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9 Tips for Making the Most of Small Spaces


1. TV Stand

Turn your TV stand or coffee table into storage. If you put together some plastic bins or drawers, you can cover them so that nobody will be the wiser. That will free up quite a bit of visible space, helping you to feel less cluttered. You can find these bins at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, or any other place like it. Be creative in finding some covers for new storage/TV stand.




2. Travel Case

A simple bathroom solution would be to get a multi-use travel case, like this one from StrongMoms and hang it from the door. There are several pockets and containers in this little case. We keep small bottles, such as nail polish in the bottom pocket, then fill the center pocket with nail clippers, tweezers, etc.


3. Cinderblocks

Raise your bed with something very sturdy, like cinderblocks or hard plastic storage crates. Doing so will allow you to place a whole lot of stuff underneath. It makes for a convenient, easy-t0-hide storage area. You might be able to stow a nightstand under there, which will free up quite a bit of bedroom space. In fact, you could even eliminate a dresser by putting some bins or drawers with clothes under the bed. That’s nice.


4. Closet

If you do have a dresser that’s driving you crazy, you might like to see if it fits in the closet. That might seem strange, but if you can actually get your dresser in the closet, imagine all that extra space.


5. Shelves

You might need extra permission for this, but it might be useful to hang up some shelves around the apartment. This will help keep things off the floor, and that always helps keep the place clean.


6. Laundry

Get a laundry bag you can hang up. Hang it up on the wall. That will give you some floor space and will keep your clothes from gathering that musty scent.


7. Plastic Drawers

Buy some small plastic drawers that you can keep in the kitchen and the bathroom. For all that stuff that inevitably ends up living on the countertop, get some small drawers and just put everything in there.


8. Shoe Basket

When you need your shoes, they seem to be missing. When you don’t need your shoes, they seem to be right in the walkway. Try getting a basket that you can put by the front door or by your bedroom door. Get into the habit of dropping your shoes in there every single time you walk in the door. It will be nice not to have shoes scattered everywhere.


9. Odds & Ends

There are really weird things that don’t exactly fit in drawers or closets and that fall off of hangers too easily. Belts, scarves, and ties can be so annoying. Use a plastic over-the-door hanger. They have about ten knobs to give you plenty of space to hang up all those loose items.



Applying these principles of storage for small spaces should make your life feel much less cluttered and burdensome. Again, if you have your own suggestions or ideas, share them with us in the comment section below. And, as always, get down with your social self with any or many of the buttons around.

Finding the Best Dog for Apartment Living

We absolutely love our dogs. They are lovable, cute, loyal, fun, and many of us just have to have them. However, if you’re renting, getting and keeping a dog can be quite a chore. In this post, we’ll cover some of the most important things to consider when searching for the best dog for apartment living.


COST

When paying rent, the last thing most people want to do is add another several hundred dollars on top of a deposit, rent, utilities, laundry facilities, parking costs, and more. You will likely have to pay extra pet rent, but if you search in the right places, there are plenty of adorable little pups to find for affordable prices.
The Humane Society is a great source for finding the perfect pet that won’t break the bank. A simple Google search “Humane Society of San Diego” (or whatever your state/city may be) will help you find the results you are looking for. They have dozens of potential heart-thieves.
When considering the cost of the dog up front, you must also recognize the cost of care will always be more than buying the pet in the first place.


CARE

A common perception among apartment-dwellers is that small dogs are best. While the size of the dog compared with square feet of your apartment would support this notion, you still have to be careful to identify which breeds will be the most ideal, after taking size into consideration.
A huge advantage to small dogs is the amount of food they eat. As a kid, I was raised along side a Saint Bernard/Golden Retriever mix. His name was Rambo, and he could have eaten a horse (or me) if we let him. I never once considered the amount of money my parents must have spent for his dog food. With smaller dogs, however, one large bag lasts for several months, or small bags that must be replaced more frequently, but are easier to store.
All dogs love attention. In some form or another, they need to be loved. Some need to be cuddled and petted on your lap, while others just have to escape the house and go running or play fetch. While all dogs should get exercise, it can be more important to some than it is to others. You’ll want to consider this part of your lifestyle as well. Ask a professional when looking into this.
Also consider the amount of clean-up you may have to do. Some dogs shed once a season or so. While this is usually the time when owners go crazy, there are things you can do to avoid or manage the situation.
Finding a short-haired dog will usually prevent seasonal insanity. Chihuahuas are spunky little dogs who also happen to be very common in many humane society locations. They are quite loyal to one person, and peaking energy could be a lot to handle, but they are a great pet if you don’t have time to go running every single day and you hate the idea of organic shag carpet all over your apartment.


