Tiny House Part 4: Under the Bed

One of my early tasks was to figure out how to deal with those things I could not let go of, but could store – things like Christmas decorations, out-of-season clothes, and photo albums.  As I said in a previous post, I refused to keep anything that has to be stored outside of my apartment. The obvious solution was to buy a new bed frame, one that would be high enough to hide several tubs.

After reading stats and reviews of an annoyingly long list of bed frames, I finally settled on my choice and added it to my Amazon “New Apartment” wishlist. Then I took careful note of the measurements, taped off a correctly-sized area of my floor (including marking where the center support leg would fall) and started playing a game of “fit the totes.” I marked the floor because I held off on purchasing the heavy frame until I was close to moving, and I had it delivered straight to the new place.

What you see in this photo is mostly empty totes, because I hadn’t decided what would need to go in them. There are also a couple of filled totes, some absolutely essential totes (think permanent records), and a footstool that I thought I might possibly need when getting into and out of bed. This collection of tubs became a vital work in progress and a site of multiple mini-purges so that what I thought I needed to hang onto could morph into what I really could keep.

For instance, I had too many framed photos and nowhere to put them. So I pulled all photos out of their frames and set the frames aside for donation. I also went through everything in my two-drawer filing cabinet and the permanent files tote and purged those areas yet again. Some records I passed along to whichever son they actually pertained to and others, after verifying that I didn’t really need them, I shredded.

Random note. The shredder is one of the absolute necessities that traveled with me. In my tiny abode, I can’t let papers pile up; I have to deal with them. So that shredder sits plugged in and ready to chomp as needed.

When the boys put my new bed frame together for me (easy peasy), and my daughter (I don’t do in-laws. I love the daughters my sons gave me!) crawled under to settle the tubs into place, everyone was joking about how I could lease a second space under there. And they’re right. I have a massive amount stored under my bed, including a few items (Like a massage mat) that sit on top of the boxes as well as a case of water that landed where the unneeded step stool had been.

Yes, even though I chose a bed with 16″ of clearance, I am still well able to get into it unassisted. Had I thought it through ahead of time, I’d have known that, but the extra space was a bonus!

So, under my bed, there is a full art/craft tub, a tub filled with blankets and other things, an ‘office/tool” tub, a tub of out of season clothes and another of jackets and wraps, one tub of scrapbooks and another crammed with photos (I hope to share with my sons and eventually eliminate one of those), a tub of permanently-filed records, a Christmas tub that may well lose some of its contents this holiday season… I’ve lost track. Is that It?

I’m not sure, but as I packed them I put large labels on the tops and on the sides so that I can find what I need relatively easily. I’ve already pulled out a few and done some rearranging as I recognized the need for more ready access to two or three in particular.

For the record, the bed frame I bought is the HAAGEEP 18 Inch Queen Bed Frame and it is every bit as good as I expected it to be. It’s sturdy and not noisy at all. Another huge plus is that the mattress fits inside it, which means I’m not dealing with a sliding mattress. That was a common complaint in the myriad of bed frame reviews I scoured. I had considered purchasing corner guards, because one reviewer said they kept hitting their legs on the corners, but I’ve not had that issue at all.

And thinking about this frame as I was first drafting this post made me realize something. I’m going to try to remember to share about all of the special things I have and love as I continue this series, so I decided to set up an Amazon Affiliate account in hopes of perhaps bringing in a little money on the side.

Does that sound grasping? I hope not. I’ve made no secret of the fact that, though I have a full-time job and am finally getting at least some widow’s benefits, I’m also saddled with a lot of debt that I want to pay off. My desire is to be financially free, and the regular money that’s coming in won’t make that happen fast enough. So, should you feel like offering your support by clicking a link and buying something I can personally attest to, I would be grateful. I have a lot of reviews on this site, recommendations for things I genuinely like; I plan to go back through them and add some links there as well.

Again, as I said above, it’s the HAAGEEP 18 Inch Queen Bed Frame and you can check it out by clicking HERE.

Holy cannoli!

On a whim, I checked to see if Amazon carries my mattress, which I love, and they do! Ok, so my Nectar mattress is several years old. That means they’re not going to have the exact same one. But let me tell you, if I were in the market for a new mattress I would get another Nectar! They’re awesome and come with the best warranty I’ve ever seen in a mattress. It came in a box, delivered right to my front door. I opened it, rolled it out, let it pop up, and put it on my bed. It’s not too heavy and, though I’m sensitive to odors, I was able to sleep on it the very first night with no issues at all. So no, no offensive off gassing in my experience. Literally the only thing we dealt with was my husband thinking it was too firm. I emailed the company asking for suggestions for ways I could make it softer, because no, I had no desire to return it, and they shipped me a mattress topper, a good one, at no extra charge. Again, that was years ago and I can’t guarantee they would do the same thing today, but that’s some serious customer service!

The mattress I’m linking to is probably the upgrade for mine. You can check it out RIGHT HERE.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Tiny House Part 2: The Plan

If you haven’t read last week’s post, The Dream, you may want to start there. It’ll be a quick catch up.

