Friday, April 12, 2013

My New Apartment

I will be moving in two or three weeks.  I've been incredibly busy, getting started on packing and taking care of all the paperwork involved in getting my rent subsidized, as well as dealing with a lot of other crap that's going on in my life right now.  I'm kind of feeling excited about the move, or about the idea of living on my own, anyway.  But I'm also feeling overwhelmed with all the stuff I need to do.

I don't really like my new apartment.  Actually, when I first saw it, it was all I could do to keep from crying.

There are lots of good things about it:
  • I really like where it's located.  It's in a very small town about 40 miles northwest of Columbus, so it's within a reasonable driving distance of the city, with all that has to offer, but it's also out in the country, in the middle of Amish country, surrounded by small family farms.  It's only about ten minutes from the farm where I buy raw milk and free range eggs, and I just know that this summer I will be able to buy all kinds of wonderful organic local produce cheaply at roadside stands.  It's only about 15 minutes away from a reasonably-sized town that has Walmart and Meijer and all the typical restaurants and that sort of thing, and there is a nice dog park where I've taken Isaac a few times already about 15 minutes away, too.  So I like the location.
  • The rent is really affordable.  Not only that, but the rent includes all utilities.  So even when it's really cold in the winter, I will not have to worry about sky high heating bills.
  • And even though I don't have to pay for heating, I can adjust the heat in my apartment!  How cool is that?  The last time I lived in an apartment with free heat, it was free because there wasn't much of it.
  • There is an on-site laundry room.  Yeah, it would be even better if the apartment had a washer and dryer in it, but apartments in my price range aren't gonna have that.  But there is a laundry room on the first floor, so I won't have to drag my dirty clothes out to a laundromat.
  • It's a secure building.  The front entrance is locked and there is an intercom and buzzer so visitors can buzz me and I can let them in.
  • It's air conditioned.  I lived for a few years in Cincinnati in a townhouse with no air conditioning and believe me, it was miserable in the summer!  I love air conditioning.
  • It has lots of closet space.
  • The kitchen has a fair amount of counter space and lots of cabinets. 
  • There is an elevator.  My apartment is on the second floor, which is fine it's often actually quieter than being on the first floor, but I don't have to worry about carrying groceries and stuff up stairs.  They even have a grocery cart that they keep in the entryway that tenants can use to take groceries or other things upstairs.
  • The roof will not leak (it has been raining hard here all day and as I write this I am listening to the plop plop plop of my roof leaking into a bucket that is getting full pretty fast).
  • The toilet will not get clogged up every time I flush more than two squares of toilet paper (I am so sick of plunging my toilet!).
Here is what I don't like about it:
  • It's small.  Really small.  It's basically just two rooms, plus a bathroom (a pretty good-sized bathroom, actually) and a tiny kitchen.  I can't remember what they call it, but it's the kind of kitchen you can cook in but not eat it.  No room for a table in there.  So there is a bedroom and a combination living/dining room.  Except the living/dining room is so small, I don't know how you could fit a couch, a dining table, and other living room furniture in it.  I really don't.  There is an open counter area between the living/dining room and the kitchen and I plan to put a couple chairs there and eat at the counter.
  • The carpet is this really dark color.  I thought it was gray but the property manager tells me it's dark blue, like navy blue or something.  Who has navy blue carpet?  Or dark gray carpet, for that matter?  And it's "commercial grade" carpet.  More like something you'd expect to see in a store than a home.
  • It's handicapped accessible, which in theory I think is a fine thing.  I'm in favor of universal design, really.  But I don't like it.  I don't like the grab bars in the bathroom, for instance.  I don't need them and I think they are ugly.  I'm not sure why they bother me so much, but they do.
  • Because the whole building is designed for people with disabilities, they have these emergency pull cords in the bathroom and bedroom, like you see in nursing homes.  If you pull the cord here, though, instead of the nursing assistant coming in to see what you need, the life squad is dispatched.  I'm sure that comes in handy for some people, but it's another thing I don't need and I don't like it.  I think it looks unattractive.  That, plus the grab bars, makes my bathroom look like a bathroom in a nursing home, not an apartment.  I don't want to feel like I'm living in a nursing home.
I have some ideas of how I'm going to decorate to hopefully make it look and feel better to me.  I'll write about that later.


  1. Just reading over your list of plus/minuses, it seems like there are quite a few more pluses. The minuses seem more like cosmetic issues that I think someone as creative as you will be easily able to work with. Could you use a folding table for dining, one that you could put away when not in use? For the flooring, would it be possible to put down an inexpensive area rug in main living area? Maybe also one under the dining table as well. Buy a kick ass shower curtain to cover up those grab bars in the bathroom, maybe coil up the emergency pull cords and stash them behind a pretty picture or even a light switch cover - you can buy or make a pretty hand painted one to go with whatever colors you choose. I'm really excited for you to have this fresh start, and I know it must seem overwhelming to have to accomplish so much in such a short time. But you will get there, and it'll be the best looking apartment in the complex!

    1. Ooh, a light switch cover is a GREAT idea to hide the emergency pull cords! I've seen really pretty ones before, although offhand I can't remember where. But I'm sure I can find a couple, or I can buy a couple cheap plain ones and paint them myself. I love that idea! Thanks for suggesting it!

      I probably will get cheap area rugs for the floors. Actually, I have a hooked rug I'm making that I've been working on forever. Well, I was working on it, then I kind of go bored so I haven't been working on it much lately. But it's more than halfway finished and it's pretty big. I was wishing I'd made it smaller because then it wouldn't be taking me so long to get it done. But anyway, it would look good in the living room if I ever get it done, and maybe this will give me an incentive to finish it.

      I hadn't thought about how a shower curtain will hide the grab bars in the tub, but of course it will. It won't hide the ones by the toilet, but at least it will hide the ones in the tub.

      And I really don't need a dining table. It's just going to be me there. When I'm by myself, I usually don't even eat at the table, I eat on my couch. I will have a couple chairs at the counter to use if I have a guest or two, but it's not like I entertain often. And I've served guests dinner on my couch or at my coffee table before. Once I served Thanksgiving dinner to five people on my living room floor because I had a small kitchen table and not enough chairs!

      I have some artwork I really like for the walls, including drawings of Cayenne and my cat Eileen that died several years ago, done by a friend of mine. I want to get her to make one of Isaac, too. I need to call her about that. I made curtains for the living room and bedroom and I really like them. I'm thinking it will be OK.