Put Me in Apartment Therapy

Put Me in Apartment Therapy

Next week I’ll be moving into an apartment.

My thoughts on the subject are ever so briefly summed up as, meh.

Here’s a brief list of things I enjoy about being a home owner:

  • Having a dog door
  • Singing as loud as I want whenever I want
  • Not renting
  • Painting the walls
  • Not paying $1 million dollars per bedroom
  • Not being in an apartment
My house before it got its current paint job
My house before it got its current paint job

Here’s a brief list of things my dogs enjoy about being a home owner:

  • Having all the hardwood floor/tile they want to puke on
  • Playing loudly in the morning and evening
  • Barking at strangers
  • Using their dog door
  • Playing in the back yard whenever they feel like it because they’re spoiled mofo dogs

So needless to say, we are not super excited. I’m viewing this place as an (expensive) place to park for a while. It’s newish, it’s safe and it should be very little trouble. It’s also about ten minutes from my job, so I’ll be able to go home at lunch to take care of the furbabies and I’ll be able to pick up Pascale after work and take her to the barn in the evenings. If nothing else, being able to ride my horse Monday – Friday is reason enough to move.

My experience renting in large apartment complexes has not been extensive. Tim and I always rented private homes from individual owners through Cragislist or MLS. That ended in some rather interesting landlord situations at times, but all in all we had great places to live.

College Apartment
College Apartment – It was never this clean again

In college, I rented a townhouse in an apartment complex with a friend. The place was dirty when we moved in and pretty banged up, but I loved living there. It was two stories, had a back patio with some wooded area and lots of space. That kind of floor plan/place doesn’t exist in Austin for anywhere near my price range… believe me, I checked!

The only other complex I lived in was a brief 4 month stay with Tim before we moved to Plymouth, MA for my job at SmartPak. I was super excited because it was the first home we officially shared together, but in all honestly it was a really shitty one bedroom apartment. The place always smelled like curry, which is delicious to eat but tiresome to smell every day.

The bedroom and living room were carpeted with brand new, cheap off-white carpet. I’m not a fan of carpet in any capacity, but Tim and I figured that our dogs were well house trained and we could keep anything nice for 6 months. However, the first night we gave Eliot & BT a “Greenie” dog chew before bed.

Now to give context to this story, Eliot is the best house trained dog I’ve ever had. He once drank too much water swimming earlier in the day, and when I neglected to take him outside because I didn’t realize how badly he needed to go… he jumped in the shower to urinate. I saw this with my own two eyes, and he had this look of “Sorry mom, but this is close right?” as he let loose. It is a dire situation if Eliot ever has an accident inside.

Anyway, the night of the Greenie chew Eliot woke us up at 3:00am with explosive green diarrhea all over the brand new place and the brand new carpet. We immediately sprang into emergency cleaning mode, but that kind of started that place off on the wrong foot.

College apartment after my husband threw a washing machine out the 2nd story window (true story)
College apartment after my husband threw a washing machine out the 2nd story window (true story)

As I get ready to move into my new place, I won’t be giving my dogs any strange chew toys. I’ll make it as homey as I can, but unlike previous places I’ve lived they’ll be no research for temporary wallpaper or “Tips to Make This Space Your Own!” It’s not my own. I’ll be just a visitor, but at the moment I think I’m okay with that.

24 thoughts on “Put Me in Apartment Therapy

  1. True story: I’ve lived in several different houses, but other than a cross country move as a young kid, I’ve never lived in an apartment. It seems almost glamorous to have someone else do the yard work.

    I’m sure the thrill wears off, but as a yardwork-hating-person (who doesn’t sing), there is an appeal.

  2. I’ve lived in tons of apartments with dogs (okay, two), but I also worked as a leasing agent for years. You’ll be fine. Make friends with the people in the office. Note: They almost always love dogs. Bring your rent up with your dogs and let them fawn over them. Let those people know your face and a little of your story and see how normal and friendly you are.

    That helps a ton.

    Leasing agents are always going to be friendlier/more willing to make concessions for people they have a connection with. That’s just how people work.

    Other things?
    1. Pets make mistakes. Even the best trained ones. Potty training won’t stop nervous vomiting or whatever. Spot Shot is the best carpet stuff in the world. Getcha some. (That plus OxyClean paste once got red wine out of my white carpet. Looooove!) Leasing agents expect this, which is why there is usually a pet deposit or something. As long as you make an effort to clean it up, they’ll appreciate it and not think you’re weird (You would be amazed at how many people will live with dog poop/urine on their floor and think nothing of it. I can’t even…)
    2. Noise happens. Get to know your neighbors if you can. Tell them you just moved from a house and why (if you want to/feel like you can) and that you want to make sure you aren’t bugging them. Give them your number to call you if they are having a problem with noise coming from your apartment. That usually lets people know you are responsible and care. It also helps to stop the passive aggressive calls to the police and management that can happen.
    3. Convenience and more riding time are going to make this so worth it.
    4. Put up some of those great drawings of yours and make that place your own, even if it isn’t design savvy. My advice is to hang something that makes you smile right by the door so it’s the first thing you see when you get in (besides the happy dog faces, obv!). That goes a long way towards making an apartment feel like somewhere you are happy to live.

