This Is How We Do It

Hi friends! It's been a hot minute. A BUSY hot minute. We've been working on getting a few transitions in our lil family's life up and running and hope to share more on those fronts soon. In the mean time, a post! (And yes, Michael and I so coolly kept singing "this is how we do it" while taking these pictures.)

We've now been in our apartment for two and a half years and in that time have figured out some ways around the inconveniences of living in an old building. It's cute, but not updated in most ways. I know that moving to, or even staying in the city can seem impossible when you may have to compromise on non-negotiables like laundry and air conditioning, but y'all, we see you. Our creative workarounds may not be the workarounds for you, but let's all think through these challenges together!

I will admit that I probably gawked at the lack of conveniences in our building when we were first looking for our apartment. But we wanted to be here, in this neighborhood. And, now almost 3 years ago, this area was not that renter-friendly. Buildings were often not kept up well, and there just wasn't that much available to rent when we were looking. So, without further ado: these are our unique city apartment challenges, and how we've learned to love them. ;)

1. No Washer or Dryer
We moved to this building when I was 6 months pregnant with Phineas, and Atticus was just over a year old. We spent our first few weeks here going to the laundromat, but transporting a baby-toddler and all of our laundry and soap, with a very pregnant belly and failing back was TOUGH. Plus, we knew that newborns have immediate laundry needs - you can't leave spit up and blow outs to be washed in a week if you just did your weekly laundry haul!

One of my favorite things about the old layout of our apartment is that the bathroom is a good size. It is our only bathroom (slash laundry room) so the fact that a few of us can be in there for tooth brushing, kiddie baths, etc. is definitely a plus. And, best of all, it can fit our portable washing machine.

When I say "portable" I do mean that you can store it somewhere and wheel it over to a sink when you need to use it (if you have it on casters), but ours stays put on the one side of our bathroom. It works by connecting the water hose to the sink faucet and turning it on, and situating the draining hose in the bathtub, then plugging it in. It doesn't have an agitator in it, just a basin. It fit's about a day's worth of our family's clothes in it, and we love it!

We ordered ours from Target, which came by way of free shipping, and we bought the warranty just to make sure it would last us. (The model we ordered is no longer available at Target, but we have the Haier Pulsator Washer - White HLP24E.) We've used it almost every day for now over 2 years (and some days ALL day when we need to catch up) and she's still kicking. (For anyone considering going this route, be sure you feed out all of the extra water from the drain hose! Or figure out a way to elevate it above the drain you're using.)

As for drying - we use this drying rack from Ikea. It fits 2-3 of our loads at a time. We usually have at least one standing fan on it, and Michael likes to also use a space heater next to the fan. Not so energy efficient, but very time efficient! I've actually like hang drying our clothes, I can tell that my shirts and sweaters are all lasting me much longer by not going in the dryer regularly. But, as soon as the opportunity presents itself, I will throw all of my clothes in any dryer without a second thought. :)

2. No Dishwasher
The solution for this one has been: Michael! He grew up in a house without a dishwasher so he is legit a master at hand washing dishes. I know he doesn't always love it, but we all are so grateful for his skill! The other solution is paper plates, bowls, and utensils.

Michael also installed this light over the sink for washing dishes. While I still haven't ever washed a dish as well as him, I at least now know that lighting is an important factor. ;)

3. No Air Conditioning
Did I mention how pregnant I was when we moved here? In the summertime? Whewww. That summer was definitely the hardest. Plus Atticus wanted to cuddle all the time which was great but also SO STINKING HOT. We ended up having a few air conditioning units given to us, but also, our apartment has a few bay windows. Even in the bedrooms, where there's not a full bay, the window is at a diagonal, which seems to lend itself to picking up breezes squeezing between the buildings. So before you rule out a place due to lack of AC, notice the window placements and angles! It may have way better circulation then you'd think.

4. Tiny Bedrooms
I mean, tiiiiiiiny. The walls of our bedrooms are all taller than they are wide, if that gives you any idea. Has anyone noticed how Michael's dresser is in our kitchen? Really, all of our belongings are outside of our rooms besides our beds, and we do have a small dresser in Phin's room and a small dresser in mine.

5. Lack of Additional Storage
Miraculously, our bedrooms do have closets. But we don't have any basement space for things like stored baby clothes and gear, Christmas decorations, or tools. These are all piled into the back of our bedroom closets, which are thankfully very tall! Not to sound like an Ikea ad, but if you're in an old building, consider going up with your storage. That floor to ceiling space can give you a lot to work with!

Everyone compromises on something to live in a city, but honestly, most of us are privileged enough to make the choice of what that will be. What have you chosen to give up, and how have you worked with that adjustment??


Popular Posts