I have a few days between visiting family and my internship starting up again so I've been hanging out with friends and finding ways to simplify my life as I head into a new year. Mostly it's involved my new Kindle and a few well-placed metal hooks.
Because counter space is limited in my tiny kitchen and the counter tops are wooden, I've been placing my dish drying rack in the shower to drain. This has worked pretty well, but it's a little obnoxious to have to transfer it every time I take a shower, particularly since my showers only last about five minutes!
Today I made a little adjustment that I'm rather proud of, even though it's not very glamourous. I hung my dish drying rack over my dish pan, so now my dishes are right by the sink, right below the space where they all get put away. Water that drips off the dishes lands in the dish pan which is where I stash dirty dishes until I'm ready to do a load of dishes each morning. This is further evidence that a few well-placed hooks can help to create elegant design solutions. Perhaps I can figure out a more aesthetically pleasing version of this strategy for my own tiny house, but for now, I'm pretty pleased with it.
Now when I want to take a shower all I have to do is turn on the water heater and wait about 15 minutes. Granted, it probably requires more forethought than your showering process, but I'm delighted by my newly simplified system! I've found that by using the "pause" button on the showerhead I have a perfectly pleasant shower with plenty of hot water for two shampooings, conditioner, and a good scrub. I'm not sure how long my shower could be if I didn't use the pause button, but I haven't felt any great desire to figure it out with shampoo still in my hair!
In other news, my cousin upgraded to a new Kindle Fire over the holidays (a xmas present to herself) so she passed on her old Kindle to me. What an ideal gift! I've enjoyed reading the books she loaded onto it. All that wait time in transit suddenly becomes time to read a novel. (On the Corner of Bitter and Sweet was a lovely northwest novel to start on the train from Seattle to Portland during a cold winter day!) I still marvel at how I can switch between different books if I'm not in the mood for the one I've been reading. The device is slim and lightweight. And it doesn't get any more cumbersome to have another book along with me. I've also discovered that a couple of the books required for my courses for next term are available in Kindle format. This is soooo cool! I realize that I probably could eliminate paper books from my life completely if I weren't a student, but I think the format lends itself more to novels than text or picture books anyhow.
There are some books (especially picture-rich design books) that still demand a paper format and I wouldn't have them any other way. I keep a very small collection of design books that I enjoy referencing:
- Sarah Suzanka’s Home by Design and The Not So Big Life,
- Jay Shafer’s The Small House Book,
- Lloyd Kahn’s Tiny Homes, Simple Shelter,
- John Connell’s Homing Instinct,
- Clarke Snell’s The Good House Book, and, of course,
- Christopher Alexander’s A Pattern Language
Three favorite cookbooks provide inspiration: How to Cook Everything, Moosewood Restaurant’s New Classics, and Passionate Vegetarian. Scrapbooks of my travels to Thailand, South Africa, Belgium, and the Netherlands keep memories of far-off lands close at hand. Nevertheless, the Kindle is a fantastic invention and I'm certain that I'll do a lot more reading now that I have one!