7 Struggles Of Small-Apartment Living That Are So Sad They're Funny

by Erica Haye

Before moving to the city, we all knew the sacrifices we would be making.

We would trade in our comfortable lives in spacious houses with multiple bedrooms, closets and a garage for small, uptown apartments.

Like, very small. You never know what you’re in for until you’re in it.

The good still outweighs the bad, but sometimes it’s hard not to ignore these few glitches:

1. You know your neighbors without really knowing them.

I know the guy who resides on the other side of our bedroom wall is in his early 20s, wears boat shoes and was once in a fraternity.

He has a girlfriend who visits on the occasional weekend, and his favorite thing to do at 3 am is binge watch television reruns.

I know the lady above us has a closet full of high heels and is a clean freak who vacuums her entire place every single day.

I also know she has a small, energetic dog who loves to run the entire length of her apartment throughout the night.

I know the man down the hall has had a bad cold for the past month and obviously refuses to go to the doctor.

And the ladies across the hall have an intense shopping addiction. I know so much about their lives, yet I would never knock on their doors and ask to borrow milk because I have yet to ever meet or see

2. Doing laundry has become a competitive sport.

Laundry day has never been so intense. There are two washing machines and two dryers for our two entire apartment buildings. With so many tenants and so few machines, I’ve learned it's helpful to come up with a strategy.

Most of the people leave early in the morning and come back between 5 and 7 pm, leaving the day times relatively free.

However, be wary of the ones who either don’t work or have night jobs. I would never attempt to do laundry on the weekends unless it’s a really nice day out and you know people aren't staying inside to wash their clothes.

My experience has left me to believe Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the daytime are the best hours. I’ve only had one other interaction with a fellow launderer during these times. Best of luck!

3. Your apartment gets really messy, really fast.

It’s not that you’ve become sloppier, it’s just that the ratio of stuff to space is way uneven. Having a lot of “stuff” in a small space can automatically make it look crowded and cluttered.

You have to stay on top of your sh*t. Don’t let anything wander out of its spot for too long, or your place will look like a bomb went off.

That being said, not a day goes by when you won’t find yourself tidying up. But, I guess it’s a good habit to get into.

4. You will constantly get “buzzed” for other people’s stuff.

The mailman comes at least once a day, and then you have UPS and FedEx. Then you have the delivery people.

You’ll find they are the buzzer culprits most of the time since everyone in your building seems to order takeout.

Then, you have the visitors trying to find their friend’s door. And, if you live on the first floor with a window facing the street like I do, you better keep your blinds closed because they will know you are there.

They will not stop until you get up off the couch and buzz them in. It’s exhausting.

5. You’re forced to get creative.

Living in small spaces means you think of dual purposes for everything, and I mean everything. Nothing in your apartment is acceptable unless it serves multiple purposes.

Our counter is not only our counter, but it is also our ironing board station. The window sill acts as a shelf. The ottoman acts as a computer desk.

The coffee table acts as the dinner table. The night table acts as the vanity. The space behind the bedroom door acts as a hamper, and so on. It all works out quite nicely.

6. It’s hard to ignore someone with only two rooms.

When you and your significant other, roommate or whomever are fighting, it’s pretty impossible to stay clear of each other.

You can lock yourself in the bedroom, but since that’s the place where most of the storage and the bed is, the other person is going to have to get in at some point. You can lock yourself in the bathroom, but this is probably the worst place because we’ve all got to go at some point.

Or, you can stay in the kitchen or living room area and sit in the awkward silence, just a few feet away from one another.

You bump into them as you make your way to the fridge, and you bump into them as you make your way to the bed.

It’s just not the ideal space when you’re trying to stay mad at someone. *Sigh*

7. Entertaining guests is truly entertaining.

You never actually invite people to come hang out at your place. You’ll insist on going out to lunch or to meet in Central Park. You’ll offer any other place beside your own for gatherings.

To have people over for dinner, wine, game night or whatever is a no-no. It’s a near nightmare if it’s a group of people bigger than four.

Even then, it’s only comfortable if everyone remains seated at all times.

My two parents, three sisters, two nieces and best friend all came up to visit me for the day. We had to pull the couch out to make it a bed just so we could all fit.

Still, my dad was on the ottoman, my sister was on a corner chair, and I believe someone was on the floor. Getting up or moving around was only allowed for completely necessary reasons.

Only do this with people you are very comfortable with because there will be a lot of bumping and rubbing against.

You’ve been warned.