Lessons From A summer Sublet

All packed up and ready to sublet!

All packed up and ready to sublet!

Hello dearest readers,

Kyle here to share some lessons from subletting my studio apartment for the months of July and August. With a typically-light client load during the summer months, Cary and I usually embrace the time off and take longer trips during this time.  This summer, with an extended east coast trip, a few weddings and parents that live nearby in the North Bay, I decided to sublet my apartment.  I had romantic notions about rural living outside the city, and I wanted to test this theory; I wanted to fully feel what it would be like to not have access to my apartment in the city.  

Here's what I learned:

1. It's Possible to find a great TENANT if you post early enough, and you create some meaning behind your listing

I was lucky to find a great sublet because I posted in April when organized people are looking for summer sublets, versus the last-minute types who are looking in June for a July apartment.  I found a wonderful student from Santa Barbara who was going to be in San Francisco for a summer internship.  After sharing with her the philosophy behind the design of my apartment, she was even more excited to live in and subsequently take care of my things. I returned to a pristine apartment with a thank you note, explaining how my space inspired her to pursue a life of minimalism back in Santa Barbara!  How amazing is that?!

2. OWNING fewer belongings made it super easy to make my apartment renter-ready

I packed up all my clothes, accessories, toiletries, bike, and camping gear, and sensitive items like my passport.  It took one trip in my car to bring my things to my parents house. I left my books and notebooks because they contained no huge, life-debilitating secrets that could potentially be divulged.

3. It's a satisfying reminder that one can easily live out of a duffle bag

While being in different places meant that the foods normally eat and recipes I regularly make were placed on the backburner (punny!), I found it was so easy to live out of a duffle bag. The little things that made a huge difference in my feeling more centered no matter where in the country I was -

  • my trusty, reusable Hydro Flask water bottle (16oz. I find is more portable than the larger sizes)
  • bags of Yogi Kombucha Green Tea (sounds weird; it's so good)
  • a clean wash cloth for my face to use when staying at a friend's or camping
  • a nice toiletries set to keep my skincare regime classy

4. After 2 months, I was ready to be back in THE CITY

During those two months I was mostly away, with the time in between trips spent at my parents' house.  It was wonderful to spend more time with my parents and enjoy the summer weather in the North Bay, as opposed to "Fogust" in San Francisco.  Although I ended up taking on more client sessions than I had planned - which reminded me of the disadvantages of commuting into the city.  While our client locations range all over the Bay Area, they are mostly in San Francisco.  And commuting to San Francisco from San Rafael did have an impact on me physically and mentally. After I returned to my apartment and hopped on my bicycle to get around the city, wow, was I out of "bike shape"!  While I hiked and stayed super active during the summer, I was not biking like I normally do and there was a notable difference.  After a week my body acclimated, but it was surprising nonetheless. 

Would I do it all over again next year?  Absolutely!  Summer is a wonderful time of year to be extra mobile and fly by the seat of your pants.  Would I do it for two full months?  I'll probably just stick to one :)