If you asked me when I moved in to my apartment how long I would be there, I would have said a year, tops. I assumed this place was transitionary, and I’d either co-own or own my own digs within a year or so. Or at least move to a place with a balcony. Or maybe find some unmarried friends who would want to live with me. Three years later and I’m still in this weird little place. I’m certainly not complaining; I’ve grown to love it. It’s taught me a few things, too. Here comes a list!
10 Things I’ve Learned While Apartment Living
1. The walk from the car to apartment door (and vice versa) is the worst. There is so much potential for terribly awkward encounters (not to mention the horrendous smell). The thought of meeting someone I don’t know between my car and my home makes me uncomfortable. I’m also wary of the fact that since the yelling man in the scooter and the man with the walker who repeats the same story over and over and Penny the Cat Lady moved out, I have no idea who lives on my floor. I don’t go out of my way to avoid people, I just never see or hear anyone. Ghost floor?
2. Check the washers and dryers before you put anything inside. Once I found a mysterious comb in my pile of laundry and a huge chunk of someone else’s hair. Then there was that time I discovered a pen in the dryer only after it had ruined two loads of clothing. All of my undies have ink on them now. Sorry if that information caused you to stumble.
3. Don’t spend lots of money on window coverings. I put up temporary accordion folded paper blinds (for $11.00 each!) when I moved in, and they still work splendidly. I did have to add a roman blind in my bedroom to block the light from the car lot beside me, but even that was fairly inexpensive. Choose furniture and accessories that are inexpensive and easily altered for later living arrangements.
4. Organize everything. Seriously. You can find a home for everything, even in a small space. It’s good practise for later, when you may potentially have a bigger place to deal with. Make organizing a habit. If you haven’t used anything in the past year, give it away. You probably don’t need it. I sound like my mother.
5. Sometimes if you listen too closely at night, you can hear people peeing.
6. Say hello to people outside the building even if they are scary. They will sometimes hold the door for you when your hands are full. (Only sometimes)
7. Invite people over. It’s easy to isolate yourself and get really messy and disgusting. If you don’t want to be messy and disgusting, ask people to come over. It forces you to clean the place. Also, you won’t be living in your own filth or something like that. Whatever.
8. Plan grocery shopping trips strategically. Don’t get all the heavy stuff at once, or you’ll have to make multiple trips from car to apartment, which are the worst. Please refer to #1.
9. Don’t cook for one. It’s too difficult. Instead make enough food for 3 or 4 people. Eat leftovers the next day, or freeze it in lunch-sized portions for work.
10. Parrots make lovely downstairs neighbours.