Re: Reality Questions for our new Common House!
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2009 13:31:50 -0800 (PST)
At Sharingwood we also live in a rural, low crime situation and we have
never had locks on the commonhouse, and in 14 years of having the
commonhouse we have had no issues. Yes, kids play freely in the building and
there is an occasional mess which has to be cleaned up but this is not much
of a problem. For coats we have two racks of hooks, one upper, one lower.
Hooks are nice because you can double up coats on them if you have a big
party. In all the years of having a commonhouse we have never had every
single resident attend any function so we plan for 3/4ths max when planning
large party numbers or designing how many of things to get (plates, etc).
We also have a two shelf boot rack with an upper and lower shelf for housing

One of the odd things which continually has occurred over the years is that
random stray coats, which apparently drop in from outer space, end up
accumulating in the entry.  Nobody seems to ever own these coats, and so
during our twice annual clothing exchange we simply add them to the exchange
and they go out to charity with the rest of the unclaimed clothing.  Cups do
the same thing, we always seem to have an overabundance of cups.

One of the things we discovered was that people were assuming that their
castoff kitchen stuff would be wanted and so they would leave it in the
commonhouse. We now have an agreement that only the commonhouse team decides
what goes in the commonhouse and all donations must be approved by the team.
This has cut down the junk considerably but random things do occasionally
and mysteriously show up, often to be discarded later.

Rob Sandelin

-----Original Message-----
From: maryvk [at] [mailto:maryvk [at]] 
Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2009 6:42 AM
To: cohousing-l [at]
Subject: [C-L]_ Reality Questions for our new Common House!

We are moving into our Common House within the months.  Yippee!  Here are a
few questions for experienced cohousing dwellers.  Might as well start with
lessons learned.

Do you lock your Common House?  If so, describe the circumstances.   
We are in a very rural, almost no crime area but some of our new neighbors
and guests are city dwellers.  

How do you hang coats and store wet and muddy boots?  
We need to accommodate 50-70 people.  We have a great mudroom foyer but
decided not to develop built in's etc. until the construction company left
the premise.  We'd love to do hooks especially for children but how can you
do so many????  And mats for boots are great but again it seems like it
would end up a pile?  

Thank you for your ongoing support.  We encourage you to visit us  when you
are in New England.

Mary Kaplan
Nubanusit Neighborhood & Farm
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