I have a serious cupboard obsession. I want cupboards so bad, I dream about them. When visiting friends, I only want to talk about cupboards: exactly how many they have, and were they self assembled. I have become ‘That Scary Cupboard Woman,’ with bizarre and slightly disturbing fantasies about fitted wardrobes.
In my one bedroom newbuild, there is a closet for the boiler, meters, and fuse box, which heats everything stored inside to just above blood temperature. Foolishly and in desperation, I keep my vinyl there. I had no choice really, and I now fully expect my precious records to look and sound like Dali’s dream clocks.
I need bigger kitchen cupboards, but the mass purchase, one-size-for-all- unit is tiny. I have no space to keep much food, or store pans. This oversight wakes me bolt upright, screaming in the night. There’s not even a bathroom cabinet, as they are classed as non essential. Imagine guests greeted by haemorrhoid cream, diarrhoea tablets and intimate deodorant (not that I possess those items - honest - but you get my drift).
H had a basement in her house. She could never cherish it as I would. I crave a basement, or an attic. I can actually get quite wistful; just imagine, no boxes, nothing strewn around your home. I would spend time in that basement. I would love it, as it deserves to be loved. In fact I’d worship it like a god. I would install a shrine dedicated to: ‘Stuff’.
Without cupboards, you can’t economise and buy in bulk – even a bargain bumper pack of toilet roll is a major space devouring purchase, stored by necessity in the lounge, which is inconvenient in so many ways.
I am compulsive about chucking things out. There’s nothing I like better than empty floor space. I keep all my belongings boxed up in the ‘hall,’ as there’s nowhere else. It makes me feel temporary, like I’m passing through, or as if I can never stick around.
A growing pile of papers, and general stuff waits menacingly at one end of my lounge/kitchen/diner/entire life. I know I have to clear it up, for the sake of my own sanity, but where will it go? It’s already moved once of its own accord, and now it’s looming over me. I shift it regularly from one room to the next, sorted, sifted and reduced, like a creeping glacier of filing with no place to be filed.
Society is increasingly acquisitive. We need little encouragement to accumulate huge amounts of general ephemera, even with nowhere to store it. Why do urban dwellers need less space? We are the big consumers, the generation with books, clothes, CD’s, kitchen gizmos, and piles of general things.
Could architects and developers please grasp this salient fact: if they persist in shrinking flats, we will have nowhere to spread out, inspect and air our lives. It’s sad, but in Dovecot Towers, a cargo cult has emerged. We dance wildly and sacrifice goats to honour the great God of MFI, hoping that - in His infinite mercy - He will send us manna, and cupboards.