Top Ten Things Not to Do in an Apartment

Top Ten things not to do


The inspiration for this list came as were spending some hurricane evacuation time in an apartment. I hope you enjoy it.

10 If you are in an apartment, do not drop your weights like the bozos at the gym. If you do, at best the manager will visit At worst, that last set of one hundred pounds ended with the repair bill for both your floor and the ceiling below you. (That drop was pretty expensive huh, Christopher. Lucky there was no one in the recliner down there.)

9 If you are in an apartment, do not think your wailing guitar is appreciated by everyone at two in the morning. If you do, at best the police will only give you a warning. At worst, you’ll get a visit from Tiny the WWF champ who was just released from the sleep disorder clinic, and this was the first night he actually fell asleep. (Notice how that locked door came off the hinges, Cameron? I’d like you to meet Tiny the big guy that looks like a freight train, and he’s headed your way.)

8 If you are in an apartment, do not rent the bottom floor unit. If you do, at best you may get used to the noise above. At worst, you’ll finally crack and will go door pounding in the middle of the night. (Those people have every right to be afraid, Connor. Might have been a good idea to check in the mirror before doing your Shining, “Daddy’s home,” imitation.)

7 If you are in an apartment, do not cook your favorite boiled cabbage recipe except on St. Patrick’s Day. If you do, at best your neighbors will wish for your death. At worst, the super will call in the exterminator believing your apartment is the scene of many pests. (Be careful opening that door, Cody. That cloud left by the bug bomb explosion might take you out as well.)

6 If you live in an apartment, do not forget to lock your door. If you do, at best no one will notice. At worst, you’ll come home to a place that looks like you never lived there. (You have to wonder how a thief could take four rooms of furniture with no one noticing don’t you, Carter?)

5 If you live in an apartment, do not throw a party unless you invite the neighbors on either side as well as above and below. If you do, at best you might be annoyed by all the floor and ceiling pounding. At worst, you better hope everyone at the party is legal because the SWAT team coming up the stairs will sure want to check. (You had no idea the Jackson Twins were under twenty-one did you, Chris. Well, it’s not going to matter that they weren’t known or invited by you and no one else either.)

4 If you live in an apartment, do not think the barbecue grill will be available when you want to use it. If you do, at best you’ll have to wait your turn. At worst your choice will come down to eating at midnight or a pan-fried steak. (What is it about that Teflon flavor in a great cut of meat that adds so much to the elegance of the meal, Charlie.)

3 If you live in an apartment, do not think everyone follows the shower before entering the pool rule. If you do, at best you might be surprised by the ring. At worst, you may be caught unaware of the unofficial rule which is, “Do not put your head under water.” (Had a bunch of unexplained sore throats lately huh, Calvin?)

2 If you live in an apartment, do not ignore the trash pickup rules. If you do, at best you will only have to be taught once. At worst, the pickup service will no longer stop at your door and trying to put your trash next door will earn you a potential black eye. (That guy sure got mad when he stepped on your paper bag full of garbage didn’t he, Cory? How is that eye by the way?)

1 If you live in an apartment, do not pick up and shake other people’s packages which are outside their door. If you do, at best you’ll never get caught. At worst, you just shook a package as the door of the recipient opened.(The bad part was it was a gift six Baccarat champagne flutes which are now dust, Clark. I don’t think saying, “Oh I think this is yours, my mistake,” is going to cover this one up.)


  1. True life as it is! Another great sushi not to do set, John! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Marie. 😀

  2. LOL. You nailed it, John. I think I’ve had all those neighbors, and then some… Like the guy (who was actually a squatter but there for a year nonetheless) how lived above me in my first condo. Aside from 3 days of Thanksgiving flooding (where the building refused to shut off the water, because other homeowners wouldn’t have any water if the flooding on me was stopped), aside from that his worst one was some kind of machine he left running for many hours. It shook the whole building. You could even hear it outside. That brought out the SWAT team! And they didn’t do anything because he wouldn’t answer the door…
    South Dakota is sounding better all the time… if only there was no snow… 😉
    Have a marvelous Monday. Now to Mordor. Hugs.

  3. Gwen Plano · ·

    Apartment living really brings home the give and take of life, doesn’t it? 🙂 Great list, John, and a fun read. Have a great week!

    1. You as well, Gwen. Thank you.

  4. We’re you shaking packages, John? 🙂 Great list!

    1. Ha ha ha. i wanted to but, no. 😀

  5. All great advice. Think I’ve seen all of these in action too, including the cabbage.

    1. The cabbage is the worst. Thanks, Charles.

  6. Lol. Having lived in an apartment for the past three years, I can relate to almost all of these. Only, I’d add one more. If you live an apartment, don’t think it’s okay to let your dog poop in front of your downstairs neighbor’s door and not pick it up. (my pet peeve, by the way) Good one, John.

