Re: personal storage in common house
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 19 Nov 2011 08:21:16 -0800 (PST)
On 18 Nov 2011, at 9:12 PM, Kathy Buck wrote:

> I am wondering if your 
> community has storage space and if so how many sq ft is allocated to 
> each unit and is it separate spaces with walls and locking door or is a 
> large open space subdivided with shelves or something else?

We don't have personal storage space on common ground except for bicycles. Some 
people have basement space that they purchased with their units — more 
complicated than that as things are in cohousing, but essentially that's what 

One person built a cage around his. Others are just taped off.

Storage is a big issue. Everyone moved in with the idea that they were going to 
downsize. Then many had children and doubled their storage needs. They have 
spilled out onto the corridors with spaces intended for small patios turned 
into back porch storage. Some of us are very unhappy about this as it looks as 
one says like trailer park trash — stereotyping but it conveys the idea. (Some 
also have their compost cans outside their doors, the lids not always on.) One 
has a collection point for electronics going to a charity, etc. His is probably 
a fire hazard but he is committed to a no-waste society. The people who tend 
the basement have said not in the basement because he expands to fill all 
available space.

It is very hard to regulate this. No one wants to police or appear to anal. 
These people are on the third floor so they aren't so obvious unless you live 
up there. I just never take tours up there.

I tell you this to be forewarned that storage is an issue. People don't 
downsize as they could — putting a personal organizer in your training budget 
might be a good idea. Planning personal storage space is a good idea — you can 
then say this is your space and that is all — but some people seem unable to 
confine themselves, particularly if they have children. Or shop on the curb on 
trash day. Or watch the Home Shopping Network. And study up on hoarding, and 
how we drift into it, even in a mild way.

Sharon Villines, Washington DC
"We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities." Walt Kelly

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