Dear Ms. Demeanor,
I live in a small walk-up building and we allow our neighbors to keep their stroller folded on the first floor so as not to have to carry it up. But now I've noticed that they're starting to leave more things down there and it's getting pretty messy. How should we handle it?
Dear Veronica Vestibule,
Allowing a neighbor to keep a stroller in the building's vestibule is a kindness. Having said neighbor use the vestibule for storage is a nuisance. I would write them a letter signed by as many residents as possible, that states just that.
Everyone realizes the difficultly of living with a baby or toddler in a walk-up and your neighbors are willing to have the largest, heaviest, and most annoying of that child's paraphernalia in a common space out of courtesy. Anything over and above said stroller (cleaned of Cheerios and the like so not to attract vermin) stays in the apartment, period.
Don't act common over common space,
Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to firstname.lastname@example.org and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.