Monday, March 3, 2014

6 Benefits of "Apartment Living"

My husband and I have lived in two different apartments in the 4.5 years we have been married. We have loved both but have recently started feeling ready to "move up" in the world and into a house. I'm not sure what exactly the catalyst was that pushed us over the edge, but the desire has been growing stronger and stronger all the time.

Perhaps it's just the feeling that we are getting to "that point" in our lives. 
Perhaps it's my desire to expand our family... by getting a puppy (sorry Mom, no baby yet...). 
Perhaps it's the idea of hosting a big family holiday event in our home.
Perhaps it's the notion of decking out an entire house in Pinterest-y crafts 
Perhaps it's our neighbor's need to serenade us with his thundering rap music every day and night.    

Or maybe it's a combination of all of those things, mixed in with a plethora of other miscellaneous reasons.

Regardless, Hubby and I spent our Saturday townhouse hunting. It was a Goldilocks-type adventure, with homes that were too old, too cramped, or too expensive. Unfortunately, unlike Goldilocks, who eventually found a place to lay her head that was "just right," we did not have such success.

At first, I was feeling a bit discouraged, but I then realized how many reasons I have to be thankful and what a wonderful home we really do have. We are so unbelievably fortunate and I can truly say that we have been blessed beyond belief.

It could be years before we move into a house and if it takes that long, that is totally fine! I honestly have more than I could ever deserve (material and immaterial).

So, in the spirit of being thankful for what I have and blooming where I'm planted, here are 6 Benefits of Apartment Living:

(*Disclaimer* Most of these are intended to be somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I by no means think that my reasons to be thankful are limited to the things listed below.)

It saves time. 
Living in a smaller space definitely saves time when it comes to cleaning. I can vacuum every carpet in our apartment in just under 15 minutes. Add sweeping/mopping the tile floors and I'm still not at more than a half hour. I can do a full-blown "my-mom-is-coming-to-visit" style cleaning in about four hours (does anyone else have a separate level of "clean" reserved only for when your mother visits?). I've never timed my cleaning of a house, but I'm sure it would take a lot longer!

We don't pay for heat in our apartment, so I feel the freedom to crank up the thermostat as high as my heart desires. Due to my extreme frugality, if my husband and I were spending our hard-earned money to pay for a heating bill, our apartment would probably be unbearably cold. Right now, it's 20 degree outside but 74 in my living room and I am loving it. :)

It saves money. 
At about 900 square feet, our apartment is small enough that it keeps our electric bill really low. I was recently talking to a friend who paid over $200 last month for their electric bill! Yikes! I almost choked on my food when he told me that. I'm quite content with our $27 AEP bill.

Repairs are a breeze. 
Fridge making an annoying rattling noise? Loose handle on the tub faucet? Dishwasher needs to be fixed? No problem. Fill out a little pink slip, drop it off at the rental office, and within 24 hours all of my maintenance needs have been no extra cost to me. That's my kind of home repair.

Improved upper body strength.
Since moving into an apartment, I have perfected the skill of hauling an entire load of groceries from the car to the apartment in one trip. I'm sure this is quite the sight for the random onlooker. For some reason, I have an extreme aversion to making multiple trips from the parking lot to our apartment, so I have learned to hang about $75 worth of groceries off of my arms all at the same time. I have to believe that this is good for my upper body strength, and since I do nothing else to exercise my arms, I am choosing to count this as a benefit of apartment living.  :)

It prevents excessive accumulation of "stuff." 
Both my husband and I detest having lots of extra "stuff." "Clutter" might have 7 letters, but it's a 4-letter word in this family. If I don't have somewhere specific to put something or a way to use it, I'd rather not have it. Living in a place with limited storage space has magnified this trait in both of us. I love a good garage sale but seldom buy things for lack of  a place to put them.

I could go on, but the moral of the story is that I want to choose to be thankful and content. A "grass is always greener" mentality is no way to live. So, the next time I start hearing Eminem blasting through the walls of our apartment, I'm going to remember all of the wonderful things I have. And maybe I'll just go buy some earplugs.