Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Storage extraordinaire

I still have two – count ‘em two – boxes to unpack, but they’re book boxes. And since I haven’t painted the two bookcases they’re going in yet, it will be a while before I get to them. I did go through them to make sure that neither one held the missing Euro sham for my new bedding. Alas, neither did. Fortunately, Pottery Barn hadn’t discontinued the pattern I ordered last summer, when the reno project was slowly inching forward.

When I say it will take a while to get through those boxes, I do mean a while, now that I realize that, before I can put books in those bookcases, I need to let them “cure.” Who knew? When I painted that little childhood bookcase years ago, I didn’t know cure from schmure. It looked fine, but, when I went to clean it off just now, I did see all kinds of yuck patches that lead me to believe that the paint hadn’t cured by the time my husband started stuffing his books in it. So this time, I’ll go for the cure.

Speaking of Jim’s books, when I was unloading a box with a few books in it just now, I realized that I hadn’t tossed out quite as many of his books as I’d thought. In the end, I did keep a dozen or so of his favorite titles or favorite economists (and, natch, an unbound copy of his dissertation), but I chucked another dozen or so. (They went into recycle. Trust me when I say that no one would want Jim’s books, given that they’re both well out of date AND solidly marked up with red Bic pen.)

So, a ka-zillion boxes down, two to go. (Then I’ll have to tackle the Fibber McGee closets and junk drawers, but that’ll be a good post-Christmas project.)

Anyway, I’m pretty much moved back in – just in time to lug out all the boxes full of Christmas ornaments, décor, wrapping paper, cards. (Oh Christmas card, oh Christmas card: will I get my act together in time to get them out this year?)

I have noticed that, having so assiduously tossed out SO MUCH DAMNED STUFF before the reno, there is more room for storage. I’m especially looking forward to rationalizing my one quasi-large closet. Just need to find a home for all those moribund, outmoded laptops occupying some of the lovely space in there.

Although I’m feeling pretty good now, storage-wise, I can’t help but have a bit of storage envy. My sister Trish just moved into a new place. She lost an attic, but picked up some excellent “real” storage space, including a linen closet. My sister Kath, well, it’s almost as if her closets have closets. And don’t get me going on my cousin Ellen. Her storage space is probably the size of my condo.

But there is an upside to having minimal storage, and that’s not accumulating as much excess baggage as I might be tempted to do otherwise.

No, my choice is pretty much getting rid of something old to make room for something new or renting storage space. which I’m loath to do. If I don’t use half the stuff I have near at hand, am I ever going to use stuff that’s in a storage facility miles away?

Still, although I never stored anything off-site, I couldn’t help but feel a bit nostalgic when I read that Metropolitan Storage, plunked in the middle of the MIT campus in Central Square Cambridge, is closing and will be converted into MIT housing

The closing of Metropolitan Storage is a sign of the times in booming Cambridge, where housing is in short supply and MIT is under pressure to add more for students. It’s also the end of an era; the place opened in 1894, was fully built out by 1912, and its nearly 1,500 units — dark cells with steel doors that bring to mind an old prison — have been in use ever since. (Source: Boston Globe)
For some folks, Metropolitan was more than just any old storage facility. One couple was renting four units. One they turned into mega walk-in closet with fancy track lighting and Elfa shelving. They used another as a photo studio. Not to be undone:
Behind a big sliding door on the first floor there’s something you don’t often see in a storage unit: an office, fully built out with a couch, electricity and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves. It belongs to Steve Columbia, a consultant who lives in Charlestown and “found it very distracting to work at home.”…
Columbia even has clients in:
“People look at me as if I’m insane. Then when you slide that door open there’s an impact,” he said. “There is a certain ‘wow’ factor.”
I get the “’wow’ factor.” And I get having an office in a warehouse.  What I don’t get so much is the giant walk-in closet. I know that you swap out season-to-season, but track lighting an Elfa shelves sounds like a closet that gets used. Does the owner pop on over in her bathrobe when she’s getting ready to go out?

Anyway, I do hope that MIT really does convert this to dorms, rather than do a complete do-over.

Seriously, if you were going to have off-site storage, or on-campus housing, wouldn’t you want it to be in a place that looks like this?

As with a lot of things in this life, they don’t make storage facilities the same way they used to.

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