Apartment living horror stories – how to handle common problems

May 4th, 2016

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Apartment living horror stories - how to handle common problems(2)

More and more of us are living in apartments, units, flats, terrace homes and other high-density housing. Living in such close proximity to other human beings comes with its share of challenges, from enduring the yapping of the dog downstairs, to the “balcony rain” when someone up above you waters their plants.

823px-1St_Leonards,_New_South_walessource: Adam.J.W.C. on Wikimedia Commons

But some of the frustrations that come from apartment living can be solved through the clever application of the right appliances.

Here are three apartment living problems and how to solve them:

It Came From The Steamy Laundry!

Some mates of mine once shared a flat that came with its own laundry room – a bit of a luxury, considering that some apartment complexes either share a single laundry area for all residents, or adopt an “every man for himself” attitude, assuring a steady income for the local laundromat.

877px-Laundromat_ontario*cash register sound effect* (source: Joshua Sherurcij on Wikimedia Commons)

The problem was that my friends’ laundry room was fully enclosed, without a window or other convenient access to the outside world, save for a solitary ventilation fan. This meant that every time they were doing the laundry on a rainy day, the whole room would fill up with a cloud of steam when they ran the dryer, which the room’s elderly and overworked extractor fan just couldn’t keep up with.

800px-Steam_phase_eruption_of_Castle_GeyserArtistic representation of the interior of my friends’ laundry room (source: Brocken Inaglory on Wikimedia Commons)

What they needed was a condenser dryer, which could collect the moisture from their wet clothes rather than venting it out as steam.

Fisher & Paykel DE8060P2 8kg Condenser DryerFisher & Paykel DE8060P2 8kg Condenser Dryer

Then, rather than turning their home into a sauna every time they opened the laundry door, they could have just emptied the water tank into a sink, or set up a drain hose, and enjoyed the convenience.

The Kitchen… That CRAWLED!

Hip and cool urbanites have better things to do than wash the dishes. Just stack those plates up in the sink, we’ll wash them later… Next thing you know, the whole place is covered in soiled crockery, which starts attracting wildlife.

800px-Argentine_ants_accessing_trap“Do you want ants? Because that’s how you get ants.” – Sterling Archer

While this issue is by no mean exclusive to apartment-dwellers, the problem does tend to become more pronounced in their smaller kitchens. It only takes one or two lazy, “I can’t be bothered washing up” days to render a small kitchen practically unusable.

If only there was some kind of… household machine… an appliance, if you will… that could… WASH the DISHES for you.

Some kind of… dishwasher.

Euromaid DR14W DishwasherEuromaid DR14W Dishwasher

Okay, so a lot of apartment kitchens are too small to comfortably fit a dishwasher without sacrificing a significant amount of cupboard space. Plus, because many apartment-dwellers are also renters, adding a new built-in appliance to the landlord’s kitchen may not be a viable option.

Bosch Slimline Dishwasher SPS60M08AUBosch SPS60M08AU Serie 6 Slimline Dishwasher

There are still a couple of options available, though. Slimline dishwashers are specifically designed for compact kitchens, leaving more storage space free while keeping your plates nice and clean. And if your landlord isn’t ready to get the kitchen remodelled, consider a benchtop dishwasher.

Omega DW101WA Benchtop DishwasherOmega DW101WA Benchtop Dishwasher

These appliances aren’t huge, so they can only realistically handle a limited percentage of your total washing up, but they make up for it with their simple installation (no cabinetwork required!) and the fact that when your lease runs out, you can take the dishwasher with you to your next place.

The Strange Case of the Cable Underfoot and the Wireless Wizard

As most of us aren’t international recording superstars (if you are, call me!), most of us don’t have access to a small army of roadies to tape down any cables snaking across our floors to minimise the tripping hazards.

tangled mic cordsThat doesn’t look too OH&S-friendly… (source: David Mulder on Flickr)

Whether it’s old-school blue internet cables, or leads for surround sound speakers, having wires running all over the place is particularly frustrating in apartments with relatively limited floor space, as you’re likely to pass through these high-traffic danger zones far more often during your everyday puttering about than you would in a larger house.


That’s why the rising prominence of wireless networking has been an absolute miracle for apartment dwellers. Fewer cables means fewer chances to potentially faceplant yourself while walking down the hall. Plus, to get different electronics talking to one another, you no longer have to plug one thing into another thing, then that thing into a third thing.

Samsung UA55JU6400 55 140cm 4K Ultra HD Smart LED LCD TVSamsung UA55JU6400 55″ 140cm 4K Ultra HD Smart LED LCD TV

Check out our selection of smart TVs, which can download apps and entertainment from the internet using built in Wi-Fi, or connect to your other wireless devices such as laptops and smartphones to access additional digital entertainment.

Samsung HT-J7750W 7.1ch Home Theatre System With Wireless Rear SpeakersSamsung HT-J7750W 7.1ch Home Theatre System With Wireless Rear Speakers

And for the highest sound quality, check out some home theatre systems featuring wireless surround sound speakers, which can be set up around your room to provide an immersive listening experience, and to hopefully drown out the barking of the upstairs neighbour’s yappy dog.

All of these appliances and many more can help to deal with your apartment living horror stories. Check out the Appliances Online Apartment Living Collection for the perfect additions to your home.

Do you have an Apartment Living Horror Story? What appliances do you reckon would provide a simple solution?

Mark joined Appliances Online in November 2011 and has since learned more than he ever expected to know about appliances. He enjoys looking for new and unusual ways for to solve everyday problems using typical household appliances. When he’s not toiling at the desks of Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he tries to find time to write the next big bestseller and draw satirical cartoons, but is too easily distracted by TV, music and video games. Mark’s favourite appliance is the Dyson Groom Tool, as he loves the concept of vacuuming your dog. Google+

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