It’s a small world... but I wouldn’t want to paint it... and you can’t have everything... where would you possibly keep it?
~ Steven Wright
"So have you seen this place yet?" my wife asked me.
I was busy returning overnight e-mails while sitting up in bed sipping my morning coffee not really paying attention to what she was doing.
"It’s a 2 bedroom and 2 bath... with a fantastic view of the park."
I muttered something back to her pretending that I was listening intently, but in reality I was focused on replying to the e-mail before me.
She handed me her iPad, causing me to shift my attentions.
"This condo appears to be exactly what we’ve been looking for... it’s the penthouse unit and it’s in our price range!" she said enthusiastically.
With my forward progress now stopped, I took her iPad and started sliding through the 23 available photos while my wife continued to talk about the specifications of the unit.
"It’s only been on the market for 5 days... it’s an older building built in 1973... the building has 11 floors and 30 units... it has 1485 square feet of living space... and it comes with two assigned underground parking spaces."
As I flipped through the photos, I went from annoyed... to interested... to captivated...
"Can you contact the realtor so we can see the place this weekend?" I asked her.
Later that day, I received a text message from my wife telling me that we had a showing at 4pm on Saturday.
On Saturday we met with the realtor and had ample opportunity to spend as much time as we needed to review the modest home.
The owners had already moved out of the place so it was completely empty.
Much to our amazement, the realtor never bothered to "showcase" the property by bringing in a professional decorator and high quality furnishings but instead let the "million dollar view" sell itself.
The unit definitely required a "facelift" to rid itself of its outdated 1970’s look as well as needing repairs to the flooring, cabinetry, and fixtures.
After spending about an hour on the premises, my wife and I decided to go to dinner to discuss what we had seen that afternoon.
It didn’t take long for us to run some numbers and quickly determine that the numbers didn’t present a significant challenge for us.
The most important discussion item on our agenda was whether we both had enough foresight to be able to envision what the place would look like once it had been refurbished and modernized.
I believe we both have good taste and a strong sense of style however our individual philosophies about space and furnishings differ widely.
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There is an old story that has made the social media rounds these past several years.
The story is as follows:
A sociology professor comes to class one day with a small fish tank and several bags of unknown materials.
The professor proceeds to place several large stones into the fish tank and then asks the students if the tank was full... and they respond to the affirmative.
At this point the teacher reaches into the bag and begins to place smaller rocks among the stones and now asks his class the same question... once again they tell him that the tank is now full...
After the small rocks are placed in the tank... he then adds a sack-full of small pebbles... then some fine sand... and finally several gallons of water to fill in all of the remaining gaps...
It is only after he pours in the water that the tank is completely full...
At this point the professor produces another fish tank and this time instead of placing the large stones in first... he starts with the water and attempts to work his way in the opposite direction... and tries (unsuccessfully) to add the large stones in at the end...
This story is told as a metaphor for our lives. The fish tank represents our time and resources and if we don’t give priority to the big things in our lives and instead worry about the little things... we’ll never find a way to add the big things later because they just won’t fit.
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My wife Susan, enjoys a house that feels like a home. There are the big things, the small things, and the accents that bring it all together.
Our house is complete with large furnishings such as beds, dressers, sofas, arm chairs, dining tables, and storage units. I used the plural for the above items since we have multiples of each.
Added to these big items are end tables, chairs, trunks, night stands, and other assorted furniture.
Accents then fill the remaining space. There are picture frames, desktop computers, flat-screen TV, candles, fitness equipment, plants, books, pillows, and other decorative items.
To be sure, our current house is not home to a hoarder or an over-active collector.
Our home is just like the first fish tank in the story above... big and important things in first... then other things are added in order of significance.
So if this is my wife’s style, what is my own style?
I am simply a minimalist. The truth is, I don’t like stuff.
Perhaps this is a psychological reflex harkening back to my childhood where I shared a small bedroom with my 3 brothers... where we had two sets of bunk beds... and were allotted 3 drawers in a dresser and some small space in a closet.
For me, a sleek sofa, a few lamps, a dinette with a couple of chairs, a comfortable bed, and a small bureau to keep some clothes not hung up in a closet is about all I need / want in my home... regardless of the size.
In my version of the fish tank... I want one or two big stones... a few pebbles and some sand on the bottom... fill the rest with water... and have plenty of room for the fish to swim...
A Place For Your Stuff
Since the beginning of time, when our forefathers decorated their caves with drawings of stick-figures of men hunting wild beasts, human beings have attempted to make a simple shelter a home.
The truth is that many people simply have too much stuff...
One of the keys is life is learning to prioritize as to what stuff is important... and what stuff is just filling unused space...
Thank you for your support of OptiFuse where we know that our customers come first and everything else is just stuff.
Jim Kalb President
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Website - www.optifuse.com
Twitter - @OptiFuse