By Charlotte Richter
Settling into your own place can be exciting, and financially speaking, renting can be a major benefit. You won’t be as affected by property rates and taxes. Additionally, renter’s insurance tends to be a bit more economical than homeowner’s insurance. That said, it is just as important to have, and some properties even require proof of renter’s insurance before you move in.
Insurance Agent, Teresa Anderson, states, “If you’re renting an apartment or home, you’ll need an insurance policy to cover your belongings. Your landlord‘s property insurance policy covers losses to the building itself – whether it’s an apartment, a house or a duplex. Your personal property and certain liabilities, however, are covered only through a renter’s insurance policy that you, as a tenant, have to find and pay for.”
Also of note, the property damage that renters are liable for should be defined in the lease. Sometimes this causes renters to feel hindered in making their rental feel like “home”. More specifically, renters have to be more careful decorating because the house does not belong to them, but there are easy ways to make the space yours.
While some leases allow renters to paint, it’s not all that common. If you can paint, most leases ask that you keep the walls a neutral color and repaint back to the original color before you move out. Ideally, keep all color swatches on hand so you easily find and buy the paint you need. Try to keep changes to a minimum; consider painting an accent wall rather than an entire room.
If you can’t paint or prefer something easier, try removable wallpaper or decals. Target, Walmart and most commercial retailers offer affordable solutions including peel-off wall decals with quotes or shapes to fill space. Fitting an entire wall with wallpaper can take some extra effort, so another simple hack is arranging washi tape or masking tape in patterns across a room. The goal here is to opt for something that won’t damage the existing paint in the area.
Now that you’ve got the base of the wall down, you can take it one step further with picture frames, cork boards, chalkboards or large art pieces (big letters and shapes). Temporary decorations like these allow for a lot of personalization on a blank space. Tapestries and sheets of fabric can also be hung in place of wallpaper or decorations. Again, you don’t want to damage the walls, so invest in command hooks, Velcro strips and small nails. If you are worried about making holes, painter’s infill putty is easy to use and can cover small holes without a lot of work.
Yes, the blinds let you have a little bit of natural light but getting your own curtains can set the tone for a room and add detail where the walls might not. The secret here? Tension rods and Kwik-Hang brackets. Both options are easy to install and remove, and neither create a mess. Tension rods expand into window sills whereas Kwik-Hang can be used on window frames. Light-weight curtains make moving easier, but it’s also practical to have blackout curtains and more formal selections.
Getting an area rug or small floor mats can also significantly change the feel of a room. If you have kids, it also provides an impromptu place to play. Accent rugs with texture or bright colors work well in kitchens and bathrooms, places you’ll spend time in though it might not be for socializing. Rugs and mats are also available at most commercial retailers and online, just make sure you check the measurements in your home or apartment before buying!
Inside the house, you’ll have your own furniture and themes but if you are getting something new, try lighter, mobile furniture that will help you move in and out in the long run. That being said, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for functionality.
Lastly, may we suggest plants! Besides the added oxygen, indoor plants are a great way to bring a home vibe back into your place, and planters can serve as decoration by themselves. Large plants can act in place of furniture. If you want less responsibility in plant care, air plants like succulents which only need misting every once in a while. Succulents and other small plants can also be decorations for countertops, tabletops, and bookshelves.