Comment of the Day: How Houston’s East Enders Have Rid Themselves of Clutter

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW HOUSTON’S EAST ENDERS HAVE RID THEMSELVES OF CLUTTER Small closets are a great tool for stuff reduction. Houston, and especially the East End, is still full of similar vintage 1000-1500 sq. ft houses designed for simple living.” [DanaX, commenting on Houston Home Listing Photo of the Day: Fountain]

16 Comment

  • This is so, so true. Moving into a place with one small closet for the entire unit (and just as little storage in the kitchen and bathroom) forced me to pare down, and it was a great feeling of release and relief afterward.

  • I’m experiencing this right now, as I got married three weeks ago and we’re in the process of combining two one-BR apartments into one.

  • Every additional square foot of space in your home is less useful than all the square feet that preceded it. The marginal utility of additional space is low, but the marginal cost can be pretty high.

  • I thought the bar was set much higher for comment of the day…

  • Hell, try moving from 2,000 sq.ft. into 800 sq.ft. YES, I’m doing it.

  • I agree with the sentiment, but I’m a bit paranoid that coworkers will eventually notice that my collection of button-down shirts is a bit limited as a result of that tiny closet. . .

  • I had to throw out my collection of “gently worn”, mid-90s era, alternative rock concert t-shirts.


  • As long as you have six shirts, so that you don’t wear the same one every Monday, for example, your coworkers will never notice how many you have.

  • That’s the theory I’m operating under, anon!

    Also, if my friend in DC can make 360 square feet seem comfortable and accommodating, I’m pretty sure the rest of us should be able to make 1500 work:

  • If you work in a place like I do, your co-workers don’t even know you exist.

  • Are you kidding me? This is just a bunch of real estate ladies excusing the impracticality of tiny ass closets (“Charming” remember that one?) in an old house that is impractical and overpriced.

  • Actually, there is some wisdom to this line of thinking, especially when confronted with people who regularly engage in the practice of “I’m keeping it because I might need it one day,” such as myself.

    Ultimately, I found a formula by which I can easily measure the value of keeping something I might use vs. ridding myself of it, and I use it to keep myself honest. (Yes, in fact, I do enjoy creating formulas for how to approach such mundane issues =)

    I can create a cost model for any particular item based on the cubic feet of space it requires for storage vs. the price per cubic foot of space in the house.* (Actual monthly cost, NOT “sale price per foot,” because taxes and interest are real things.) Measure the cost of keeping it for X period of time, vs. replacing it at an expected point in the future combined with the fuzzy application of inconvenience factors (can it only be purchased via a 1-hour drive, or week-long wait for delivery?) and criticality (would I have a broken pipe for days if I don’t have this pipe wrench?) and I have a good, solid grasp on any individual item and whether its worth keeping based on the expected frequency of its utility.

    If the cost of keeping it during the periods of uselessness exceeds the weighted replacement cost by more than 10%, it’s gone.

    Unfortunately, this model -can not- be applied to items with a sentimental factor value of greater than 0.3. Sure recipe for a very long argument with the SO.

    * – in a more functionally perfect model, the overall value of a particular sq. ft. of space would be waited on many factors such as its visibility, ease of access, specialized design, etc. However, these factors complicate the model to such a degree that I’d then have to write some software to handle it, and then I’d have the further conjoining restraint of cost of permanent storage for the data as well as the physical items. I usually determine that the feedback cycle that rears its head in the process isn’t worth the effort, and the generalized model works well enough.

  • drone,
    Your SO must be a saint.

    Do you get to apply the same logic to her stuff?

  • To get rid of things, do check the Swamplot friend Texas Art Asylum. I have been there twice this week and the woman who took my donations seemed thrilled, which makes it very easy part with things that might even “be useful some day.”

  • @PYEWACKET2 Erm, well, as a training exercise, yes, but the results are always discarded for there are factors which do not sway themselves to logic and formal models.

    Most notably, any sentence that starts out with “Honey, I calculated…” is better left unsaid. =)

  • It’s the sentimentality factor.
    (Refer to the Drone Model)
    Houston tax-payers have too great of an emotion attachment to the ‘dome. It’s the elephant on the ledger sheet.
    What molding drain on the budget?