My Husband and I are Arguing Over a Printer in our Small Space

In the far right corner you can see our hunky printer on the floor

In the far right corner you can see our hunky printer on the floor

I shared the other day about a disagreement my husband and I are having in our small space. We have an old, large printer that we used to store under our couch. When we updated our couch (post with details here) we lost our sneaky hiding place and it ended up in our living room staring at me everyday, mocking me with it’s bulk and relative uselessness. See, we don’t print very often. I honestly can’t remember the last time we needed to print something. Maybe it was a government form or a coupon, either way it’s not something we do often and does not bring ease or joy to our lives.

I was ready to get rid of it. Trevor on the other hand argued that it was a working printer and we did use it a few times a year so we should keep it. We tried to find a place for it. But our few closets were maxed out with no extra floor space in them and the printer was too deep and heavy to put up high in a closet. We were at a stalemate. So I shared our dilemma on Instagram… not to publicly shame Trevor (I swear!) but instead to share that just because we have lived small and cooperatively for a long time, we still come up against some “things” that we aren’t on the same page about. I’m sure everyone can relate. And this is not the first item we haven’t agreed on. With marriage in a small space I don’t think it’s any different than marriage in a larger space but I do think your differences or disagreements end up front and center. If we had a bigger space and we disagreed about what to do with the printer, we could put it in the spare room or the basement and carry on. In this case it was taking up space in our carefully styled living room and confronting us with it’s reality everyday.

After the overwhelming online support to donate the printer, Trevor and I had another discussion about why we were hanging on to the printer. In our relationship, Trevor does a lot of the late night runs to the drugstore, grocery store etc when we are in a panic or forgot something. Whereas I do more of the day to day kid management, cleaning etc (not to say he doesn’t do a lot day to day as well). In this case, he knew that if we got rid of the printer it would fall on him to run to the late night printers and print whatever we needed. So our compromise is that if we donate the printer (what I want), I agree to be responsible for the few times a year we need to print. My goal is to plan ahead and print what we need at my work but if there happens to be an emergency printing situation, we live in the city so finding a 24 hour printer won’t be difficult. We also live 2 blocks from the library where I am told you can print for 20 cents a page!

I donated the printer last week to the highly recommended Free Geek who accepts electronics donations and refurbishes them. I didn’t want to burden anyone else with an old printer that might break or run out of toner soon. I know that Free Geek could also responsibly recycle it if needed. Oh and I did receive a few great tips on new modern printers that are much smaller. At this moment in time we really don’t print very much so investing in a smaller printer doesn’t make sense for us.

This printer isn’t the first item that has led to a disagreement over what stays and goes in our space. And I know it won’t be the last. And while these tiffs make me a bit crazy it’s the way I know to get to the root of why we keep certain things and let others go. Our small space may keep our possessions lean but we are still so privileged and want for little. If there is something taking up precious square footage in our home that could be replaced with a rental or service or simply doing without, that is something I am into. And honestly, Trevor usually is too, we just aren’t always on the exact same page at the exact same moment but we can get there with a bit of communication.

Another angle of our printer in the living room. This wall is a work in progress and I have been playing around with art layouts. (note: speakers under the cabinet while ugly bring us much happiness as they play the music from our record player. I’d love to find a solution to hide them while still getting clear sound, or alternatively replace with a prettier speaker…. one day).

Another angle of our printer in the living room. This wall is a work in progress and I have been playing around with art layouts. (note: speakers under the cabinet while ugly bring us much happiness as they play the music from our record player. I’d love to find a solution to hide them while still getting clear sound, or alternatively replace with a prettier speaker…. one day).