A bit more than 10 years ago I moved to my first apartment. I had lived away from home on and off since I was 19, but this place had my name on the door. It was tiny but I didn’t need more back then.
A few years later I met Shaun Vegaun and he moved in. It was tight, but it worked. We said we would wait with moving until I had finished studying and had a proper, full time job. We lived quite cheap and we spent our money travelling instead of going for a bigger place.
As my last year at KTH (my university) was coming to an end and I was about to start applying for jobs when… My husband knocked me up. We tried really hard to convince the banks to lend us money so that we could move – now when our family would become 3 – but our total income wasn’t big enough.
We rebuilt the apartment and looked at Japanese solutions for compact living, which makes our lives work. Everything has its specific place though, and if you put one thing back in the wrong spot, everything will follow in a chain of messyness. Yes it’s a word.
Foldable bath and using the sofa table as a play area are two great ways to get what you want despite the lack of space
People look extremely shocked when I tell them that the 3 of us have lived in a studio apartment for two years and we often get “Wow, and you’re still married…”. There are perks with living without spare space though:
1) You can’t fight without resolving the issue, because you have nowhere to go when you’re pissed off.
2) Doors will not break in anger, because there are no doors to slam.
3) Every other month you HAVE TO clean out the place and throw/give away what you don’t use. If you don’t, the idea of mise en place will be nothing more than an idea.
4) 3 floors up without an elevator has made me strong like a bear. And patient. Very, very patient. Igge can get ideas of suddenly sitting down on the bottom stairs and there I am, carrying bags of grossaries and other necesseties, covered in snow and hungry like a wolf. This situation has also taught me how to negotiate in efficient ways.
2 and refusing to move – how do you handle this?
5) We can’t keep secrets from each other. Well, because we see everything the other family members do. Trying to keep a secret from each other would be like trying to hide truffles from a pig.
6) No need to get up – whatever you need, it’s within reach.
7) Diseases are no match for the narrow-lived. We all bring home germs and share them intimately, which results in us never getting sick. My theory is that we become immune instead.
All these perks aside, the dream of Igge having a room of his own, a library/working area for me and Shaun Vegaun, a living room where I can finally get to have all our nice wedding gifts out, a dishwasher, an elevator, maybe a balcony, maybe two bathrooms and… oh. A separate bedroom for Shaun Vegaun and myself. I know what you’re thinking, but coochy-coochy isn’t the main reason why I’m dreaming of a bedroom of my own. Sleep, is the biggest reason. We sleep next to Igge’s crib at the moment, and all of us wake each other up several times a night. If he had his own room, he would probably sleep through the night and so would we.
The first thing Igge does when he wakes up is pull the curtain away and check that we’re still there
A few months back we started our journey towards getting a new place, and last week we signed the contract for it!
I will miss this place, my place. It’s tiny and very impractical, but it warms my heart and it has sheltered me for so many years. It’s a den to some, but to me it’s our castle.
Coming home on a Friday, cold and tired, to this. Music is playing, food is cooking, wine is waiting and the love is so thick in the air you can touch it. Our castle