From the moment humans make an appearance into this world they have to adapt. We have to learn how to adapt to our climates, our circumstances, and the challenges that we encounter on our individual journeys. We were born to adapt.
Living in a world made for the average 5-6 foot person, adaptations need to be made to do even the most basic things. Although after 27 years of adaptations, they don’t really feel like adaptations to me anymore. They’re just my everyday life, things that I don’t even notice, until someone else comes into my home.
For the most part our home is really livable without very many adaptations. We still store things up high in the closets, above our fridge, and on the very top shelf in the cupboards. However if a guest came over to cook in our kitchen, they may find things in different locations than where the average person would store said items. Below you will find a short tour of our home, with most of the adaptations we have made.
At first glance, our kitchen may not look any different, which it isn’t really. I just view the counters and stove at eye level so there are two stools that take primary residence in the kitchen. It’s sometimes a balancing act, kicking stools back and forth with hands full, going from the stove to the sink. It’s almost like a dance when Jeremy and I are both working in there at the same time, or when the dishwasher is open to add an extra obstacle. We have become experts at knowing where the other person is, where the stools are, and not tripping over anything.
Once you open the cupboards, that’s where strangers get lost in our kitchen. Things that we don’t use as often, such as some pots and pans, bake ware, etc. all get placed on the higher shelves, which is where others sometimes keep their food or dishes. We sort these items with what we use the most on the lowest shelf, to what we use maybe once a year at the very top. Those items on the very top shelf require climbing and standing on top of the counter to reach.
In our kitchen, we only have 2 cupboards that are down low. The first holds all of our appliances, and the second functions as our pantry. All of our food is down low and tucked away, as it’s less pretty to have out in the open. We then needed a location for our dishes to be accessible, so we use a bookshelf in order to display our dishes in our dining room.
My dream is to have a custom built kitchen when we have a house one day. One that has lower counters by about 8 inches with a counter top stove and lowered cabinets, eliminating the use of stools for everything. I can only imagine how lovely cooking would become when I can go from the stove to the sink, without even thinking or having to kick a stool across the room and having to climb up, although cooking currently gives me a killer glute workout.
Our Laundry Closet is my current favorite part of the house. Before owning front loaders, laundry was a hassle. Getting clothes out of a top-loading washer was a huge challenge when you have short arms. It usually involved standing on a stool or chair. When I would struggle to reach the sock at the very bottom of the washer, one would usually find me with my head and arms inside the washer, with my feet completely sticking up in the air. Sometimes long salad tongs would come to the rescue. But behold the invention of the front loaders. This was our big Christmas purchase last year and it has made a world of difference. Laundry is now easy.
In our bathroom, our townhouse has really high toilets, mostly because they are supposed to be wheelchair accessible. However, having short legs makes it more of a challenge to get onto the toilet, and dangling feet get uncomfortable when spending longer amounts of time bonding with the throne. Hence we acquired the “Squatty Potty.” Not only does it promote good posture, it makes climbing onto the porcelain throne that much easier!
Some people require stools to get into bed if it is up too high. At my in-laws house, the bed is higher and no matter how big of a running jump start I get, I just bounce backwards and can’t ever make it onto the bed. However our bed at home is only 2 feet off the ground, so stools become unnecessary. Our bedroom closet has two rows of rods for clothes, one level being at the perfect height of 3 feet off the ground. The things I don’t wear as often, I hang on the higher rod which is about 6 feet high. We also have longer chain extensions on our fans. The average fan chain is maybe 3-4 inches while ours are about 2 feet long. This only becomes a problem when average sized people come into our home and don’t watch where they are going. Only a few foreheads have collided with our pull chains.
For the most part, there aren’t really any other adaptations in our home, and even the ones we have are pretty basic. We have a 3-step stool that has become one of our greatest possessions and has come to the rescue many times. We indeed have a house of many stools, which is all we really need.