10 Tricks To Make Your Rental Feel Like Home Until You Can Afford One

personalize rental

Usually, rental leases limit the number of changes that you can make to the home’s interiors. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to live in a bland space. To prove that point, we’ve got 10 tricks to make your rental feel like home. Read them over so that you can keep your security deposit safe.

1. Give everything a good scrub down

Most leases stipulate that a rental has to be “broom swept clean” before it’s handed over from one pair of tenants to the next. However, keep in mind that phrase can mean very different things to different people. The last thing anyone wants to do when they move into a new place is feel like they’re living in someone else’s mess.

Before you do anything else — including unpacking — take the time to give the whole apartment a good scrub down. After it’s done, you’ll be glad you did and you’ll be able to start your new chapter on a fresh note.

2. Get unpacked ASAP

Next, it’s time to unpack. After all, it’s nearly impossible to feel at home when you’re still living out of boxes and ordering takeout for dinner every night. With that in mind, do your best to take things out of boxes and set them where you think they might belong. To keep this task from getting too overwhelming, go room-by-room and be sure to take breaks often.

3. Organize and declutter

If you haven’t taken care of this already, the next step in this process is to take the time organize and declutter your belongings. Here, you should aim to ensure that every item has its own place of honor in your new rental.

If there’s something that doesn’t seem to fit in your new space or that you no longer feel like you need, consider trying to find another use for it or donating it.  No two rentals are going to be the same and sometimes you need to let go of a few items in order to make room for the new things you need.

4. Think about using temporary wallpaper

Now on to the fun part: decorating.

In years past, it was hard to really make a rental feel like home because, in most cases, you were limited to living with stark white walls. Fortunately, these days, that is no longer the case. Thanks to a solution known as temporary wallpaper, you can customize your walls however you see fit.

Temporary wallpaper typically bonds to the wall using a low-tack adhesive. You can think of it as the more sophisticated version of a wall decal. When you’re done with it, all you do is take a corner and peel it off the wall, which leaves your security deposit safe and sound.

5. Invest in plenty of wall art

Whether or not temporary wallpaper is your thing, it’s a good idea to invest in plenty of wall art. Since taste in art is so individual, this is a surefire way to infuse your new home with a sense of your personality. It’s also a great way to keep those basic rental walls from feeling too boring and underutilized.

6. Look into your lighting options

Once you have the wall art up, your next step is to look into some more lighting options. While your rental probably came equipped with the standard overhead light fixtures, you can do a lot to change the mood of the space by layering in different lamps.

Think about getting a few floor lamps and table lamps to brighten up any dark corners and bring in some ambiance. If you can, try to find lighting fixtures that allow for different levels of brightness so that you can set the mood as you see fit.

7. Pick out a few good area rugs

Another way to bring a sense of personal style into your home is through area rugs. Not only are they great for grounding a seating area and making it look more polished, but they also help infuse the space with a sense of warmth.

Wherever you can, opt for an area rug that has a strong pattern or color scheme. Doing so is a great way to bring color into the room without having to put a drop of paint on the walls.

8. Bring in other textiles, too

In addition to area rugs, think about making use of other textiles like throw pillows, blankets, and curtains. Again, these items are an easy and often cost-effective way to make a room more to your tastes without breaking the terms of your lease. Often, they also bring some additional texture to your design, which adds to its overall complexity.

9. Add in more decor items

Decor items solely serve a decorative purpose. They’re especially useful to liven up shelving units and table surfaces. While that may seem frivolous to some, these items are often eye-catching and serve to make the room seem purposely finished. You can find these items at any store that focuses on home interiors.

10. Don’t forget about plant life

Last but not least, if you have a green thumb, don’t forget about greenery. Plants and flowers can serve a decorative purpose in addition to showing off your efforts. Don’t hesitate to layer them throughout your home’s design.

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By Tara Mastroeni / February 26th, 2020 / Categories: , , / Tags: ,

Tara Mastroeni

Tara Mastroeni is a real estate and personal finance writer. Find her at TMRealEstateWriter.com or on Twitter at @TaraMastroeni.