Re: personal storage in common house
From: bonnie Fergusson (
Date: Sun, 20 Nov 2011 09:24:24 -0800 (PST)
     Oh, also I forgot to mention that none of the storage spaces at Swans have 
individual locking doors all though the basement storage spaces have wooden 
walls but the front is open.  The basement is quite secure from outsiders.  The 
workshop has a locking door for the whole room but not for smaller spaces and 
the garage spaces are open.  In theory the garage door closes it off from the 
street but in practice we have had some problems with people forgetting to 
close the door after they drive out which leaves whatever folks have stored 
there vulnerable to predation by passers-by.  I myself have a garage space 
close the the garage door and have had a supping cart I kept there stolen.
                 Bonnie Fergusson
                 Swans Market Cohousing
                 Oakland, CA

Sent from my iPad

On Nov 19, 2011, at 8:21 AM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]> 

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