CONCLUSION

Remember that there are plenty of wonderful dogs available to you through sites like the Humane Society or local listings. Many times these animals are orphaned not because of anything of their doing, rather financial duress or other hard times befall the family of caretakers. My widowed grandmother just recently found a great little chihuahua who was well trained and gives her the love and attention she needs while others can’t be around.
Many people might suggest a specific breed for you and your apartment, and they could very well be right. With the information here, you should be able to make your own decision, using the professional caretakers as a strong reference.
Decide which elements of a pet are most important for you. Decide which things you simply cannot and will not put up with. Create a list of those things and keep them with you as you search for your future best friend. This is the best way to find good dogs for apartment living.
Good luck!

The Very Best Music for Your Apartment Life

headphones

Nothing quite compares to the experiences had during apartment living. While at times some negative feelings are attached to this phase of life, we at Vacancy believe that there are some really great ways to have fun and positive experiences while living in your apartment. Music is a powerful catalyst for these great experiences. Allow us to suggest some great music and music sites for the many aspects of your apartment lifestyle. Enjoy!


Moving In or Out

Hauling boxes, packing and unpacking, organizing, cleaning, and delegating are all essential steps to the moving process. This can be stressful, boring, exhausting, exciting, frustrating, or any combination of them all. It can really help to have some quality tunes to improve the mood.


Stressed or Frustrated?

Try “Esp [Deep Relaxation Mix] Radio” on Pandora.com
Try Radiohead, Mum, or ISAN
Try Imogen Heap


Bored or Exhausted?

Try Kaiser Chiefs
Try “Daft Punk Radio” on Pandora
Try Star Trek: Music from the Motion Picture (or others, like the Bourne Series)


Noisy Roomies/Neighbors

If your roommates or neighbors are anything like mine were, you spend many nights trying to get to bed while others are determined to master the expert level drums of Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ on Rock Band. What’s a poor fellow to do?
Try Regina Spektor
Try Nickel Creek
Try Mum, Radiohead
Try Mat Kearney
Try The Postal Service (not USPS)


Sick and Tired of What You’ve Got

I am now at a point where at time I’ll opt for silence over listening to the same stuff I’ve had for years. I’d go buy more music, but who has extra money for that kind of thing anymore? Fortunately for all of us, we have ye old wise interwebs. There are plenty of places to find the very best music without piracy or paying. It’s true.
Try Pandora.com (great way to find new artists you’ll love)
Try Grooveshark.com (like Pandora, only you select every song you listen to, and you can listen to any song as many times as you would like)
Try Slacker.com
Try Playlist.com
Try iTunes Radio (you can actually select various radio stations from all over straight from iTunes. Nobody will charge you any money for it either.


Exercise

Try “Daft Punk Radio” on Pandora.com
Try “Instrumental Hip Hop Radio” on Pandora.com
Try The Almost
Try 80s and 90s Songs. Seriously, any one will do.
Try Cake
Try Timbaland’s Shock Value album, Instrumental Version
Try Linkin Park


Public Transportation

Because some music was just made for headphones and travel.
Try Snow Patrol
Try The Postal Service
Try Death Cab for Cutie
Try Sufjan Stevens
Try The Notwist



This should be a plentiful offering of apartment music. What helps you? What kinds of music do you love to listen to in different situations? What helps you? Enlighten us in the comments below. And share the love by clicking the + Share button.