    1. That is my peeve as well. Happens on the beach and I hate it.

  7. Eeeeew #3 – I never lived in an apartment complex with a pool – thankful now.

    #7 reminds me of my college apartment. Indian food smells wafting up from the apartment below. My roommate could stand in for Tiny (6’1″ – 300lbs)

    1. Good roommate to have on a Saturday night at the bar.

      1. He came in handy.

  8. Another great list – sage advice, good sir!

  9. In college, my buddy Stan and I rented the upper half of a duplex.. We liked to party, as did all 200 of our friends, though we never got a complaint. The woman who lived on the first floor of the duplex was stone-deaf and loved having a couple of guys upstairs who were glad to do little chores in exchange for cookies.

    No one made better cookies.

  10. With my apartment-living son at college, I’d hate to think how many of these he’s violated.

  11. In that basement apartment, water flows downhill too. Every overdrawn bathtub winds up in the basement.

    1. Good to have a flotation device handy. 😀

  12. I think at some point I’ve experienced most of these, John. You missed the constantly-barking dog and the sounds of Cindy-Sue getting it on with her latest boyfriend! Oh, and I once had a neighbor who cooked greens every other day — and left her doors open so we ALL could enjoy the stench!!

    1. Ha ha ha. Thanks, Debbie. I can almost smell those greens.

      1. You don’t want to … trust me.

  13. So true, John. I only lived in 3 apartments when I was young. I really hated apartment living!

    1. I only did 5 days and hated it.

  14. D.L Finn, Author · ·

    I really look forward to this blog and my Monday morning smile and laugh! This brought back some memories. My mop was also used besides mopping– to let the people upstairs I wanted to sleep at night…just a gentle tap to the ceiling.

    1. I’m glad that worked.

  15. Some of these could apply to condo living also and I think about them when we consider really downsizing. Thanks for the reminders but one never knows how the neighbors will be wherever one lives. So far we have good neighbors generally.

    1. Good neighbors are a godsend. Thanks, Jo

  16. Boy does this bring back memories!

  17. Good list … then again, it’s hard to trigger memories because I haven’t lived in an apartment since 1976-78.

  18. So funny!! From Tiny the WWF champ to the ring in the pool, and don’t forget the Teflon. 😂

    1. Thanks, Jennie. 😀

      1. My pleasure, John. 🙂

  19. The joy of apartment living…said no one ever! 🙂

    1. Ha ha ha. Excellent, Natalie. 😀

  20. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Here is another great top ten list from John Howell’s blog. This one is on what not to do in an apartment.

    1. Thank you, Don for the Reblog of Top Ten

      1. You’re welcome.

  21. Ha! Those are pretty good. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve lived in an apartment. The loud, heavy footed neighbor upstairs really bugged me, and finding my laundry picked through and some stolen from the laundry room was another one that just pissed me off. I would have liked to have had security cams then.

    Baby Girl and #1 Grandson are moving out next week to an apartment. It will be her first apartment experience. I’m forwarding this to her to read.

    1. Yes. Good luck to her.

  22. Great list, John. I’m siding with Tiny on this one. I’ve had insomnia. I’ve also found living on the ground floor in a hot climate leads to cockroaches entering that are big enough to saddle. I didn’t want to step on one and suspect I kept putting out the same guy. 😀 — Suzanne

    1. You should have packed the roach a lunch and sent him on a trip. Thanks, Suzanne 😀

  23. Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    Another of John’s great lists of 10 things not to do.

    1. Thank you, Suzanne.

    1. Thank you, Michael.:-)

  24. First timer courtesy of Suzanne’s reblog. Great list. The bottom floor apartment caution reminds me of a similar mistake I made. The kids in the above apartment were rolling skating in their tub, which caused a leak into our bathroom below. Keith

    1. Welcome. I can not imagine what roller skating in a bathtub would sound like. I guess the resulting tide wave is what swamped you. Thanks for the comment and come back anytime. 🙂

  25. And these reasons, John, are why I don’t live in an apartment [smile].

    1. Me too. Thanks, Robbie.

  26. Thank you for this list! I will print it and give it to my neighbor above who uses to trample like an elephant and plays his music so loud one can even hear it on the opposite side of the street…

    1. Please do. I would use the greeting, “Dear Elephant Keeper.” 😀

      1. *Hahahaha!* 😆 That’s a bright idea!

      2. You will have sidestepped calling the oaf an elephant. 😀

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