Yesterday I bought a refrigerator for my apartment. Well, I ordered one anyway. It will arrive at the store and then be delivered to my apartment a week from now.

I hate the refrigerator that I currently have. Things freeze in the refrigerator as well as the freezer. It has those racks instead of solid shelves.

Every time I put a drink in the fridge I have to surround it with heavier items so it doesn’t tip over on those ridiculous racks.

I don’t know who on earth thought racks would be effective as shelves for food and beverages and began the trend of putting them in refrigerators, but they just don’t work for me.

The maintenance man installed a brand new dishwasher in my kitchen on Tuesday, just an hour or so after my daughter finished painting.

I wouldn’t have purchased the dishwasher because it’s built in and not something you could conceivably take with you should you move. But a refrigerator is another matter entirely.

I walked into a local appliance store instead of one of the big box stores.

It was nice and quiet in there, unlike a Lowes or Home Depot. I told the guy I wanted a white Whirlpool refrigerator. It had to have solid plastic shelves and a handle on the door.

I had the measurements written down. I’d done at least a week of research on refrigerators and product ratings and store ratings and all that.

The refrigerator I currently have now doesn’t have a door handle. In fact most of the ones he showed me in the required size didn’t have handles. I insisted on a handle and told him it was not negotiable.

I don’t know why the smaller ones often don’t have handles. I guess because these are smaller type refrigerators that are commonly placed in apartments, and I guess no one wants to pay for the darned handle.

The debacle Monday when I dropped the three bean salad and had broken glass mixed with three bean salad all over the kitchen floor while Ivy and Charlie looked on was the final straw for me. I need a door handle.

You wouldn’t think of not putting a knob on a door, would you?

Yes, I’m spending money that I will never get back should I move. Like redoing the counter tops and painting and adding the peel and stick subway tiles.

But I doubt I’m going to move. I’m pretty settled in here. It’s quiet where I live. I have no one above or below me. I like my next door neighbor. We’ve even gone to lunch a couple of times. And the price and location is right.

I’m at the point in my life where I don’t want the upkeep of a house, owned or rented. I don’t want to deal with yard work. I can’t do steps because of my ankle. And that includes porch steps.

As you know I recently learned that my dream condos have steep indoor steps. So I had to let go of that “maybe one day home.” The places I can live are rather limited.

Life is short and as mercurial as a thunder storm. You don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

If you rent your home, hate the refrigerator or whatever that came with your lease and you can afford to buy something else of your own choosing, then I say go right ahead.

You don’t have to wait for that “someday” house. Learn to live in the here and now. Because that’s really all any of us have. Tomorrows are not in any way guaranteed.

For whatever reason that someday home may never materialize.

You need to embrace your home, wherever it may be, and fix it up as desired within the limits of your rental contract and the depths of your pocket book.

Go to Pinterest, put rental decor ideas or DIYs or something similar in Search and you will find many ideas for fixing up your rental home.

Who wants to walk in the door and be faced with a home you don’t truly love? To be surrounded by walls you despise?

Learn to live in the here and now.

Because you really, really need to love the place that you call home.

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32 Comments

  1. You are SO right Brenda. Love your home! All our friends talk about is downsizing ( even tho the patio homes they’re moving to are often bigger than their present homes). We LOVE our home and are sick of the pressure we feel to move to a 55 and older community. It’s not for everyone. Your home is just lovely.

  2. This is so true, Brenda! No matter where we have lived over the years, I always made it home! We’ve rented apartments, owned a mobile home, rented houses and duplexes, and owned a house. No matter where it was we always left it better than when we moved in…

  3. Oh, Brenda, you would do that for me???? Thank you so much!! Give me a day or so to get pictures to you. I am so excited! Now I have hope! A million THANKS!

  4. You are so right. We own our home and some family has said whatever you do remember to consider the resale value. Well, I live in this house now and probably will be here until I’m gone, (I’m no spring chicken)! Anyway, I’m going to decorate, paint, wallpaper, tile or any other thing to my liking.

  5. i just bought a multi purpose plastic fridge bin from Wayfair. I think a lot of people don’t like the wire shelves. And it’s a good way to organize like things so I know what’s where.

  6. Be sure to get something in writing that you have supplied your own refrigerator. Landlords and their managers seem to conveniently forget such things when it comes time for you to leave.

  7. Brenda, I so wish that I loved my home. It is a mobile home on the river. The view is to die for. But it needs some repairs, and since my husband died, it is difficult to get them done. My home is paid for but I have seemed to have lost my creativity. I want a sanctuary but don’t know how to create one. I am in mental chaos much of the time. The cabinet doors in the bathroom keep falling off. Lots of little repairs needed. I just want to be happy with my home again. A friend has suggested that I move to an apartment but I love the river. I am 72 and in good health. Could someone please tell me how to create a sanctuary? I love so many styles and don’t know where to begin. I love rustic elegance and the color turquoise. I have brown leather furniture. I love white bedding. Also love wildlife. My kitchen counters are rough cut boards which have been stained and polyurethaned. Bottom cabinets are open. I need to gather fabric to hide pipes, etc., but don’t know what print. I will never have the home I want because I don’t know where to begin. I am so sad.