So we had the basic area, and in coming weeks we discussed various fine points about the floor plan as they worked on it in the evenings and on weekends. This was a pretty constant back and forth as each of us realized or thought about certain things. For instance, they decided quickly that there was no way I’d be comfortable with the small shower stall we’d been considering, so they opted for a 36″ shower instead. (Bless them!) It wasn’t a huge difference, but it did affect the floor plan.

Too, I was determined to bring my washer and dryer, no matter what it meant giving up, so we measured and measured and measured again before settling on where these two appliances could go and exactly what base cabinets we could allow for the kitchen area.

One of the first things I did was get my hands on a pad of graph paper and start playing. I drew and redrew (to scale) as we adjusted and changed our minds about the big stuff (bath, washer, dryer, kitchen area, etc.), and then I cut out little pieces of sticky notes to represent the things I had to keep and the things I wanted to keep.

After a bajillion attempts, and a lot of help from them, we finally settled on this.

On the side of this image, you see a couple of pieces labeled pink chair and bookcase. Those were the last two “want to keep” items I had to get rid of. Everything else was “have to keep.” Well, I suppose that, technically, the bookcase could have gone, but it fits where it is and when I reach the point of posting pictures you’ll see how important it is to me.

Even after we settled on this, a few changes were made. I nixed the area of the closet labeled “shelves,” for instance, when I stumbled across a plan that would work and save them some time and money. Saving them time, effort, and money was a challenge. Several times I had to convince them that I didn’t need certain things – like flooring over this stained concrete that I love, and an actual door on the bathroom. I LIKE my bathroom curtain, and it’s only me here, so…

They wanted to give me perfection but with the limited time they had for the actual construction, perfection really wasn’t an option. Honestly, as I type this, there are still things needing to be finished as he finds the time to work on them because the calendar caught up with us. They literally only paused the work long enough for me to move in and then picked it back up for a few days to get things close enough to finished that they felt I could live here comfortably.

They have been absolutely amazing, and I bless God every day for this home that I’ve been in for a little over a month. In fact, as I was talking to God just yesterday I realized that I am as happy here as I ever have been in any other home I’ve ever lived in, happier than in most.

I’m literally living the dream.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

In the Between Time

I was asked, recently, what I do during the week between Christmas and New Years. My answer? I clean house.

I do mean this partially in the literal sense. The tree comes down, boxes get recycled, etc., but that’s just the beginning. For me, this is a time of transition. I don’t want to wait for January 1 to start making changes; I plan for those changes now.

Spiritually, it means spending a lot more time talking to God about how things have gone this year and how He wants me to change things for next year. It means assessing my habits, heart, and hindrances to my walk as well as my successes and all of the progress I’ve made. And it means thanking Him a LOT for all He’s brought me through and the promising vistas I see ahead of me. It means setting my spiritual goals and making plans for how I can accomplish them.

In the physical, it means getting my office in order so I’m better prepared to grow increasingly serious about my writing and the business of Tammy Cardwell Publishing. I’ve been organizing and spray painting (The easiest solution when expensive solutions aren’t an option.) and organizing some more. I’m also studying. Merciful heavens, but there is a LOT to learn right now!

And, with the help of my ever-creative, genius son (Pixel Drip Studio), I’m working on a whole new website that will include this blog and a lot more. He’s pushing me, and I love it. This morning he was tossing out words like “timeline” and “milestones.” I’m 60 years old now and #owning60. I’m proof that you’re never too old to launch into something new.

So… What does your between time look like?

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Back in the Saddle?

I wish I didn’t have to put a question mark on this title, but life is an odd thing. It can throw you.

In many ways, things have been intense since Jack passed away and I entered widowhood. I spent weeks working on the apartment, adapting it to me-only living, and then I spent weeks going through decades worth of records and papers and…stuff. Losing my husband made me acutely aware of what my kids would be dealing with if something were to happen to me, so I set about ensuring that transition would be as easy as possible. Just today I put the finish to the last piece of the puzzle: The Book. It contains pretty much every legal and informational paper they might need at my passing. Except all my passwords. I do need to work on that.

All that to say this. As of now, with that last task complete, I feel like my brain is my own again. (Happy Birthday to me!) Starting today, Son #2 (Owner of pixeldripstudio.com) has begun planning a new website for me, one that will help me do so much more than simply blog, and it’s got me excited and fired up all over again. We’ve been talking style and options and possibilities, and I’m thinking in terms of articles and blog posts and freebies…

I’m also working on converting Experiencing the Bible to ebook format. It’s a challenge for two reasons.
1. While I read ebooks all the time I’ve never learned about their formatting. (I am now!)
2. Part of the print book’s power is the built-in journal. I have to do a bit of rewriting and adjusting to compensate. It won’t be a huge deal for the reader; they’ll just want to invest in a journal to write in. Maybe I’ll even create a matching one myself? Maybe.

So, barring any unforeseen circumstances, I’m back in the saddle and back at work. And it feels GOOD.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C