So, we’re exactly six weeks into 52-weeks of apartment living. Everyone snickers when they ask us how we are doing. Depending on who you ask, you’ll get a different answer, but here’s the rundown.
1. Seven people in 1,300 square feet is tight, but doable. I have a friend with a family of nine living in 800 square feet. No joke. When the weather is nice, she puts them outside and locks the door. Living in the country makes that possible. We don’t live in the country. Putting them outside unsupervised means putting them on a 10×5 patio. You should see them try to ride bikes. When the weather gets nicer here (and when our schedule lets up some), we’ll know every park in town.
2. The worst thing about an apartment is that there is no storage. I mean NO storage. Our particular apartment is handicap accessible, so all the closet shelves are about waist height. We lose the floor space to put our shoes and other odds and ends because all our clothes drag the floor. Awkward.
3. There isn’t a lot of privacy, however our apartment is surprisingly quiet. Our upstairs neighbor has a dog who barks a lot, but we had that in our house. Yes, we hear them walking around, but it’s background noise most of the time. We make plenty of our own background noise. So, we can’t complain much about that.
4. I’ve become surprisingly competitive about parking. There are 12 apartments in our building and eight spaces in front of our building. It’s not that big a deal to park around the side or across the drive, but I feel strangely triumphant when I score my favorite spot right in front of our apartment.
5. Cleaning a small space is a breeze. We spent six+ hours a week cleaning our previous house. The kitchen tile was white and needed daily sweeping and spot mopping. I must have been on crack when I picked it out. I will never EVER have white floors again. We now spend maybe two hours a week cleaning. One hour on Saturday doing a whole apartment sweep to reorganize, vacuum, mop, and clean bathrooms. The rest of the time is divided daily just picking up and vacuuming around the table. How can kids make such a mess?
6. No yard to mow. No HOA to contend with. The apartment management came across very surly when we were signing the papers about how particular they were on what is put out on the balcony, etc., but so far they haven’t enforced their so-called policies. The girls’ bikes are on the balcony, and no one has complained. On a side note, I don’t know if I want to live in a neighborhood again because of the way HOAs treat homeowners. They seem to forget that people own their homes and feel they can enforce and fine at will some of the most inane rules. I am by nature a rule-follower, but HOAs seriously twist my nose.
7. It’s not a home, but it’s a place to live. With electricity and running water. I tell the girls that we are redefining home. It’s not always a physical location, but rather any place where we are all together.
So, that’s it for now. A list of pros and cons. This isn’t where we want to be forever, but it’s working for now.