When I first moved into the bungalow, I had no intention of investing my hard-earned mu-lah-lah into upgrading its dumpier qualities. Don’t get me wrong, I had allotta love for these walls (and major beef with the property broker and owner, who failed to maintain them) but the buck stopped with scrubbing the place down. It’s my feeling that one of the greatest—and cheapest—overhauls of a crappy rental is a thorough douching. Old. Ugly. Leanin’ like a broke hip. Clean it well, and it looks better. Most of the apartments I’ve lived in hadn’t been cleaned properly, and the bungalow was no different.
Walking through the place for the first time, there was dust on the floor, cobwebs in the corners. The fridge didn’t work, the bathroom ceiling needed re-plastered. I should have realized then that I was dealing with slumlords (I would handle with them later; that’s another story), but I was more caught up in the space having character. It was a unique little apartment—not like the cookie-cutter Cracker Jack boxes found in apartment complexes. With a lil elbow grease, I expected it could be lovely.
Yet, even after some basic repairs had been made, even after the place was clean, there were things about the place that annoyed me. The kinds of things that only someone as neurotic as me would be bothered by. Like the missing tile above my silverware drawer. The gaps between the door frame and the door. The black vent in my living room. And then I came across this post on Apartment Therapy. It spoke to me like an angel from the heavens.
You know that thing in your apartment that bugs you every single day? What would it be worth not to notice it for one day? A minute of your time? One dollar? Now, multiply that by how long it’s been annoying you. I’ll bet the cost in time and money seems much smaller now. Perspective, people.
Bingo. It was as if the little voice inside my head had climbed out and written this article. Perhaps it isn’t “economically sound” to invest time, energy and money into a rental, but for some of these small costs, I could be afforded piece of mind. And that settled it. Realizing that the broker and owner of my property weren’t going to fix anything (though I had permission to paint, etc.), that I lived here, had to look at it, and that my rent was practically a steal, anyway, I decided I would take it upon myself to make some small investments and upgrade the bungalow as I saw fit.
Thus began my DIY chronicles, which will be the basis of this blog.