Moving into rented housing is not as uncommon as you may think. According to statistics, a record low number of young people is looking to invest in buying real estate. So living in rented housing could be on the way to becoming the norm. If you too have, by choice or for lack of other options, decided on renting instead of buying, you might find yourself wondering how you will ever feel at home in a place that does not belong to you. But there are ways to make your rental feel like home. So here are some things you can do before and after moving to help you settle into a rented home.

Before you move in: renting done right

Moving in and out of rented housing is a lot simpler and cheaper than buying and selling your own property. This is why we often think of renting as a transitional stage in life and associate it with students or young people who are not quite ready to settle down yet. But this isn’t always the case. You could end up renting a house at any point in your life and for a wide variety of reasons. Most importantly, you never know how long you may end up staying in your rental.

keys in a hand

Do good research before you decide to rent

This is why it’s important that you don’t think of rental as a hotel. You don’t own it, but you will live in it. It will still be your home, if only for a while. So choose the right rental from the start. It should be a place you really like, one that suits your needs. Choose it just like you would a house you’re buying. This is the first step to make your rental feel like a home.

Get informed

There are some things you probably already know to ask your future landlord. Things like how long the lease is for, when your rent is due and what payment options are available will all probably occur to you. But there are some questions you may not have considered such as:

  • are there any additional services (such as laundromats, storage or parking) on the property or near it?
  • are pets allowed on the property and under which circumstances?
  • is there public transport nearby and how accessible is the area via other means of transport?
  • what changes (such as painting and remodeling) are you allowed to make?

Depending on where you’removing, you may have some more specific questions too. If your new location is somewhere in Miami Dade County, for example, you can ask about the proximity of the beach. That way you can make plans for some fun time in the sun and have something to look forward to while unpacking. If you’re a nature-lover, inquire about how to get to the Everglade park. This will ensure you already have a way to get to an oasis of peace while going through the hectic process of moving.

book with glasses

Use all the resources and get informed!

Getting to know the specifics about the place you’re renting and the area before moving will make you feel more at ease in your rental when you move in.

Build a relationship with your landlord

A good relationship with your landlord is crucial to feeling at home in a rental. You can find help with an emergency move (among other services offered) on, but try to avoid getting in that situation. Be polite and friendly to your landlord and try to make a connection. Good rapport will put you both at ease and you will be more comfortable with living on someone else’s property if they feel like a friend.

After you move in: make your rental feel like home

Rentals can feel impersonal when you first move in. They are, after all, meant to appeal to as many different tenants as possible. So even if you already like the place, you will certainly want to make some changes to it after moving in. Just remember to ask your landlord about what is allowed before you start planning!

Get rid of the previous tenant’s stuff

Moving into a rental can be like stepping into somebody else’s home. The decor the previous tenant favored may not suit your tastes. And anything they leave behind when moving will make the place feel like it still belongs to them. You can make your rental feel like home by removing anything left over from the previous occupants. This will go a long way to making the place feel yours and increasing your comfort.

Bring things from home with you

Home is not just a place – it is all the things in it. And those you can bring with you. Move your favorite curtains, bedspreads, throw pillows and even carpets and into your rental with you. Even if you are going for a minimalist style, decorate a bit with a few things that remind you of your old home. It’s a great way to combat nostalgia!

Make it personal

The best thing you can do to make your rental feel like home quickly is to personalize it. So unpack quickly! Put up framed family photos, fill the shelves with your favorite books, put magnets on your fridge and spread out the souvenirs from your travels around the living room. These seemingly small things will have a huge impact by making space feel lived in.

home to make your rental feel like home

Make your place feel like home!

Decorate the walls

Walls are the perfect place for personalization. They are basically huge and incredibly visible canvases for you to play with. Leaving them bare will make the place feel empty and impersonal. So start your decorating there. There are plenty of things you can do with walls: paint them your favorite color, hang up photos and art or build in shelves to house your knick-knacks! Even just taping your children’s drawings on will go a long way to make your rental feel like a home. These are just some of the moving tricks!

Alternatives to repainting

Painting is a great way to freshen up a home. Most landlords will allow you to repaint the place as long as it’s a color that’s easy to change later (shades of white, beige or pastel are all considered rental-friendly). But sometimes you need to make your rental feel like home without permanent changes. If that’s the case, consider temporary wallpaper, masking tape designs, wall decals or tapestries!

Plants: homey decoration that’s not permanent

There’s a reason potted plants are a popular gift for moving in. They add color and life to your new place, give you something to care for and make for a great and sometimes useful hobby. An added bonus is that they are very easy to remove and don’t present a permanent change so there is absolutely no reason why you couldn’t have them in a rental. Decorating your rented place with plants is, therefore, a great way to make it homey and personal without risking your deposit!

Work with what you’ve got

One of the most important things when decorating a home is sticking to a theme that ties it all together. If you’re renting, your choices may be a bit limited as the place will most likely already have a certain vibe. A good idea then is to go with that flow. Embrace the place as it is and improve on it instead of changing it too much. Find a way to work with what you’ve got and you’ll make your rental feel like home in no time!

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