Condo Living- Sharing Space With Your Neighbors

I had to laugh when I bought my condo. The president of the board stated “We take great pride in this building and keep it clean.” I guess that didn’t include the basement. Yup, the common basement area of the six flat I live in was a cluster! Stuff everywhere. No rhyme or reason. Little did they know, an organizer was moving in the building.

The first free time I had, after painting and setting up my place, I went to work on the basement. Apparently, the building had been a rental for years. People would just leave stuff. There were old tv’s, computers, and chairs. It was just a random mix of junk.

First, I got all of the visible trash out of the basement. Then I sorted items into categories. After that process was done, I emailed my neighbors to see what belonged to them. I recycled electronics, old chemicals, and got rid of a lot of trash. Then, I tackled the garage.

I am lucky, aside from the basement (which has remained clean) my neighbors are all on the same page as far as organization and clutter go. We all like things neat and tidy. The front entrance and hallways are kept clean.

Living in tight quarters and sharing space, can be a challenge. I see “neighbor wars” all the time.  People getting upset about their neighbors taking up space and having clutter outside their units.

Here are some simple tips to help you survive with your neighbors:

1. Define the space in the bi-laws.  Make sure the storage rules are clearly defined in the condo documents. Can you hang hooks in the hallway? Leave shoes outside your door? These are simple things but need to be addressed. People will try and create space anywhere.

2. Is the building using all the space properly?  When I cleaned out the basement, my building added a whole new set of shelves. Now we all have more storage. We have a bike area as well. I even created space in the garage for our gardening items.

3. Some condo buildings have clean out days. If you don’t have an organizer in your building, consider scheduling a clean out time.

4. If you have stuff that doesn’t fit in your storage unit, try to place it in a corner. Make sure your items are tagged with your name on it.

5. Purge, purge, purge. If its in storage- do you really need it?

Love thy neighbor!!

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