Renting is a flexible option when you’re not ready to buy a house or condo. But living in a rented apartment presents plenty of problems. From bland walls to noisy neighbors, these hacks for apartment dwellers will help you enjoy your living experience.
Decorate With Abandon
Peel-and-stick options make changing up your decor easy — and you won’t have to check with your landlord. Change the look of old, stained, or just plain ugly walls, counters, backsplashes, and even flooring with this attractive alternative to long-term decorating solutions. You’ll get the look you want without the cost or need for approval that comes with wallpaper, painting, and new countertops or floors. You may be surprised at the high-end look of many available styles.
Just as your landlord might frown upon significant changes of the permanent variety, small but unsightly holes may add up to a dent in your deposit. That doesn’t mean you can’t hang artwork or keep your clothes handy on the back of a door. Command Hooks from 3M let you stick lightweight hooks on wood, tile, and other surfaces. The hooks can be moved and reused after applying a refill strip, and they won’t damage the walls of your apartment.
Never Wash Dishes Again
For anyone who’s moved into a lovely older rental but found constant dishwashing anything but charming, a countertop dishwasher could be the answer. These portable machines don’t require any hook-up; most can just be attached to your kitchen tap. Today’s models are surprisingly attractive and efficient, using only a few gallons of water. If you pay your own water bills or just want to conserve water, you’ll be happy to know that this option uses nearly 10 times less water than washing by hand.
Keep Package Thieves at Bay
Another common issue with rentals is finding a way to receive packages securely. Whether your building’s lobby isn’t the safest place for your packages or your front porch seems to attract every thief in the neighborhood, a parcel locker is a smart solution. If you can pick up your packages at work, it’s even better. Commercial parcel lockers allow employees to safely receive packages and take them home at day’s end. Let your employer know how happy he or she will make workers with the ultimate convenience for renters.
Storage on Wheels
Storage can be a big problem, especially with roommates. Bathrooms can be tricky since there usually isn’t enough space for everyone’s toiletries and other supplies. A rolling cart is a perfect hack for organizing your morning. Stash your blow dryer, shower supplies, and other bathroom basics on an attractive cart with casters. Carts can be had cheaply at IKEA and other discount chain stores. Choose one in your favorite color to brighten your daily routine. These carts can also be used to keep culinary, arts and crafts, and office supplies within easy reach.
Other Space-Saving Ideas
It isn’t just your rolling supplies that need attention. With so much focus on tiny homes these days, you have plenty of options for making use of every square inch in your place. Expand storage space in a small apartment with rolling racks that fit in the narrowest of areas. Or try furniture that does double duty. Benches with lids provide extra party seating, offer a comfy place to put on your socks, and allow you to stash blankets, pillows, clothes, or anything else you want to keep out of sight but easily accessible. Beds with tons of drawers below the mattress can provide enough storage space to eliminate the need for a dresser. Murphy beds, or wall beds, may not be multifunctional. But they do save tons of space in studio apartments or rentals with more roommates than rooms.
Keep it Down
Noise is often an issue. Whether you live in a high-rise or a duplex, inconsiderate neighbors and city noises can make sleeping or even relaxing difficult. Instead of giving up on the idea of ever getting enough rest again, try making your own noise. We’re not suggesting cranking the stereo or having wild parties. Drown out those auditory invasions with a white noise machine. Or pull up YouTube on your laptop or Roku, then pick a sleep-music video. Lots of eight- or 10-hour videos are available for uninterrupted sleep. You’ll even find videos with dark backgrounds to prevent brightness and glare.
Decorating, storage, and other common renting issues don’t have to suck the joy out of your apartment-dwelling experience. With solutions to suit every budget and need, there’s no need to miss out on the great aspects of renting an apartment.