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I hear you like closets

May 6th, 2014 at 01:08 am

I guess if there is one thing I am known for around these parts, it would be my experiences with living in a closet. It certainly has exceeded my wildest expectations in terms of not just the execution, but also with the reception around here (and surprisingly positive ones at that).

However, have I actually shared pictures of my closet set up? I can't remember. Since you guys liked it so much, I decided to dig around and find a couple of pics for you to gawk at.

But before I share them, I just want to clarify that I actually extended it all the way out to my master bathroom... because I wanted an all-inclusive space that I could use my room AC and heater on. This means I could also shower, go to the bathroom, and so forth, without having to freeze or burn my butt off because the rest of the house is not typically climate controlled. That and I had to go through the master bathroom to get to the closet anyways, soooo, with that crazy idea in mind, here's the first picture:



Here, you can see my simple desk and laptop setup. At the time, I covered up the other master bathroom sink for more space for the second monitor, but I eventually removed that monitor as I didn't really need it and it was just generating extra heat. I mean it was useful for my stock trading and some video games, but I could live without it.

Behind the desk and laptop is the master bath that I never used. Instead, I placed my room AC and palm tree in there. Normally, when I run the AC, it creates waste water that would drain into a bin that I would periodically have to pick up and dump into the bathroom. However, with this setup, the water drained straight down the tube and into the tub's drain. Life couldn't be simpler.

I had a similar system going with the palm tree where any excess water simply drained down the tub, but I eventually learned that the leeched out dirt also made a mess I had to clean from time to time. Eventually, I just placed a drain pan under it and that solved that.



Here, you can actually see a small part of my closet setup, with my twin sized mattress taking up nearly all of the floor space inside.

Included in the pic is the "winter setup", where I had shower curtain rods going across the closet wall so I can prop up a heavy comforter like some kind of tent. The little kid in me looooved this, but the passive heating it provided also proved extremely effective. So much so that, I did not even have my room heater on for half the winter here. Bonus points that I didn't have to look at the clothes that were hanging right above me.

Well, I also had a sleeping bag in there, which is not shown in the picture. Sleeping bags are extremely effective at keeping me warm. In fact, it proved too much on the some of the warmer winter nights; the comforter tent alone was enough.

Also not shown is the small flashlight and a rig to hang my tablet inside one of the shower curtain rods that I used to surf the net or watch Netflix. I eventually stopped using the rig because I kept knocking my tablet off and have it hit my face. I should be sleeping anyways.

By now, you may be also wondering about why all the house plants. When you're in a confined space like this for an extended period of time, you start to believe that you may be hard of breathing, perhaps from a lack of oxygen. It's possible my mind was playing tricks on me as well, but I thought air quality was an entirely valid issue to look into.

So, I scoured the internet looking for more information, and came across some study from India about air quality and urban planning. According to that study, if you can get a certain number of hardy houseplants per person, you can completely recycle your own air 24/7. I decided to experiment with that as well, and the result is what you see in these pictures.

Now, even though this isn't the prettiest setup possible, I still think the result was stunning in terms of not just effectiveness, but also to some degree, aesthetics. I mean, I have always liked plants to begin with, and have you ever smelled Mother-in-laws at night? They have this amazing, subtle, sweet scent. And when I wake up, the light would shine past my palm, casting this amazing shadow on the wall, swaying from the window air or from my AC running. Big Grin

Last but not least, how could I post something like this without talking about some numbers? In the years before this, when I ran central heating and cooling, I was able to push down the average monthly price of electricity and gas to around, let's say from $200 a month to $100 a month. Now, for a 1200 square foot house, I think $100 a month is really quite good. However, when I went from central HVAC to the closet setup and using only my room AC and heater, the average monthly plummeted again from $100 a month to $50 a month. And that's also with me not caring about how much room AC and heating I wanted to use. I suppose I could push it down even more to perhaps $40 a month, but I just didn't want to sacrifice that much discomfort. All-in-all, the experiment worked out so well, I started to live like this year round without thinking twice.

And I would have continued to do so, except of course, I am now making plans to take all of the lessons I've learned here, and apply it into a living space that also happens to be mobile. Unlike the closet, which even though it sounds like such a quirky idea, I always knew it would work. Why wouldn't it? However, with a cargo van... there are some legitimately difficult challenges that needs to be surmounted here. Still, I am confident that I can make something work. I've seen others pull it off, and I am hoping to do the same.

2 Responses to “I hear you like closets”

  1. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Thanks for sharing BA! I'm wondering, did you leave the heat on for the whole house high enough to not have pipes freeze?

  2. Broken Arrow Says:

    Yes. In the winter time, I always have central heating on, but always set the thermostat at the lowest possible setting. It does skew the results in the coldest months, but I did add that portion into the average, and it still halved my costs.

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