When I first toured the apartment I would eventually move into, two things stood out to me about its electrical outlets. First, there are a ton of them. I'm talking a comical amount. Every wall has at least one and most have two. Second, they are all upside down. The two longer slits that are usually above the single hole between them, are now beneath said hole. This is only a problem when I have a big boxy plug. My person, who lives in the same city, also has this problem. We talk about it often.
Unfortunately, one woman on TikTok appears to have the opposite problem from me. She doesn't have nearly enough electrical outlets in her studio apartment. This woman only has one outlet in the whole apartment. That's right, she has one outlet to rule them all. This would drive me bonkers and to no one's surprise, it's quite frustrating for her as well. She needs an emotional outlet for her electrical outlet issue.
This woman's apartment has only one outlet. In this economy?
Kae, who goes by @kaewelsh on TikTok, has moved into a new apartment and it's looking like she won't be able to brew coffee and charge her phone at the same time. "I don't know why I didn't notice this on the walkthrough. There are no outlets," says a very amused Kae.
While laughing and completely exasperated, Kae pans the camera quickly over to her studio apartment. There is not a full tour, and Kae is still unpacking, but she maintains there are no outlets in her apartment. If it weren't for the unusual amount of outlets in my own place, I'm not sure I would have noticed a lack of outlets either.
An outlet is kind of like a plunger. Stay with me here. It's one of those things you don't notice until you need it. For example, I moved into my apartment in July 2023 and in November 2023, I had my first stopped up toilet. Sorry to brag so openly. That was the moment I realized I somehow didn't have a plunger. I imagine an outlet pops up when one is looking for one.
One person in the comments had an incredible suggestion. It's one of those adorable hacks that one needs when they live in a small space. "You can go to Home Depot and buy light bulb adapters that have sockets in them. They still allow for a bulb too, and are cheap," wrote Shilo de Armas.
You might be asking yourselves, didn't you say there is actually one outlet in this apartment? I did. In a , Kae explained that she does have a single outlet for her kitchen and it's in an inconvenient location. As she was filming, Kae was en route to her local Target to buy an extension cord.
Obviously, that's not ideal, but I'm wondering if Kae meant she was going to buy a power strip and not an extension cord. At least with a power strip, she can get half a dozen more outlets out of it. It won't be pretty, but it will work. She will also need a surge protector.
"This is partially on me," says Kae who admitted to previously renting a different apartment in the same building. "My other apartment had no outlets in the kitchen at all." The only outlet available was for the fridge and this outlet was the special kind with the larger prong in the center.
In a separate unrelated TikTok, Kae mentioned living in Tennessee. I called up an electrician in that state and asked a few questions about her conundrum. A very nice electrician from HCS Electrical LLC, who I'm calling Frank, was enormously helpful.
Kae mentioned that her building was erected in the 1920s which would absolutely explain a lack of outlets. Naturally they had less appliances back then. "As a matter of fact, they were still using horse and buggies in the mid-1930s up until the early 1940s in the rural areas," said Frank. He also pointed out that code books weren't coming out until the 1930s, which meant there were no specific requirements for anything built before then.
Frank revealed that the owners of the apartment building aren't required to bring it up to code. It's up to code for when it was built. So, it looks like Kae might be stuck with some extension cords for now. I extend my deepest sympathies.