Rental properties are great for a variety of reasons. Many people rent before they are ready to buy their own home or if they only plan to stay in an area for a short period of time. They are a relatively affordable way to stay in your desired area without the burden of homeownership. That being said, moving into a space that you don’t own can make it hard to feel like home. There will be rules on what you can and cannot change or customize. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make a rental feel like home.
A space that is filled with boxes and is only half-unpacked will never feel like home. Dedicate the first week of moving into getting everything out of boxes and giving it a home. It doesn’t have to be perfect; you can always rearrange things later on. The goal of this is to begin to take up your space and give it your own personality.
Focus on Your Happy Spots
What are “happy spots”? These are the places in your home where you plan to spend the most time. It could be your porch, kitchen, bedroom, or anywhere else in your home. While settling into your new place, you likely will not have the time nor the budget to make every spot in your home perfect. What you can do instead is put that energy toward your favorite places in your home. Find the spots that you gravitate toward and that make you happy, and get those settled right away. Nothing makes a rental feel like home more than having your go-to spot set up.
You’d be surprised how much adding plants to your rental can make it feel like home. They add color, texture and purify your air. Having to take care of them will also force you to get into a small routine, which will help you settle into the space faster. If you are notoriously bad at keeping plants alive, try a few of these hard-to-kill houseplants.
Decorate the Walls
There is truly nothing sadder in a rental than all of the blank white walls. It makes the space feel cold and unlived. Use command strips to hang up pictures and art to the walls to give the place some personality and color. Putting up wall art and photos is one of the fastest ways to transform a dull space into one that reflects you and your personal style.
Make Some Rental-Friendly Updates
Most landlords have pretty strict rules on what you can change in your rental. Even if they are lenient, you will want to be careful, as you will see no return on your investment for any updates you do. That being said, there are a few very cost-effective ways to update your rental to make it feel more like home. Look to replace things like outdated lighting fixtures and old showerheads. Another super-easy way to spruce up the place is to replace cabinet knobs, and drawer pulls. Remove the old ones, purchase new, more attractive alternatives, and keep the old ones somewhere to put back before moving out.
Invest in Quality Furniture
Buying cheap, unattractive furniture because you know you’re only going to be renting short term is a mistake we’ve all made. It makes your rental feel cheaper, less comfortable, and temporary – more like a college dorm and less like home. Instead, invest in good, quality furniture that you see as a long-term investment that you can take with you. If you can’t afford expensive furniture, look into high-quality secondhand furniture or outlet stores that sell discounted furniture due to small imperfections.
Install Temporary Wallpaper
Most landlords will not allow you to paint your walls. So, if you want to add a pop of color, you’ll have to get creative. Temporary wallpaper is a great way to add personality to a rental on a budget. It easily peels and sticks to your walls and does not damage them when removing. Plus, most temporary wallpapers can be used several times so that you can take them with you to your next rental.
Have a Comfortable Bed
Your bed is a huge part of making a rental feel like home. It’s somewhere you want to be happy to be back to after being away for a while. Invest in high thread-count bedding that you feel comfortable in. If you like a softer mattress, purchase a mattress pad for extra comfort. Get pillows that appeal to your level of firmness. Make your bed every morning, so you have a nice spot to come back to after a long day.
Host a Housewarming Party
Finally, once you are unpacked, and your rental fits your personality, share it with the people you love to really make it feel like home. Sharing laughs and making memories in your rental is truly the easiest way to turn it from a temporary space into a home.
For more tips on moving and enjoying your space, sign up for our once-monthly blog newsletter.