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Mon, Jan. 20

Graham: Tiny houses? Welcome to tiny apartments

Today, dear readers, I want to invite you into my personal space.

I don’t mean I want you to come and stand really close to me; I mean my apartment, which is actually half of a converted garage. Such is life in the Prescott apartment market.

Before I open the front door, be prepared — not for a mess; I keep things pretty clean — but for how small the space is. It is not the Taj Mahal, or even a regular-size hotel room.

When you walk into my apartment you find yourself in the living room/bedroom. As with most “slash” rooms, it is an interesting mix. It also feels cluttered. You have a queen-size bed, two wingback chairs, bookshelves, a dresser and a couple of small tables. Oh, and the TV. Add in the movie posters on the walls and all the extra clothes stored under the bed and it doesn’t exactly follow the feng shui rules for a sleeping area.

The ceilings are high, which keeps it from feeling like a dungeon or something.

Next is the kitchen/dining room, which you enter through a doorway guarded with a curtain instead of an actual door. I have a bar table to save room; my laptop computer usually occupies a spot there. On one side of the table is the stand with the computer printer on it. On the other side is the apartment’s clothes closet, which does not hold very many clothes, thus the need to store most of my wardrobe under the bed. The fridge, a bit of counterspace, cabinets and refrigerator occupy another wall, while the back door is on the other.

Then we get to the back room, where the arrangement really gets weird. First we have the sink, which is right next to the stove. The set-up doesn’t sound so strange, until you realize it is the only sink in the apartment. That’s right, I have been brushing my teeth and washing my face in the kitchen sink for eight months. Another way to look at it: I have been washing my dishes in the bathroom sink this whole time.

Next we come to the shower. It will look familiar to you if you have ever been on an RV or on a cruise ship. It is so small you barely have room to turn once you are inside. The size of the shower would be troublesome if you had to use it for a weekend in a motorhome or a week on a ship. Imagine eight months of it. And the water pressure is terrible; it feels like someone is sprinkling you with a watering can like a flower garden. I keep waiting for petals to sprout from the top of my head.

We complete our tour with the toilet and the stackable washer and dryer. Other than the fact it is right next to where I take care of my “personal business”, the washer/dryer is a nice addition, as anyone who has ever lugged their clothes to the laundromat can attest.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am glad to have a place to live, although I have not been through a summer here yet and the apartment does not have an air conditioner. And the quad-city area and northern Arizona offer a lot of outside activities, so you can always spend time away from home if the walls close in on you. But this winter taught me that sometimes you need a little more room to roam when the temperature tumbles.

I guess, in the end, home really is wherever you hang your hat, even if that’s in the living/kitchen/bath/bedroom.

Doug Graham is Community Editor for The Daily Courier. He can be reached at

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