On Why My Large Space Makes Me Feel Lazy

On Why My Large Space Makes Me Feel Lazy

Sarah Rae Smith
Apr 27, 2011

So all throughout small spaces month here at Apartment Therapy I've felt a little guilty. As my husband and I work to renovate the church we purchased into a home, I've been lavishly wallowing in 40 foot ceilings and wide open floor plans. Each time I see a new listing in our Small Cool contest I secretly say to myself, "That entire apartment would fit in my living room alone — so why am I so jealous of it?"

Our church, or chouse (church+house) is officially the largest space I've ever lived in. It's large and roomy and no matter how well I claim to be able to keep a house clean, I, Sarah Trover, feel like I'm really sucking at life.

As I type this there are baskets of laundry waiting to be put away upstairs, more dirty dishes than I should ever admit to in my sink and no less than 5 construction/renovation projects in the works around me. Even though our last residence was still 1,000 square feet (which is the top end of the spectrum in terms of this month's competition), it was still able to be kept clean and always felt manageable.

Though I'm sure the construction work and tearing down of walls has more to do with the state of disarray than anything, this larger space oddly isn't leaving me with a sense of contentment, instead it encourages a lack of responsibility. That's right, I'm claiming my house makes me lazy.

My husband and I find ourselves at a cross section where the next set of projects that need to be done to our home are big ones. We're talking about relocating staircases (which is big business when your bedroom is in the loft and your only functioning shower is in the basement), pulling up hardwood floors, re-glazing 200+ window panes while hanging 70 feet from street level — stuff like that. We can easily put off projects and procrastinate while catching up on the last several seasons of Smallville (yes, we're nerds), but the tricky part is our space is large enough that we can just leave things half finished (because we can't go any further without hauling in heavy machinery) and still walk around and function in our space.

When it comes to house work, I am currently sitting almost 60 feet from my dishes. In fact, I can't even see them and forget about smelling them. My laundry? It's above my head, somewhere, so I'm free to hang out in other spaces throughout my house, getting slightly lost in other tasks to be done and disregard the normal sense of responsibility I typically impose on myself.

I don't believe in maids, I've always felt that if you have that much stuff that you can't take care of it, then you need less stuff. That doesn't mean it isn't a fabulous thing for some people, it's just how I keep myself from ending up on the show Hoarders. But with this large space has come this weird sense of, "Meh, I'll do it later."

Now I know this just sounds like I'm saying, "Oh woe is me, my house is just so big," but that's not the case in the slightest. Never having been in control of a space of this size, I feel like I've lost the ability to prioritize and ever feel on top of things (which is usually my main form of motivation in itself). Gone are the days of finishing housework and moving on, it just seems to always loom over my head.

Have you ever had this problem? Did you move from a small space to something larger and feel a little lost? How did you get your feet back on the ground and your head out of the clouds? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

P.S. My apologies to my poor husband who had no idea I would be showcasing our dirty dishes and trash on the interwebs - xoxo

Image: Sarah Rae Trover

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