Tip #138: Keep a drop cloth hanging around.
There were five times in the past month when I’ve wanted to ball up our canvas drop cloth and leave it curbside in hopes of never seeing it again. Cumbersome to fold, heavy to maneuver, monopolizer of space in the precious “linen closet,” I’ve wanted to say enough is enough: goodbye.
But I’ve kept it. Here’s why:
It makes our little place just a little bigger. When you’re on the top floor of a building in the middle of a busy city and when you don’t have any outdoor space to speak of, you have to get creative. Embarking on a project of almost any scale in a small apartment can feel like a fool’s errand. Apartment dwellers often lack the space—and the tools—to properly tackle a project from start to finish. Bathtubs and fire escapes and, in a pinch, the illegally accessed roof become places to attempt messy projects. Barring those options, a drop cloth is a handy thing to have.
When I’ve painted a dresser, or scrubbed down a stinky cot, or, in a particularly sleep-deprived moment, taken on an assignment to weave my own (expletive) doormat, I’ve relied on my trusty drop cloth to get the job done. A clean drop cloth tossed on the floor can transform your apartment into a mini workshop. Like keeping a well-stocked toolbox, having a drop cloth hanging around is a nod toward your own ability to get shit done or tackle a messy project.
On Sunday morning, our drop cloth served as backdrop for spring planting. We hauled our pots in from the windowsill, we pulled our bucket of soil out of the bottom of the linen closet, we let Faye go at it in a gigantic pile of dirt. All thanks goes to the drop cloth (and to James for picking up the fresh herb starts in the first place).
I’ve been on something of a project mission around this place lately and despite all of my wishing it away, I’ve been pretty pleased with my little drop cloth. So, here’s a little encouragement to a keep a drop cloth kicking around, just in case you need to flex your muscles or get dirty or work on something using your own two hands.
Tiny apartment survival tips #1 – #137, right this way.