The absence of things.

I make no bones about the fact that my apartment in the city is my second home. We also have a 3 BR 2 Bath house in Fairfield County, CT that we started built in 2001 after we learned that the 250+  year old farmhouse we had been living in for 10 years had been condemned and needed to be completely demolished (but that is a story for another time and possibly even another blog.)

One of the things I like the best about the apartment is, well, the absence of things. There is enough furniture to be comfortable. We have bedding, towels and dishes and are just starting to accumulate a few decorative items to make the place feel inviting and homey. There is internet access but no cable (a fact that makes every Verizon customer service rep froth at the mouth every time they get me on the phone.) I figure that if I’m in the city there are better things I can be doing with my time besides watching tv.

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We have been living in our house in Connecticut long enough that it is loaded from the basement to the rafters with stuff. Add to the fact that my husband is a pack rat by nature and you can probably imagine just how much stuff we have accumulated over the years. I will continue to call it stuff for the sake of this public blog forum but in my mind I’m using the other word that also starts with “s.”

When I go to the apartment I get to leave all the stuff behind. I find that extremely freeing. However, I still find myself browsing on Amazon.com for things I am convinced I can’t live without.  I have an electric tea kettle in the kitchen in Connecticut that I bought after a trip to London. Did you know that in the UK they really have tea about every 15 minutes or so? Ok, not quite that often but almost. When we came home an electric teakettle seemed like just the thing to keep my memories of our lovely vacation alive. I use it often when I’m in Connecticut.

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But do I really need an electric teakettle in the NY apartment? So far, the small stainless steel saucepan I use to heat water in is serving the same purpose well.

One morning my husband sent me a link to a video about making perfect coffee in a French Press. Instead of using a coffee measure or tablespoons to measure out the amount of coffee, the video suggested using a digital scale to weigh the grounds before brewing. But I don’t have a digital scale. Do I really need one if the tablespoon measure I have at the apartment work just fine?

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There is ample closet cabinet space in the apartment — it’s one of the perks of where we live. But our closets and cabinets are practically empty. And I am loving it that way.

I spent most of yesterday clearing years of accumulated clutter from the main bathroom in our Connecticut house. I’m still not finished. How do I get anything important accomplished if have to wade through mountains of crap first? Keeping my 3 BR home in the country clean and organized takes way too much of my time; time that would be better spent doing other things. While I’m not ready (nor do I think I will ever be) to go “tiny” the idea of taking it down to a much smaller and more manageable space is winning me over every time I go into the city.

When I get to the apartment I can focus on the important things. I can take pictures, I can write. I can go places. And all without the nagging feeling that I’ve left something undone.

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