Nine hundred square feet isn’t a lot of space when you’re used to something three times that size. But, that’s the predicament that we found ourselves in when we transferred from Atlanta to Dallas. Having been stung by the housing slump twice in three years, we decided not to buy a home right away in the Lone Star State. So, an apartment fit the bill just fine. The biggest adjustment has been trimming our lifestyle to fit our new space…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Here are the ways in which our manner of living has changed.
No more special hobbies. Since we no longer have the space or the yard to play in, the hobbies that interested us before have been put on hold. For example, I used to put my efforts (and money) towards gardening every time the season changed. But, apartment living sort of eliminates the whole flower bed concept, so I haven’t been able to keep up with that interest. Likewise, my husband was becoming quite adept at building furniture in the garage of our former home. But, half of those tools have been donated and the other half are sitting in my in-laws’ basement. We don’t have a garage any more, and there’s no room in our apartment for extra furniture, which brings me to my next point.
No more shopping sprees. This applies to anything and everything that we used to shop for. Like most people, our house was never exactly the way we wanted it. There were windows that needed drapes, walls that needed pictures, a back patio that needed furniture, the list goes on. We spent many a weekend on special “missions” to hunt down whatever it was that we decided we needed. But, with apartment living, there isn’t any space for anything. And, when I say anything, I go so far as to imply even clothes. The closet is only so big, and there’s just no extra room for a fabulous, ever-evolving wardrobe. When we do buy new clothes now, our rule is to get rid of something that we haven’t worn in a while. At this point, the only shopping “missions” that we go on are the ones that result in wishful thinking.
No more maintenance headaches. With a house, we had a lot to worry about: plantation shutters that needed replacing, air conditioners that couldn’t quite keep up, an exterior that needed a new paint job, a temperamental sprinkler system, aging appliances, you get the picture. But, these are all things that we don’t have to worry about anymore, from both a cost perspective and a stress viewpoint. When something goes wrong in our apartment, we put in a maintenance request and the thing is fixed within 48 hours. It doesn’t get any easier than that. So, our weekends can be spent doing whatever we want instead of waiting for a repairman to show up. And, our savings account stays intact because of it.
I am not in favor of a house over an apartment or the other way around. I think that both dwellings have good and bad qualities to them. I do know that we will buy a house again someday. And, when that happens, I will undoubtedly lament the ease of an apartment the way I currently yearn for the space of a house.