    Finally, I think this is a great option. An apartment can make you feel like you are making a fresh start, and really piloting your own life. Embrace it, even all the little flaws and inevitable catastrophes. You can totally do this, and you totally deserve to live a great life just the way you want it. Who knows where a new move can lead, just keep your eyes on the life you want to live and keep striving for it. We’re all here rooting for you!


    1. Thank you! That’s a lot of excellent advice which I am going to listen to, because my normal inclination is to pretty much speak with people as little as possible 🙂 Being friendly will only help, because the reality is that the dogs will probably be a bit loud at first.

      1. Haha, yeah it’s my first inclination, too. Introverts! UNITE! 😉

        I remember in the first apartment I lived in with the dogs, I got in trouble with the neighbors almost immediately. I would brush my dog on the balcony, and his hair was escaping through the slats down to the neighbor’s patio (of course it did. All that hair cannot be contained!). They finally called the office to complain.

        The girls at the office were extremely friendly about it, and I think part of that is because they had met me and my dog and knew we were fairly normal and reasonable. I made sure to corral all the dog hair after that, and we didn’t have the same problem. Not all issues are that easy to resolve, but if you keep communicating most of them resolve.

  3. I admit, after spending 2-3 hours after work taking care of horses, fixing a gate, and installing a new over-range fan, having an apartment where I don’t have to worry about those things sounds SUPER appealing. I hope you love the new place and it provides a nice, stress-free option while you figure things out. Hugs!

  4. Totally worth it for ponies every day. TOTALLY! Plus, I get the feeling you’ll feel better about the whole thing once you’re settled.

  5. I second the comments above – apartment (or condo) living does have its perks! Something breaks? You make a phone call. Boom. You don’t have to fix it or pay for it. No yard work, no shoveling (if you live where it snows). You are literally just responsible for you and your pets.

    As for neighbors, I go by the philosophy of “Be friendly, but not familiar”. I smile, say hi, exchange pleasantries with my neighbors, but they’re not close friends. I like it that way.

  6. Condo/apartment living is pretty good. I love not having a lawn to mow or any kind of property upkeep. Having the gym downstairs is nice (not that I use it much. workout fail!). It would be nice to have a pool… although I probably wouldn’t use that either. lol. I agree with the above, def introduce yourself to the neighbors. It’ll make them way less ragey if the pups take some time to settle in. Congrats on your new apartment!

  7. Command strips are your friend! Put stuff up on the walls and don’t worry too much about small damage — apartment complexes budget for that sort of thing. And definitely don’t be too shy to talk to your neighbors, that’s the only thing that made our place tolerable (and the one thing I miss now)

  8. Having a safe and close place to live in this time sounds perfect.. then you can decide where to go from there when the time is right!! 🙂

  9. There were a lot of things I loved about living in an apartment! I’m sure that you will lots of nice perks as you move in. I hope the puppies are good for you and make the transition easier. I would definitely recommend unpacking as much as you can ASAP. I know it can be awful, but nothing makes me feel more at home than finding things where they are supposed to be.

  10. Here’s hoping you don’t get the person that yells “PRAISE SWEET BABY JESUS” every. single. morning. at. 4:00. AM. living directly above you. Or the dog hoarder that gives everybody else fleas. I didn’t really mind apartment living, and am technically still in an apartment-like situation. My parents own the house that I live in, and I can’t hardly even hang things on the walls without my mother freaking out about the plaster… I do miss somebody else worrying about the mowing and gardening!

  11. You’ll make it work. I think you’ve received some solid advice. If you end up loving the convenience, great, but if you hate it, that’s what makes apartments so fantastic. You can leave when you find something better. Good luck with the move. :0)

  12. Hope you enjoy your new space and make it your own. Apartment living has it’s perks. I despise lawn care so just having that done is something I really miss about having an apartment. Good luck in your move.

  13. I’ve only lived in apartments (aside from as a kid with my family of course). I would love to have a yard for Fred, but as I can barely keep an apartment clean I dread having a house. And I love having someone else come fix things when they break!

  14. i actually love apartment living – and the idea of committing to my own home is pretty overwhelming. of course i’ve had a very mutually satisfying lease in the same apartment for 7 years… and a very mutually satisfying lease on the same horse for 3 years, and it’s my understanding that these aren’t necessarily common things lol.

    in any case i wish you the best of luck on enjoying your ‘visit’ and that you and the pups are perfectly comfy and content for however long you are there 🙂

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