europe. That’s it. Putting lots of little things on your wall will make the space overwhelming. Instead put up a few colorful things that you really like.
4. Don’t hoard. DON’T HOARD. When you are traveling a lot, you want to save everything—tickets, mail, pictures your students draw for you. But don’t. Here’s what I do to avoid hoarding issues: if it’s worth saving I tape it to my wardrobe. If I don’t think it’s cool/good/special enough to tape to my wardrobe, it goes in the trash. Sorry, life is full of rejection.
5. Sometimes it’s good to clean things. When you only have about 4 feet of floor space it only takes about five seconds anyways and you will feel so much better about your entire life.
Stay tuned for True Life part 2: 4 roommates + 2 significant others = too many people for one bathroom.