Apartment Living Etiquette for Dummies

Our apartment complex is very green. In between each building we’ve got sprawling lawns and wooded areas, great for dog walking (and there are many around these parts). It’s a family friendly place, and it just so happens that it’s basically me and N and 200 Indian families. That’s no exaggeration. I may be the only white girl in this apartment complex. My only beef (terrible choice of expression with this crowd) with this is that the whole place smells like curry and, as a lover of Indian food, it’s torture walking around our apartments around dinnertime. Someone invite me over, please!?

Last Thursday I came home from work to find N walking Archie, surrounded by no less than 10 children. N gets home at 4:45, peak play hour for the kids of our complex. They’ve become quite popular since we moved in two months ago. The kids are all infatuated with Archie and N was trying to keep him from knocking them over like bowling pins. They hesitate to pet him, then lurch forward to pat his fluffy head, then get scared and pull back, shrieking with excitement. This only gets Archie more riled up as he darts from kid to kid, wrapping N in his leash trap of death in the process.

This is all fine and good. I want Archie to get used to kids because in his lifetime, we’ll have them. My hope is that by the time we do that he’s calmed down a bit but either way, these kids are great practice.

So eventually we settle in for the evening and Archie is catching some zzz’s while we watch TV. Suddenly a cluster of kids appear at our slider knocking on the glass. Umm what now? I crack open the glass…”Is Archie here?” No, I’m sorry kid, Archie joined a street gang and now he’s out getting tattoos, racketeering, and generally being a hooligan. We are both clearly home, where else would he be? Instead I said “Yes, he’s here, but now really isn’t a good time. Maybe another day?” The kids slumped off sadly and left me to feel guilty about my un-fun Mom status.

But here’s the bigger question: at what point do kids learn proper apartment etiquette? I thought it was a generally accepted rule in apartments that even if someone has their blinds open, you don’t just glare into their home. And you definitely don’t just walk up and start knocking.

Other proper apartment etiquette includes:

1. Switch your laundry in a reasonable amount of time. Laundry hogs suck.
2. Pick up your dog doo. Duh.
3. Be friendly and learn some names. Smile at people. If you are drinking on your patio and start a nice chat, offer your neighbor a beer.
4. If you are going to smoke weed and stink up the whole place, at least invite your neighbors over occasionally Febreeze the hallways or something.

Pretty much common sense, right? But at this point I think we’ve set the precedent for friendliness and chances are, the kids will be back. What can I say? Archie is just a popular kid.

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  • Liz

    My mom was telling me a similar story — there are two kids who just moved in next door and after one initial meet-and-greet / welcome to the neighborhood, they’ve kind of just been inviting themselves over — there’s a line people!

    xo, Liz
    {What Dress Code?}

  • Some parents don’t ever teach their children when to give other people some privacy, in my neighborhood growing up there would be kids knocking on our door until 10:30 at night…which seems pretty late in my opinion!
    Archie is pretty cute though sooo I can’t say I blame them/

  • Love these tips… sharing is caring (in the case of beer).
    x

  • My pawpaw told me years ago, ‘Common sense is not common’. I can’t tell you the idiotic stupid stuff that goes on in my complex. Their parents need to teach them. For example. No my daughter will not be coming out to play at 845pm on a school night, further more why aren’t you in BED!

  • Haha I just died at number 4!

  • dying at these. not going to lie, i would totally ask if archie could come play. but i would come with food and drinks and dog treats.

  • Dying at that last comment. How rude! Parents don’t teach their kids anything these days unless it includes turning on the TV and googling how to be extremely annoying.

    XOXO Fal
    Falfindshappiness.blogspot.com

  • The same thing happens in neighborhoods as well! 😛 We go to my parent’s house every Sunday and the neighbor kids will hop the fence and start playing with Howie. Which is fine because he loves kids more than he loves other dogs, but they are overwhelming, and they don’t even ask. My parent have had neighbors like this before, but their kids were sweet and the parents always felt bad when they’d find out their children were in our yard. These parents don’t care. I had my friends over in my parent’s back yard (since we didn’t have one) for a barbecue one night and the kids came over and just started hanging out around our table and stuff. I was kind of rude and made them leave, I was like, “We’re having a party right now, so I need you to go home.” 😛

  • Ok here is what you do to the laundry hogs (I used to do this all of the time in college)- take out the laundry in the machine in which you need to use, dump clothes on top of the machine, insert your clothes and start the dryer! Boom. Problem solved.
    I can’t get over how cute this post is. “Is Archie home?” hahaha too cute.

  • I’m laughing that they came over and asked if the dog could come out and play.

  • This is hilarious. The etiquette guidelines applies no matter where you live.

    And, I too have had to turn away kids wanting to play with Chip or Daisy. We live in the boonies and the kids sit (yes, sit) in the streets, along with playing basketball/football. Breaks my heart but they’re too young to understand the consequences of either dog running loose (off-leash citation or a tragedy with a vehicle running them over) or if they annoy the Bejesus out of the dog and they get snappy.