    1. If we would be fun if Brenda could do a post on your home if you submitted photos and she could give decorating advice and we could follow along one project at a time.

      1. Sure. I’ll do that. Send me photos, Janice. Spend time on Pinterest. That’s what I do. Go to that mobile home site https://mobilehomeliving.org/ and see what other people have done with their mobile homes. I’ve seen some real beauties and if I didn’t live in a tornado alley state I would love to have one. I’m sorry you feel that you’ve lost your creativity. If you have a lovely view (I have an alley and the back of a strip mall) then that right there is very important. Your home is paid for. You can do this. I’ll help any way I can. Give you suggestions, send you photos I find. Just let me know what you need. The readers can help if you want to send me photos. Like the comment above, look at it as one project at a time and don’t get overwhelmed.

  8. yet another insightful piece, Brenda – love this, and, thank you!!!

    I think I know what the deal with the handle on the fridge is: when I was getting a new fridge delivered about a decade ago now (at another address), the appliance guys broke the handle … and it took calls to the store and the warehouse and it just got so silly, I gave up and lived without. My point being – I think they started the no-handle trend b/c they’re clumsy oaf buggers moving these items 😉 wire shelves have taken over the world – closets and everywhere! – but I have no rational explanation for that except cheapness.

  9. When we were younger, we travelled a lot with the military. My mother said, “plant flowers even if you’re not there to see them bloom”.

  10. You are so right Brenda…wire shelves…yea we have had some of those too…with glass ones, you just have to be careful not to place anything too hot on those. But I keep some of those silicon heavy pads, plus heavy pot holders and though I always cool things down…sometimes there is a hot place yet on the bottom of the dish etc…so it always seems ok just to use those hot pads etc for sheilding the glass shelves.
    Because I do not have as much strength in my hands now, I am slowly replacing my glass mixing bowls and other things, with more unbreakable stuff. Dropped one of my newer Corelle plates the other day and our concrete floors did not break it!! Yea!!

  11. So true Brenda! The few times my Husband and I rented we did everything we could to make it our place. Your environment is so important to your emotional and mental health. It should always be a sanctuary. Thank you for always sharing your beautiful, cosy apartment.

  12. I always put money into my rentals – I always made them my home, and surrounded myself with things that I loved. When I was younger I wallpapered my rental, painted, and had new wall to wall carpeting installed. It was expensive, but I was going to live there for a few years, and needed things to be comfortable for me and my babies. Can’t wait to see your completed kitchen!!

    1. I have ended up being the one to do the counter tops myself. With the fridge coming a week from today, I want the epoxy hardened so they don’t nick it. So I’ve applied the first coat of white. In four hours I can apply the second coat. I’ll probably have to wait to do the epoxy tomorrow. My daughter was simply too busy to help today.

      1. Hopefully you are able to leave windows and or your patio door open so that fumes from the epoxy will not cause breathing problems for you and Charlie.

        1. They say to close the windows in case something blows into the epoxy. Charlie and Ivy have been in the bedroom much of the day. I probably won’t get to the epoxy until tomorrow because I have to wait 4 hours in between the 2 white paint coats. I have to wait till 3:30 to paint it the second time.

          1. Contractors on the HGTV “flipping shows” all seem to wear masks, would your daughter have access to one for you? Even a medical mask would offer some protection from the epoxy fumes if you could get your hands on some.

  13. Do you have storage space at your apartment complex dedicated to you that you can lock? If so, have the current fridge moved in there and move it back into the apartment if and when you move, take your own purchased fridge with you if/when you leave.

    1. Management wants the fridge I have to use in another apartment. And no, we have no storage anyway. If I moved they could move another one of theirs back in.

  14. I could not agree with you more. My husband and I rented a house for 2 years and the landlord lived in Turkey, she was a teacher. The backyard was horrible, all weeds, the screened porch had ripped screens, I could go on and on. We landscaped the back yard, put in a patio, landscaped the front, painted the inside, took down wallpaper and everyone said we were crazy but the fact is we did not want to live like that. The irony is the rental was not inexpensive, it was a block from the ocean and in a desirable town the landlord used it for an investment and was eventually going to live in it when she retired.

    Live the life you have not the one you wish or are hoping to have. I have to continue to remind myself of this lately while we are in transition.

  15. Oh, I desperately needed this post today! I agree with you entirely, except I am the worst at applying this advice. My house needs work in general. I’m in the middle of prepping my kitchen walls for painting. One room out of many that need it. The problem is I have 2400 sq feet and it’s simply a daunting task, instead of an exciting one. Sigh. The furniture is heavy; I dislike disarray. It’s overwhelming, but the house is paid for so I shouldn’t complain, but it’s all so much and the square footage makes it so not fun. Someday I may love where I live, but at 59, I’m not sure if that’ll ever happen. I need to be content.

    1. Ann I agree with you. My house is just over 2400 square feet. It’s beautiful but just too darned big! I can’t convince my husband to downsize yet. Trying to do anything is overwhelming because it’s on such a large scale. Brenda is ? right in her thoughts and I applaud her for her decision to stay put and make it nice. I would want the same type apartment myself.

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