Ugh! Parking. This has to be right up there near the top of the list of “Not Your Favorite Topic” topics. Am I right? Depending on where you live, and the parking amenities available or not, the level of nightmare this has reached for you may range from just a royal pain to something that gives you anxiety on a daily basis.
If you have assigned, underground secure parking, count yourself among the lucky. At least when you arrive home after a long day, you know you will have a reserved parking spot waiting for you that only you can use. It may be a teeny, tiny space, but it’s all yours. Also, if your apartment building has off-street parking that is assigned in the lot, that’s good because, again, you know you have a spot that is assigned to you and you alone.
But, if like most apartment buildings in this country, you have off-street parking that is not assigned, let me just say, “Good luck to you and yours!” Every time you return home you get the pleasure of cruising the lot, looking for a quasi-decent spot to park your ride. The problem is that too often it seems there are always a couple (or more) fellow residents that think it’s okay to take up more than one space by aligning their car over the lines, not within the lines, thereby making it impossible for someone to park next to them. Or someone who parks so close to you that you need to crawl in from the passenger side just to get into the driver’s seat. And let’s not forget about those residents who, even though they do not have an assigned parking spot, claim one as their own (usually close to the entrance). We’ve all dealt with these situations, right?
Parking can be stressful.
If finding a place to park your vehicle in an off-street lot is stressful, imagine how frustrating it is for residents who have to park on the street as their only option. These folks need to circle the block until they can find a place to park, just to get home after a long day. Finding a spot on the street is, at the end of the day, just plain old luck: Sometimes you hit the jackpot and get rock star parking right by the door to the apartment building and other times (usually when you have a couple bags of groceries to lug in) you find a spot a block up the street. Ah, c’est la vie!
So, what can you do to secure the best parking spot possible when having assigned parking is not an option? It’s time to get creative and strategize, my friend!
Plan your moves.
If parking is difficult, try to only move your car from the parking lot or street once a day. Run errands on the way home from work or school (it’s more eco-friendly and easier on your pocketbook, as well). If you have to go out again in the evening because, well, you have a life, know that you will get whatever’s left over at the back of the lot or down the street when you return.
Get to know your neighbor’s moves.
Without becoming a stalker, start to pay attention to which resident drives which vehicle and notice their parking habits. When do they usually leave? When do they typically return? To increase your odds of success in getting a decent parking spot, you may want to employ this tactic with several of the residents in your building so you can zone in on the best times for you to arrive back home and score an awesome spot.
You will probably find that after a couple of weeks of paying attention to other people’s patterns that there will be an alignment of the parking stars that will nearly automatically assure you of success every day. This magical alignment may require a minor adjustment in your schedule. For example, you may want to arrive at home fifteen minutes earlier than you do now or plan to run errands after work or school and get home an hour later. Once you focus your attention on the parking habits of others, you may be pleasantly surprised at how easily you can turn this irritation into a non-issue. You’ll be able to stop fretting about finding a decent place to park because you have done your homework!