  • hahaha ohhh I miss living in an apartment complex and don’t miss living in an apartment complex all at the same time!

  • So I’m gonna go ahead and say that….

    1. the parents of those kids have heard “can we go play with Archie” about a billion times a day since they met your cute pooch, and at some point their sanity became more important than good manners, which is why they are now knocking on your door.

    2. Or their parents are the beer swilling pot heads who are not sharing the fun, and they don’t care what there kids are doin, as long as they are quiet.

  • I mean, look at that face… How could they not!? Just kidding. I’m completely guilty of hiding when people come to my door… Even with the windows open. What??

  • I hate children. I would have told them to get lost or archie will bite their faces off next time.

  • bahahaaa. Wow. creepy. cute, but creepy.

  • i find people in apartments are less friendly than house neighbors. or at least that’s been my experience. but i may still be holding a grudge from the time my neighbor ‘accidentally’ grabbed my nordstroms package with my new boots, opened them, then a week later returned them to me claiming she had ‘accidentally’ grabbed my package. i’m sure i would have heard a different story if they were her size.

  • Oh my goodness… we used to have a ton of Indian neighbors as well and the curry smell was so intense… plus they always seemed to set off their smoke detectors a million times a night… not exactly sure why.

    I definitely agree with tip #3… that is just the right thing to do!

    Another apartment etiquette tip… don’t leave your trash out on your patio for days, it is an eye sore. And especially don’t leave your trash out on your patio if the bag isn’t tied… I do NOT appreciate having to clean up other people’s trash from my patio because you left the bag out on a windy day!

  • Our neighbor’s girl (who’s probably ten or eleven) once knocked on our door at midnight on a weekday to come ask if we could take in the stray cat she’d taken in earlier but was too worried her mom would get mad at her for.

    No joke.

    Also, I teach twelve- and thirteen-year-olds, and I can see that probably 50% of them are not aware of normal social rules about half the time.

    So who knows when it starts?

  • Your dog is adorable, so I can’t say I wouldn’t be knocking aggressively on the glass, either. 🙂

  • my apartment complex in MO had a huge number of indian families too…like dude, why would you move here and then STILL recommend it to your friends? I think it’s cute that the kids feel comfortable knocking. The kids in mine would just hide behind railings =(

  • I always find it so funny how my dog ends up being more popular than me! 1/2 of the people at my apartment complex know my dog’s name and what breed/mix of breeds he is, and probably how old he is. But they more than likely have no idea what my name is, what I do, or where I come from!

  • I think it is so adorable that they came to see if he could play. Don’t worry about being an un-fun mom though, I’m with you on complex/building etiquette. My neighbors above me are the worst. She has a 3 year old who she literally lets jump up and down on the floor, drop things constantly and generally just piss me off to no end. The people below me were just dirty and the entire stairwell would smell. The guy on the first floor likes to open his door and walk down the hall to get his mail in his ratty underwear. Oy….

  • haha this gave me a good laugh! I live in a condo complex and no one i mean NO ONE is friendly! I cant stand it!

    xxS

  • That’s a really pretty complex, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from the East Coast. I lived in a complex in Brea CA and it wasn’t nearly as nice. Our neighbor across the walkway was ALWAYS smoking pot and he never once offered me any. RUDE. The other neighbors down the walkway offered us beer a lot so I liked them.

  • That is ridiculous! My bf would have schooled those kids–he’s a stickler for bad manners. Haha! So cute they love Archie that much though.

  • I just moved into a new apartment and I can absolutely agree with you. There’s certain etiquette you follow as a neighbour, and even more so when you live in an apartment..

    I live in Toronto, so people tend to not make much eye contact, and when you chat with them they feel very suspicious. What’s up with that nowadays? I mean, I’m Canadian for crying out loud, we’re like, KNOWN for being overly nice..

    Anyways, it’s good to see that someone has the same opinion about neighbourly etiquette.

  • I totally agree with switching your laundry in a normal amount of time and I wish I had a patio to drink on!

    xx
    Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  • I have never lived in an apartment complex so not really up on apartment etiquette but these points to me sound pretty much like common sense………..something so many people do not have any more.

  • A few months back, my boyfriend was just getting home from work and there was a group of kids playing right outside of our apartment. I could hear them talking to Jon as he unlocked the door and one girl says “Can we come see your room?” Uh…no. Then like 10 seconds later, she just barged right into our apartment before Jon even opened the door!!! Like an 8 year old kid maybe. Someone needs to teach her some manners!!!

  • Like you, I think it’s really important for us to be friendly with our neighbors and get to know them. They can help make us feel more at home and less lonely when we’re living alone. Now, I have good friends who are my neighbors at Dunwoody GA apartments .

  • Glad Archie is the cool kid! I’m sure I’m the one people write neighbor ettiquette about! Haha but I ALWAYS pick up my dog poop!

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