< two fifty: life in a tiny apartment.

Leave the dirt somewhere else.

Here's the thing with tiny apartment tips: most of them are the same tips you need for life in roomier apartments, the impact just gets magnified by the smallness of the space.

When we first moved into this building, the hallway floors were covered in cracked industrial tile. If I knew my mid-century cheap home repair materials better, I'd have the name for you. Alas, alack. A few months later, the landlord covered the tile with hardwood flooring. La classe, I know. We'll try not to think too much about how much virgin forest was destroyed on our behalf and instead turn out thoughts to the more pressing matters of keeping our tiny apartments tidy. {That's a joke. I really do care about the decimation of the globe's trees, but we have to chat about that some other time. OK?}.

Apartment hallways are usually dreary places. The lighting is bad, the dog hair floats in clumps, that one neighbor perfumes the joint with her takeout containers. Even a gleaming new hardword floor doesn't really make things shine. I try to be a good neighbor, and I like coming home to a clean building, but I subscribe to the theory that apartment hallways are places for leaving dirt behind (take-out containers excluded).

It seems obvious, but the tip is this: invest in a doormat that you keep outside your door. If, one day, you have particularly muddy or wet shoes, and if your neighbors have even a small threshhold for seeing them in the hallway, leave them outside. If only for a few hours. The less dirt you track into your tiny spot, the better. If you're feeling generous, the next time you vacuum, give a sweep or two in the hall outside your apartment and call it even.
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