Shared Space; How to Live in Harmony in a Condo

Sunday morning I was in my happy place. Sitting at the kitchen table, eating homeade blueberry pancakes and reading the Sunday paper. I happened to glance over at the wall and saw some lovely water marks. Great. It appeared that my new neighbor’s radiator had leaked through my unit.

That is life in a condo building. Shared space and things beyond your control. While I wasn’t upset about the water marks, I was upset that the new owners had not followed condo policy and given the president a key. So, I had to sit and wait for them (they live out of state) to track down one of their kids. Fun times!

In a big city like Chicago, sharing space is a commonality. In many cases it can be an issue. Respect and courtesy are very important.

My first apartment was a high rise. It was literally a cement building. I didn’t hear the neighbors and they didn’t hear me. I didn’t have to worry about noise at all. In my condo (built in 1930), I have creaky floors and thin walls. I have learned to adjust to it.

Here are some simple tips on how to share your space and not lose your mind:

1. Define your space. Let everyone know what areas can be used as storage. Label your items so they don’t get purged or tossed (especially if you have an organizer as a neighbor).

2. Keep your items binned or boxed up. This makes it easier to clean the area.

3. Define what belongs to the building. When I moved in my condo, I put all the garden stuff together, tools, ect..

4. Beware of where you store things. Certain spaces like near the heater or boiler, aren’t safe for storage.

5. Make sure that you have paths so your area is safe.

6. If possible built shelves to house items vs keeping them on the floor.

7. If you live in an older building, noise is inevitable. Be conscience of this  fact. There are things you can do to minimize noise such as not walking around in your shoes (especially high heels or big boots). I am a slipper gal now! 

Different people and personalities can live together. Hey, my neighbors tolerate my crazy organized self.

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