Living in a government controlled low rent housing is a PAIN! Last month I had to go through all my financial stuff and report my income from last year and if anything will change for this year, plus send in copies of last bank and financial statements. That will have to be done every year to re-qualify for the low rent.
The management and a government safety inspector will come around every year to inspect the unit. Not every unit will be done every year, but I just KNEW I would be picked this time. At least they let you know about week in advance when they will be here. And yesterday was the day.
Sure enough, there were several people who came to my door. I did have the house presentable, in fact they were very impressed and complimentary. All in all, they were very nice people. But I was more nervous about the possibility of them coming here than I was for any of my surgeries!
One thing that made me nervous was something stated in the letter that said at least one window in every room can not be blocked by anything, and that includes headboards. I knew I was in trouble. The only way we could get my bedroom furniture in the room was to put the bed in front of the only window, and it is a little too tall, by about 2 1/2 feet. And yes, they said I had to remove it. I told them this was the set my husband bought when we got married and I hate to get rid of it. The lady from management said they would see if they could come up with something after they had looked at the other units, and they couldn't do any better than we did.
She suggested taking the hutch off the top of the dresser and putting in the closet. Sure. First of all there would be very little room left for hanging clothes. And, they would have to remove the sliding doors of the closet to get the long thing in there. That doesn't work for me! So the maintenance man and one of the management men went to work and took the headboard off the frame for me. I was very thankful for that! It wasn't an easy job for them. And there wasn't much room to take the bookcase headboard out of the room but they made it. Then there was the problem of where to go with it since the other bedroom is full and would have the same problem of ending up in front of the one window. I finally decided to put it on the long wall of the hallway. It may become a permanent fixture there as it does fit very nicely. It is a good thing the hallway is very wide.
I don't think any of my kids can use the headboard so might have to try selling it but doubt I could get enough for it. It is a beautiful piece and useful as I had books in it, as well as the reading light set on the top. At one time I had the radio in it too, along with tissue box, jar of cough drops, and dust. There are two doors behind the pillows that drop down and I stored all the extra sheets and pillow cases plus a blanket. I guess I can put the books and linens back in there while it is in the hall since I don't have room for any more books on my bookshelves.
The next problem was where to put the reading light where it would be most effective. Having it on top of the headboard behind my head was the perfect place for bedtime reading. I do have a bedside table but it is small and really had enough stuff on it already, plus it is much lower than the headboard. I ended up putting a few thick books under the light and that works okay but not ideal.
Another problem . . . . with no headboard the pillows end up either falling down between bed and wall, or being pushed into the blinds since the window comes all the way down to the top of the mattress. That makes it difficult to put any kind of headboard there, even if it is low. The only advantage of having the headboard gone is that I now have 10 more inches of walking space in the room.
In the other bedroom I had a small student desk that I use for sewing in front of that window. I did have room to move it a few inches to the right so the window is accessible enough, but now can't fully open the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet all the way. They did okay that and thank goodness because I have nowhere else to go with it. I will be moving it back over until next year when they inspect again. ;o) The desk isn't as high as the headboard so does not block as much of the window anyway.
The letter of pending inspection said the safety inspector would only be checking the furnace closet as we cannot have any personal items in there. I did keep my broom and swiffer in a corner of that closet but took them out the day before. The other thing they would be checking is all the smoke alarms. But then he opened all the doors, checked all the outlets, opened the back door to the patio, which I have not cleaned off and rearranged things from winter but at least could get out the door in an emergency.
I had the foresight to straighten up the garage the day before. The letter did not say they would be going into the garage, but just in case. . . . and the lady from management did go out there. She wanted to check the breaker box. I had removed the large bag of plastic shopping bags that are to go back to a store for recycling by putting it in the front seat of the van so that I remember to take them along on the next trip.
Before I went to my oncologist checkup April 24 I cleaned a few things in the van that I had over the winter and they were sitting not far from the interior garage door, waiting to go into the garage storage room. I have a large plastic tote that I keep extra blankets and other things in case I got stuck in the winter. I also had a plastic cat litter pail with ice melt in it, a small floor vac and a few other odds and ends. Now they are where they are supposed to be. I also have a small cart to put shopping bags in when I get home from shopping so I can get them into the house in fewer trips. I always keep that right outside the door where there isn't much room, but I moved that along the side wall, out of the way. The only thing she commented on is a couple of empty boxes below the breaker box. They are not blocking the box and still easy to get to it, but she was concerned I would trip over them if the power was out and it was totally dark while trying to find the box, saying that a flashlight never seems to be available, but I showed her where I always keep mine handy and I always know where it is. It is on the counter and not in a drawer. But I will go out and move them over a few inches like she said.
They were all impressed with unit as a whole, including how nice I had it looking. The safety inspector also complimented on good everything looked and asked if he could take a few pictures. I had no problem with that. I think he mostly took pictures of the kitchen area.
So the first inspection is over and I can relax for another year!