Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Apartment Living Lessons

Apartment Living Lessons: life lessons from living in an apartment -

D and I have quite a big change ahead of us and because of this, I've recently been doing a bit of introspection. We bought our apartment, or flat as South Africans call it, in 2012 but only started living in it ourselves in March last 2014 and living in a block of flats has definitely come with its, um, experiences. 

I've learnt a few things in the year and a half that we've lived here, about myself, D and general living in a block of flats and I thought I'd share them with you.

1) I like my space - Not in terms of being away from D, but in terms of living so close to other people. Our walls are the good, old solid concrete walls which means they're seriously thick, but even still, we can hear enough of the people above us to know when the previous neighbours were having a massive argument from 1am to 5am. It also means we can hear our neighbours next to us when they do this horrific cough sneeze hack thing. It's disgusting. I'm looking forward to moving away from having our neighbours all up in our grill.

2) Groceries are a nightmare - We live on the 10th floor and because I work from home, I have the luxury of being able to go get groceries done during the day when I have a free moment and the shops are quieter. This also, unfortunately, means that I'm on my own when I need to get the groceries upstairs. Sure, we have lifts, but thanks to Eskom, I've had one horrible day where I had to carry all seven bags of groceries up 10 stories of stairs. Because loadshedding.

3) We like entertaining - We've always known this but living in a flat has amplified it by 100 times because we miss sitting outside on a summer evening and having a garden to braai in with friends. I've also been inspired to start my own veggie garden, which has been stunted by living on the 10th floor with no balcony. I excited for our own garden for us to enjoy mother nature with friends and family.

Exquisite views from our 10th floor apartment -

4) We're pet people - I grew up with dogs and D has also had his fair share of pets over the years so we've always considered ourselves pet people. But living in an apartment, especially one that is on the 10th floor, is not conducive to having animals, nor is it really fair. Now we've gotten to the point where we miss having animals, specifically a dog yorkie, so much, that every time we go for a walk in a nearby park and we see dogs, we get a serious case of the feels. We're definitely people who will have dogs as soon as we're in a bigger place with a garden!

5) If you want something done right, do it yourself - Living in a complex usually means having some kind of caretaker or maintenance person. This can work in your favour if the person is good at getting things done & getting them done properly. If said person isn't good at getting things done, you're in for a rough ride. The caretaker in our complex is nice enough, but doesn't seem to have a clue about prioritising, being bossy when he needs to be or taking responsibility. We've had episodes when our entire block was without water for just over a week because the pipes had broken. Granted this wasn't his fault, but his solution was to quick fix it now, even though the plumbing company said it was likely to happen again in a few years. Reactive maintenance instead of preventative maintenance. Living in your own place means fixing things the way you want them fixed when you want them fixed.

6) One word. Garage - D's become quite the handyman and he really just wants a place where he can build stuff, potter around and make a general mess without me bugging him about the mess. He made our coffee table and we had to go to my parents to use their garage because we don't have one. Our complex comes with garages but they're basically the price of a kidney and they're also not that big. I think we're both excited for a garage - I get awesome furniture handmade by my hubby, and D gets a pottering around space, win win really!

Homemade pallet coffee table -

Personally, I love that we had such a cute flat as our starting home as a married couple, and it's done its job well. It was the perfect size for newlyweds, but I think we're both ready to move on now. Big and better things!

If you're also staying in a flat and have experienced much the same drama, I'd love to know I'm not the only one! :)


  1. David said yesterday, while looking at a property billboard, "we could actually live in a 3 bedroom flat".

    I asked him if he was ok because surely he was hallucinating - 4 kids, a dog and our mini bus in a flat? Not anytime soon!

    1. Laura, don't do it!! 4 kids, a dog, 2 grown ups, and a mini bus will NEVER work! You will sign away your sanity!! I mean, I've got a little sanity left, and it's just me and my hubby! ;) xxx

  2. I always wondered who lives in those block of flats, now I know! What an awesome view! Great to meet you the other night too :)

    1. Ha ha it is indeed us! :) Next time you drive past, you should wave ha ha :D So great to meet you too! ♥ xxx

  3. For me personally, living in an apartment means discipline. There's a lot less space around and short of renting out a self storage unit, it's a good idea to make sure that your belongings are kept in reign so that the real estate you got doesn't get messy out of hand!