Senior Musings April 2010

Posted 04.01.10


Moving out of the family home into an apartment always poses the same questions. Which things are you willing to part with? What will fit into smaller quarters?

I have three suggestions:


As we're less able to reach above our heads or climb on stepladders, we tend to move things down where they're more accessible. But when you move into smaller quarters, you need to reverse this process.

When you have less square footage for all the things you want to hold onto, it doesn't make sense to waste the upper third of the walls. Instead of hanging art above dressers, consider placing small bookcases there. Bookcases are fairly shallow, so you'll still have room on the dresser for things you normally want to keep handy, and you can place other items you want easy access to in decorative boxes or baskets on the lower shelves.

A nice mirror and framed photos can go on shelves as well, and those top shelves, including the top of the bookcase itself, can hold a container for things you need only occasionally, or items you want to keep but seldom use.

Scrapbooks, photo albums, and similar oversize items can easily be stored there, but consider placing those on top of a suitcase in which you store other mementoes. Anything you store up there can easily be retrieved by a family member or friend.

Suitcases should never be stored empty. Use the ones you will take the next time you travel for out-of-season clothing. If these items are in clear plastic bags, they can easily be removed and stored, while you're on your trip, on the closet floor.

I have a huge library, and hate to part with books. So I've installed shelves above the doorjambs in some rooms, a perfect spot for books you want to keep but don't need to consult regularly. That's also a great place to display decorative items.


Furniture with legs poses two problems. One is that it wastes valuable space that could be used for storage, and it also means someone will have to figure out how to clean underneath and retrieve anything that drops or rolls there.

So if you're purchasing dressers or bookcases for your new, smaller space, look for those with shelves or drawers right to the bottom. If you have trouble bending down that far, keep a small stool to make it easier.


I once wrote an article for Canadian Living on storage solutions. It contained one of my favorite secret weapons: metal shower curtain hooks. You can buy these at the Dollar Store, and they have so many uses I don't have room to list them all. You can use a pliers to twist the narrower end so it will hang flat on a screw-in, magnetic, or pegboard hook, or if you want an easy way to hang many things, thread shower curtain hooks on a narrow curtain rod and mount that on a the back of a door or the wall behind a door.

E-mail me if you want my list of all the things that hang on shower curtain hooks in my house.

E-mail Bobbi at BFG@SimonTeakettle.com, and visit her website: www.SimonTeakettle.com

Copyright © 2010 Barbara Florio Graham/Log Cabin Chronicles/04.10