Get Your Damage Deposit Back

How to Get Back Your Apartment Deposit

If you’re a renter, you should already be familiar with damage deposits (sometimes called “security deposit”). They are, unfortunately, a necessary evil for the property management to protect themselves from losing money.

If you’re a responsible tenant, and you take the appropriate steps when moving out of your apartment, you should be able to get all (or at least some) of your deposit back. Then, that money can go toward your next apartment, your new home, or simply toward some much-needed shopping. Whatever you want to spend it on, here are some tips for getting it back. Continue reading

Maximize Small Spaces with Foldable Furniture

As someone who lives in a small house, I’m often struck by how much more space I’d have if only my furniture would fold out of the way when I’m not using it.

While I haven’t had the smarts to invest in such foldable gear, it’s out there in spades. If you’re planning to furnish a small space, think hard about investing in a few convertible pieces.

I’ve done a little legwork to find you some of the more useful and stylish folding furniture. But for those of us that just need a few easy solutions, here are some good ones.


Photo via Amazon

Photo via Amazon

Of course your go-to option is the fold-out couch, some of which are more comfortable than others (the one I’ve got folds out into a bed about as comfortable as my own). Then there’s the classic Murphy bed that folds down from the wall, as well as the ever-popular frame-based futon. Less commonly used in the U.S. is the traditional Japanese floor futon, which is basically a long cushion that rolls up for efficient storage during the day.

Tables and chairs

A wall-mounted drop-leaf table is a very efficient use of space, as are free-standing versions that fold out into dining tables. To keep your table totally hidden, try this table that folds up to become a mirror hanging on the wall.

Photo via

Photo via

Foldable chairs are a dime a dozen, so you have your pick of styles. There are colorful, stylish ones, comfy reclining ones, and sporty outdoorsy ones.


Photo via

Photo via

Desks lend themselves well to folding. There are great wall-mounted options, like this fold-down work station and this fold-out convertible desk. Others are expandable or fold up into a tray table. There are also folding desk-bookshelf combos and, of course, traditional secretaries with a fold-down workspace.


Photo via Target

Photo via Target

Kitchens have limited capacity for folding up, but there are a few possibilities here. Try this folding kitchen island cart to give yourself more storage and counter space when you need it. If you’re really pressed for space, take a page from the camping playbook and use fold-flat bowls and fold-flat mugs—think of the cupboard space you’ll save with these.

Do you own any foldable furniture? What is your favorite foldable item and how much space does it save?

Organize Your Small Spaces: The Best of the Web

Do you live in tight quarters and wonder how to better organize your small space to advantage? I’ve scoured the Web to bring you some of the best advice on that score. From virtual bookshelves to hidden laundry rooms, these ideas run the gamut.


The Tiny House Blog, which surely must be an authority on the subject, suggests in its article on staying organized in small spaces that you take your media digital to cut down on bookshelf space.

House Beautiful offers 11 essential organizing tips for small spaces, including making use of convertible furniture. Why not use the same table as a desk and for dining at different times of day?

HGTV brings viewers a set of inspiring small spaces, including ideas like using floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and using mirrors to make spaces look larger.

Real Simple’s storage ideas for small spaces include using shelves to organize desk items and setting up a wrapping and craft cupboard.

Pinterest gets into the act, with pages like small space organizing and organizing small spaces. These organizers offer ideas like stowaway drawers under a bed, an over-the-door vanity, a hidden baby changing station, Murphy beds, and sliding shelves for the garage.

Southern Living brings us 10 ways to organize a laundry room, such as camouflaging the space using double-louvered doors and creating a dedicated ironing station.

Better Homes and Gardens offers readers 30 ways to store more in your bathroom, including housing supplies under the sink, hanging a towel caddy over a wall hook, and installing an extra medicine cabinet.

Check out this Wall Street Journal MarketWatch video, which provides advice from professional organizers on making the most of small spaces.

And finally, Simple Organized Living’s page on organizing a small space on an even smaller budget reminds dwellers of tight quarters that they need to declutter on a daily basis.

What’s your favorite small-space organizing tip? Which sites or blogs give you ideas?