Upsizing to a Two-Bedroom – The New York Times


That was in 2008, the year that the first storage unit came into their lives. Ms. Trivette rented a small one-bedroom on the Upper West Side, leaving many of her belongings in Albany.

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Ms. Trivette and Mr. Huth are both archivists, so their home is filled with books.

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Celeste Sloman for The New York Times

A series of moves later, she began to take decluttering very seriously. After the Upper West Side one-bedroom, she rented a spacious studio in Chelsea (closer to work), followed by a one-bedroom in Harlem (cheaper, though farther from work). Living there, she saved enough money for a down payment on a smaller studio in Chelsea.

“Organizing and controlling material is the essence of what I do,” she said. “Having all this personal material so cluttered and unorganized was difficult for me.”

There was, as well, the expectation that she would someday be joined by Mr. Huth and his miniature dachshund, Omar (who has since died).

But then she got a second storage unit, in North Carolina. Her mother, who was moving into a smaller home, wanted Ms. Trivette to take several pieces of heirloom furniture, including a 200-year-old footstool and a full bedroom set.

Mr. Huth had delayed a move waiting for his dream job to become available: chief records officer for the New York State Unified Court System. Given his specialized background, he felt he had a strong chance of landing it, but he had to wait for the man who held the position to retire, and then another year for the job to post.

Names: Karen Trivette and Geof Huth

Ages: 53 and 57Occupations: She is the archivist and special collections librarian at the Fashion Institute of Technology; he is chief records officer and law librarian for the New York State Unified Court system.Rent: $4,892 a monthThe first thing he thought when he took in the apartment’s view: “‘Wow!’ I turned around and saw Karen’s face, and I knew this was where we were going to live.”On displaying art: One of the best things about having more space, they agree, is that the walls can once again accommodate art instead of being used as a place to put storage furniture.On renting storage space: Insurance policies do not cover damage from clothing moths. Ironically, the only place where this was a problem — Manhattan — was also the only place that required insurance.On how they plan to collect and curate now that they finally have enough space for their current possessions: “Having moved so much and edited to the extent we did, I’ve exhausted that,” Ms. Trivette said. “I’ll probably still get rid of things, but I feel less pressure.” Mr. Huth said he still feels the pressure: “I have just enough space for the books.”

When he finally got the job offer, he donated his furniture and moved his possessions into yet another storage unit in the Albany area — the couple’s third. They soon realized that they would need a fourth unit, in New York — a place to keep off-season clothes and other items that they needed on a regular basis — if they were going to share a studio.

“I originally put the apartment on the market right away, because I thought the living situation couldn’t be sustained,” Ms. Trivette said. Her broker and real estate attorney, however, advised her to wait, so she did, for almost two years.

That, at least, gave them time to sort through all their storage units. “It got to be so long, I didn’t recall what I had in Albany,” said Ms. Trivette, who convinced the storage vendor to ship her two boxes at a time. Mr. Huth picked through his own boxes whenever he returned to Albany for work.

They found their two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, for which they pay $4,892 a month, on StreetEasy. They had hoped to rent in the Financial District or Chelsea so that one of them could walk to work, but apart from wanting a larger space they hadn’t had any specific requirements. That the apartment is on a high floor overlooking the harbor was a pleasant surprise.

“We didn’t think about a view, but then I said, ‘Wait a second, we could have a view?’” Ms. Trivette said.

“I always wanted to live up high,” Mr. Huth said.

“I was in a fifth-floor walk-up, and that’s the highest I’d gotten,” Ms. Trivette said.

“When you look up at night and see the moon, it’s so close, it’s kind of like being in the sky,” Mr. Huth marveled.

There are other advantages as well: The heirloom furniture now sees use every day, Mr. Huth’s beloved dictionary stand is back in play, and they no longer spend $400 a month on storage.

The downsides, such as they are, have been minor. “When we first moved in, it felt gigantic — it was so huge it felt disorienting,” Mr. Huth said, adding that the feeling has gone away. Mostly.

“It’s still strange that I can’t always hear Karen,” he said. “Sometimes I can’t tell if she’s in the apartment or not.”

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