How to Make a Rental Feel Like Home

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Leasing a house or apartment has many advantages, including a lower upfront cost and no long-term commitment. However, many people struggle with making their rental truly feel like home. Fortunately, it’s possible to overcome the decorating obstacles unique to these often-temporary arrangements. Here are some tips from Shirley Martin of TidyLifeToday to get you started.

Simplify

Rentals are ideal for individuals and families who move frequently. While operating within the landlord’s restrictions might not seem conducive to creativity, simplifying your living space actually makes it easier to decorate, as well as making the area feel more like home.

The first step is to declutter. Donate or discard the belongings you do not use or want. Ask yourself when was the last time you used an item. If it was more than a year ago, you likely don’t need to hang onto it. If you find yourself holding on to too many things for sentimental reasons, take photographs of the items before discarding them. This way you can keep mementos without losing storage space.

After you have declutteredMyDomaine notes that it’s time to organize. Not only does organization simplify your next move, but it also makes your home more livable in the present. Create a system that feels natural to you, and make sure all objects have a designated “home.” One helpful organizational strategy is to demarcate space for specific purposes. For example, home offices are extremely useful for those who work remotely. Keeping all your work items confined to a specific location increases productivity by helping you stay organized and avoid distractions. You can also organize your finances by using accounting software to make bookkeeping a breeze.

decluttered and organized, it should be easier to personalize the space with accent pieces and other decorative flourishes.

Save

If you rent, you may be reluctant to spend much on decorating if you do not intend to stay for a while. Fortunately, House Beautiful points out that there are many ways to decorate on a budget. Try discount stores and second-hand shops. Consider painting furniture you already have to give it a fresh look. Don’t worry about whether your decor “matches.” The eclectic look is in style.

Move

Data show that renters remain in a single-family home three years on average and even less in one-bedroom apartments. When decorating your rental, keep your next move in mind. Choosing furniture that is easy to move makes it more likely that you won’t regret your purchases when your lease is up.

Unfortunately, there are times when your current home simply can’t meet your needs no matter how much you reorganize and rearrange. In these instances, it is often best to move. Always use proper etiquette if you need to speak with your landlord about breaking your lease. Keep in mind the downsides of doing so, including the potential effects on your credit score and rental history.

If you choose to move, carefully research the housing market in the area to which you are moving. Online directories to housing are particularly helpful with this. Most sites allow you to filter search results by location, price range, number of bedrooms and other features. Many even have 3D tours so that you can get a better idea of the layout than you could from pictures alone.  

Renting a house or apartment should not mean that you end up living in a box devoid of personality. There’s still plenty of room to express yourself creatively. Decorating mindfully and keeping the place decluttered and well organized should allow you to make almost any place feel like home.

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