I absolutely adore my apartment.
Allow me to regale you with boring tales of apartments past. When I got married, we looked for apartments. I did internet searches and came up with a few, and I think we only went and saw one place, and we just said “Yeah, this will do,” and we moved in. And it was fine. But we needed more space because I was about to kill him with his stuff all over my stuff all over the place. So we moved — down the hall — into another (bigger, two bedroom) apartment. And it was still full of stuff, and there was still a mindset of “this is good enough,” but it wasn’t a minimalist’s “enough,” it was just laziness. That apartment was crap! The maintenance was terrible, the turnover in the office was enough to make you nervous, and the whole place looked like a prison from the outside.
When I moved, I shopped around. If there’s one thing I learned from my past, it’s not to be satisfied with the first thing that comes along that is “good enough.” Some things are worth waiting for the right match. I may or may not be talking about apartments.
I got it in my head that I wanted to move to Lakewood, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. It isn’t the closest place to my office, but it is reasonably close to my partner, and it has a nice community vibe to it, which I like. Plus, you can’t beat the deal I got on rent and utilities. The first place I looked at in Lakewood was a dump, and the landlady assured me I would get nothing better for the price. Challenge accepted, lady. I found a cute downstairs unit in a townhouse, but it was overpriced and sort of in disrepair. I got lucky on Craigslist and found a real gem of an apartment, which I moved into two weeks later!
Here are some reasons I love it:
- It’s compact and efficient. I can walk from one end to the other in sixteen steps. I only need one trash can, and I can keep my towels and linens in the living room closet — because they’re really not that far away from anything else.
- It’s green. My landlords outfitted the place with a low-flow toilet and compact fluorescent lights, so I conserve water and electricity. When I use it, that is — there are so many windows, I hardly have to use the lights!
- It has hardwood floors. They make me feel posh. Plus, I get by with a handheld vacuum cleaner and a dust mop.
- It has little storage space. This means I can’t clutter up closets with my ridiculous excess and just-in-cases. I have to keep myself accountable.
- It’s in Lakewood! Close to the West Side Market where I can buy local produce and delicious carbohydrate-filled goodies, city-wide recycling, people walking their dogs down the street, farmer’s market, and community activities!
- It’s one of four units above a storefront. The landlords own the building and work downstairs so maintenance is taken seriously. I have only three neighbors so it’s nice and quiet.
- It’s mine. For the first time in my life, I am not dependent on anyone. Not a husband. Not a parent. And that feels indescribably wonderful. Moving out of my mom’s house means less money to do fun stuff, because most of it is going to bills, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Does your home facilitate your minimalism?