life in a tiny apartment.

October 3, 2012

Tip #33: 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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  • Reply Callie Grayson October 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Great post! I have a tiny house and I agree investing in a great mat is very good for keeping dirt out. I also have one right inside my door since I come in directly from the outside. Winter is the worst with all the salt and slush

  • Reply J+H @ Beyond The Stoop October 3, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    also, get rid of carpet! it doesn't belong in a small place! or ANY place for that matter! and take your shoes off at the door (do you know how many dogs, drunks, and homeless relieve themselves on those sidewalks!? gross!)

    we ripped up the carpet in our apartment as soon as we got in, and came up with a HUGE pile of dirt, and that was after trying to keep the dirt INSIDE the rolled up carpet… see here:

    take off your shoes, peeps.


  • Reply Tidy-Up Gal October 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    My OCD is driving me to build shoe storage next to the front door. J+H, you hit the nail on the head re all the stuff that you step on with your shoes throughout the day. I try not to think about it, but it's disgusting! Bleh!

  • Reply Lauren October 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    Good post, living in a tiny apartment can be done tough but it can be done!

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