You’ve probably just spent 3 hours reading through your rental agreement and you definitely know the endless list of things you can’t do in your new home. From my experience, it often basically meant: do not feel at home. On one hand, if think about it for a sec, the limits to which you have to attend are fair since you are temporarly living there and it might be that the future tenants won't like your taste at all.
On the other hand, however, 12 months aren't such a breeze and it's definitely a long time to live anywhere without feeling at home. So, don't worry, there are ways to actually give your new home a lot of personality, without breaking the rules of your tenancy contract, without breaking the bank or pissing off your landlord.
1 Feel at home
As a long-term renter, the first thing you have to do is to feel at home. Some of the tips below are emotional others very practical, but don't do like I did at the beginning: from day one, make sure to feel like you own the place. Stop feeling like you are en passant in your own home. It's a state of mind and and it often just needs a little mental trigger to happen.
2 Paint your home
First of all, make sure to ask your landlord if you are allowed to paint, if he says yes, pick your fav colour and go for it. If s/he goes mental at the idea, there are some great (cheap) temporary wallpapers around today.
3 Use your walls...
If painting or gluing a wallpaper is forbidden, then use your walls in another creative ways. Check if you can make nail holes as it's easy to fill nail holes when you leave so hang up your favorite pictures and artwork. Surround yourself with things you love and that make you feel at home.
4 ...or your floors
If painting, making holes, hanging pictures, all seems impossible within the terms of your contract, then why don't you opt to change the floors. Hold on, I'm not really suggesting you to take off the parquet, but adding acolourful rug or a plain white carpet can totally change the mood and feel of a room.
5 Buy things you really love
It took me a long time to get my head around this. But it's important to invest in pieces that you know you will keep beyond this home. Forget the idea to wait until you'll own a home, your time is now (in all senses), so why don't you buy things you absolutely adore and make this home your home?
Obviously don't get crazy and buy lots of giant accessories (shipping internationally is one of the most expensive things I witnessed), but maybe buy things and pieces that belong to you and you'd happily see in your future homes.
6 Unpack E V E R Y T H I N G
Unpack all of your stuff. I remember that when I moved from London to Milan, it took me ages to unpack my things. I wasn't sure that had been the right move for me and my career and so for about 3/4 months I lived out of suitcases and boxes. Do not do that. It makes you feel like you are passing by and it will be obviously impossible to feel at home.
6 Buy Plants
There is nothing more helpful than feeling at home than with a pet. Most rental agreements don't allow you to have a dog or a car, however, you can most surely have a plant. Or a series of plants. It's obviously not the same, but the necessary care that is needed for a little home garden is surely comparable to the one you'd need for an animal. So why don't take that as an opportunity to test yourself?
7 Make (more) room
Most apartments I lived in where tiny, tiny, tiny. Well, very tiny. But there is a simple way to expand rooms. Buy or make a folding screen or a bookcase and place it in a way which creates some extra space. This is an excellent and almost inexpensive way to create intimacy or even an extra room in your home. And both the room divider and the bookcases are something you can take away with you when you leave.
Still looking for tips to feel at home? Let us know in the comments below! Are you still looking for the perfect accommodation? Visit Spotahome to find your next home!