It’s easy to become overly excited and overwhelmed when moving into a new rented place. You immediately want to unpack everything and stuff all your furniture in but it helps if you take a little time to prepare and plan. I’ve been renting pretty much my whole life and have picked up some great tips to help you avoid the pitfalls and turn your new rented house or flat into a home!
1. Take Photos Of Everything
Don’t get screwed out of your deposit when you move out – ensure you go around taking photos of anything in less-than perfect condition, every wall-scrap, carpet stain and crack. This gives you proof of any damage that was already there when you moved in and will help a lot if they are trying to blame it on you! Also make sure you correct the inventory they give you and write down all of these flaws so you not only have photographic proof but you also have it in writing. When you are renting, it is extremely important to protect yourself from some greedy lettings companies.
2. Paint & Clean Everything
Lettings companies will usually claim they will deep-clean the property before you move in, but in my experience you will turn up and they will have done the bare minimum. We had promises of carpet cleanings, re-painted walls and for some things to be fixed. When we moved in, they had cleaned the oven, and only the oven.
A huge factor in the appearance of a room is down to the canvas. After you have gone around and taken those photos make sure you spend a couple of days cleaning every nook and cranny, refreshing any worn-down paint, deep-cleaning the carpets and some general TLC. This is a fairly inexpensive way to immediately make your new home feel fresh, new and ready for your furniture. I cannot underestimate how much of a difference this makes.
3. Hang Up Artwork
Firstly, you should create a rough plan in your mind of how you would like to layout your rooms, and figure out all the spaces you have left that need some wall-art. You could have one piece of furniture in your room but if you’ve started filling the walls, it will already feel like your home is starting to come together. It’s a great way to put your own impact on your rooms and there’s loads of ways to hang things up without needing to put holes in the walls. You can also use wall-art to cover any blemishes you can’t easily fix/ugly fixtures and control panels.
If you’re on a budget I recommend looking in charity shops for cheap paintings and canvases, you can create your own inexpensive art work using mosaic, collage or paint. Using printed photos and cheap frames, which you can easily paint to your own tastes, is also a very cheap way to create impact with gallery walls.
4. Try To Avoid Hard-to-Move, Large Furniture
When you’re renting, it is assumed that you are going to be moving out at some point in the future, so remember that everything you get in, you’ll have to get back out. This is especially important if you live in a flat up a couple of flights of stairs. That huge couch may look great in the showroom but see how much you love it when you’ve spent 6 hours trying to get it in. Also try not to be fooled by flat-pack furniture, it’s easy to get it in, but once you’ve put it all together you’ll never want to dismantle it again and has probably caused a few arguments! This is especially true for larger pieces such as wardrobes, they tend to not survive being moved whole so only buy something like that if you are willing to take it back down and put it back together all over again.
5. Get Lots Of Storage
Rental places, especially flats, never seem to have adequate storage areas, you’re lucky if you get one small closet area in the whole place. Under-bed storage bins, multipurpose chests, furniture with drawers and cupboards make the world of difference. Bookcases are also great and have an added bonus of making the walls a bit more sound-proof.
6. Fill Your Rooms With Soft Furnishings
If you live in a flat, especially if you live in an older building, you probably know how easily sound travels. Filling your rooms with lots of sound-absorbing materials such as rugs, pillows, blankets will help reduce the amount of sound your neighbours can hear. Sound tends to ricochet off hard surfaces so try to limit the amount in your busiest rooms such as the living room and bedrooms. Putting thick rugs down also helps absorb noise coming up from your downstairs neighbours, you can also buy sound-proofing curtains if your noise problems are coming from the street or hang them on the inside of your front door if you’re frequently disturbed by hallway conversations.
Let me know if you’ve got any extra tips for moving into a rental home!