Your home should serve as your oasis – your sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of daily life. This is especially true now, as our homes are serving as our respective strongholds; the first half of 2020 has been trying in many ways, and many of us are spending more time at home than ever before due to shelter in place mandates and remote work changes.
For renters, making an apartment feel like home can feel challenging, as there tend to be restrictions around what you can change. However, there are plenty of home improvement projects you can add to help make your living space feel more like yours. If you’ve just moved into a new apartment, you can take steps to make it feel like it’s always been yours. Let’s explore easy ways to make your new apartment feel more like home.
- Ensure Your Safety
The first step in feeling comfortable? Feeling safe. Make sure that your apartment has all necessary safety and security features. Not sure what to look for? Here’s a list to get you started:
- Smoke alarms: Rental properties should have smoke alarms; smoke detectors should be placed inside each bedroom, just outside every sleeping area, and on every level of the home, in the event your apartment is multi-level. Before you move in, ask your landlord to show you all of the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms; if you’ve already moved in, do a check yourself.
- Alarm system: While landlords aren’t required to provide an alarm system, you can add your own for a relatively low cost. Ring systems provide camera footage at your front door, and send alerts directly to your home when activity is recorded.
- Get Your Hands Dirty
Before you begin heavily decorating your space, start by deep cleaning and maybe even renovating parts of the apartment. Pull out your disinfectants, grab a mop, and scrub away any remnants of previous tenants. While your landlord should ensure the apartment is in pristine condition when you move in, cleaning the space yourself may help you start forming a stronger attachment to the space, and give you peace of mind that your space is truly clean before you begin to fill it with your own items.
- Customize Your Sleeping Space
We’d argue that there’s no more important room in your apartment than the bedroom. We spend a third of our time sleeping, and our rest heavily influences our holistic health. Focus your attention on your bedroom and make sure the place you rest your head feels as comfortable as possible.
Here are a few key tips to help you customize your sleeping space and ensure your bedroom feels like home:
- Play with lighting: Your bedroom should be calming, and help you drift off to sleep easily at the end of a long day or for a well-deserved afternoon nap. To ensure your room is conducive to restful snoozing, play with lighting. Add a dimmer to better control the amount of light, and add heavy window treatments to help block out the morning rays if you don’t want to rise with the sun.
- Decorate with functional accents: Cute little storage containers can offer both style and practicality. For example, you might store your sleep essentials in stylish containers; if you rely on melatonin or GABA for sleep, place your supplements in a cute little catch-all tray near your bed for easy access.
- Change the Walls
If your landlord (and lease!) allows you to paint the space, consider grabbing a brush and going to town on your walls. This is a quick, relatively inexpensive way to change the overall feeling of your apartments without spending hundreds. Coat the walls in your favorite color, or consider choosing hue based on the atmosphere you’d like to create in each room. For example, a light blue or grey may promote feelings of calm in the bedroom, while brighter yellow may bring cheer to an otherwise darker kitchen. Don’t be afraid to play with color. Can’t paint? Apply removable contact paper to your walls as temporary wallpaper to instantly spruce up an otherwise drab room and make your apartment instantly feel bigger. Then, when the time comes to move out, you can remove without sacrificing a chunk of your security deposit.
- Use Scent to Your Advantage
Scent is the strongest sense tied to memory – if you want to create amazing moments in your space that you can remember for years to come, play around with different scents. Use candles, incense, or essential oils to waft lovely smells throughout your living space.
- Clear the Clutter
If you’re just moving in, you likely have boxes and storage containers littered around the space. Make an effort to start tucking these things away; a place for everything, and everything in its place. Clearing clutter clears mental space, putting you in the right frame of mind to enjoy your living area. Hide the things that don’t add joy to your day; clearing space means you have more room to display personal items of sentimental value.
- Focus on Feel
Your first few weeks in a new apartment can feel a bit lonely and strange. Head off these feelings by adding comfy accessories to every room in the house. Add soft throw pillows to your living room couch and a faux fur blanket to cuddle up in, outfit your kitchen with a soft throw rug to cradle your feet while washing the dishes, and think about how to make the space feel “lived in.” If you’re feeling extremely lonely, consider getting a new furry friend for your new space. Small details can really make all the difference, and focusing on feel can help you acclimate to your new apartment sooner.
Whether you’ve just moved into your apartment or you’re looking to revamp your current rental, the above tips can help you make your new living space feel like home. Creating your own personal oasis is a matter of security and comfort, and the above are just the tip of the iceberg. Did we miss anything? If you have any suggestions for making your apartment feel more like home, comment below!
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