Currently, we live in a very small, 2 bedroom apartment. We call it our "little, tiny, baby, pretend house". It's not ideal (ideal would be a single family house on a large wooded lot with trees, cows, chickens, and a school room), but has been a positive experience overall. It forced us (well, mainly me) to purge a lot of things we had been holding onto for one reason or another, we have had to be creative with storage solutions (the boy's shower is filled with bins and paper goods and the laundry room doubles as a pantry...which is working out rather well), and we seem to finally be organized (for the most part).
In the 5 months we have lived here, people have come and gone. The ones that are here now, at least in our building, are making it unpleasant to live here. I have to wade through cigarette butts, empty beer bottles, and discarded fast food bags in order to get to my car. It's disgusting! Why are people too lazy to walk 15 yards to the dumpster or reach for an ashtray? I have personally gone out and picked up THEIR trash only to have it littered up again within a few days.
Even as I write this (4:54 am), my neighbor is saving the world by blowing things up. The bass from his video game is annoying and unnecessary. On occasion, it has rattled the stuff on my wall. Now, I understand this is the sort of thing you have to deal with when living in an apartment, but this is extreme in my opinion. We have talked with him twice and the apartment managers 5 times. I have even kept a record of the times the noise had occurred, which was all hours of the day and night. I am pulling my hair out!
What have I learned from this? I need space. I can not live in close proximity to others. We only have 4-6 months left in this particular place and then we are moving to one of 9 states for grad. school. Hopefully I will be able to find my ideal living situation.