With the move in progress, the kids and I visited Riley in Texas recently for a whole week. He has been in corporate housing (housing provided by his work until he gets more established), and will be for a couple more weeks.
This housing arrangement, while temporary, was a bit of a shock for me because it is a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment. There is no yard, there are people around us to be respectful of (tough to do with two little ones who enjoy running and hearing their voices at full volume), and not as much space.
While there can be benefits to apartment living (not having to worry when things break, for instance), our weeklong visit got me to thinking of ways in which my current simple living strategy would need to be modified for apartment dwellers, especially those with kids. The rest of this list will come next week!
Playing outside. We were lucky–the apartment we were at had both a balcony and a park within the complex. That said, it was very warm, wet, and mosquito-y during our time there, so we did not spend as much time outside as we ordinarily do. I can absolutely sympathize with those who cannot just open their back door and enjoy a backyard. Modification: We planned thirty minutes of outside time each day, and shared that expectation with the kids–a sort of accountability program. And we packed the bug spray, so no excuses!
Keeping stuff in check. Extra stuff takes on a whole new meaning when you have a smaller space. It enforces the “one in, one out” rule. Modification: There would be no room for error on this, if we were staying in an apartment for longer than a month: we would have to pare our possessions down even further, and keep them pared down. Honestly, this is something that we would benefit from, regardless of where we were moving to.
Groceries. I had to haul four days worth of groceries up three flights of stairs, with both kids in tow. That was enough of a feat in itself–I can’t imagine doing that with a couple of weeks worth of groceries. Modification: If I were staying in an apartment long-term, I would back off the “buy as much as you can to avoid shopping more often” rule, and would instead focus on saving money other ways, such as a store loyalty program or coupons.
Living in an apartment with kids for one week was a good lesson for me, and reminded me that everyone’s situation is different. What works for one person, may not work at all for the next. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!