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X Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Rental

Renters are often caught between not wanting to invest time and money into a short-term home and wanting to make the place their own.

Since you’re going to be spending much of your free time living in those four walls, you’ll be much happier if it’s full of your style. So, you need some easy ways to tweak your temporary living space.

Depending on your lease, you may find it’s not as hard as you thought to make some changes. Try these simple methods to spruce up your rental and enjoy your personal style while you’re there.

Go Digital

When was the last time you shopped for some home technology? If it’s been a while, you’ll be amazed at how many ways there are to make your life easier.

It’s not the cheapest way to get the job done, but every digital upgrade you make can go with you into your next home.

The Essential Digital Devices

Start with smart devices that give you peace of mind when you’re not home. A ring video doorbell, for example, is motion activated so you can see who is on your doorstep or in your yard.

Other devices save you money, such as the thermostat monitors. Change the temperature of your house from your phone and program set times to cool or warm each room. Your HVAC unit will last longer and run more efficiently, and your utility bills will be smaller.

With a virtual assistant like Alexa or Echo and a smart plug, you can turn your TV and lights on or off without moving. Everything is easier when you go digital!

Use Peel-and-Stick Paper

We can handle a lot of small things, like an ugly bathroom counter. But when your walls are blah, it’s harder to ignore.

In the past, unless your landlord allowed you to repaint, you were stuck with what you had. Now, removable wallpaper is everywhere. It’s inexpensive, versatile, and simple to apply and takedown.

Looking for a rustic style? Find some peel-and-stick farmhouse paper. Aiming for a more modern feel? Geographic patterns and abstract art are trending!

Whatever your style is, there’s a removable wallpaper for that. And since it’s affordable and won’t damage the walls, there’s no reason not to upgrade your home!

Change the Fixtures

The only thing your landlord is responsible for upgrading is any old appliance that doesn’t work. However, you can swap out anything you want, as long as you put the original back before you move.

You probably don’t want to invest in a stove or fridge, but go ahead and replace those old showerheads! Every shower you take can be luxurious and save water with a WaterSense fixture.

In fact, you can change everything from that ugly cabinet and drawer handles to the outlet covers and blinds. Don’t throw out the old ones. Store them in a drawer or closet, and put them back in place before you move.

Cover Up the Kitchen

Living in a home with an old-fashioned kitchen makes it difficult to enjoy mealtime. Unless you want to pay for an overhaul and get your landlord’s permission, you’re stuck with what you have.

Or are you?

Not if you buy some peel-and-stick contact paper for cupboards and appliances. These work similar to the removable wallpaper, but are designed for hard-to-stick places.

You can have an entirely new kitchen without making a single permanent change.

Change the Lighting

Does the light make your room feel drab and dull? Or is it so bright that you can see every flaw and piece of dirt?

With a few strategic lighting changes, you can adjust the entire atmosphere of a room.

Grab some LED strip lighting and tape it around the window ledge or a shelf for a cozy, peaceful mood. Switch out the lightbulbs in the overhead fixture for a brighter or dimmer look.

If you still need more light in an area, use corner or table lamps. Don’t forget to hook them to your smart plugs to make them easy to turn on and off!

Throw Down Some Rugs

The floor is one of the last things to get renovated in a rental. Who knows how long your flooring has been there?

If you have carpet, start with a steam cleaning. Even if they already did it before you moved in, you want to make sure it was done right. Get rid of any mites or other microorganisms living in your home, and start from scratch!

Then, add some well-placed area rugs in your kitchen, bathroom, and living room. The pop of color or artwork personalizes the space and covers up cold tile.

Area rugs are also perfect accessories for the bedroom. Put a soft, cushy rug next to your bed, and every time you step on it, your feet will thank you.


Upgrading your rental doesn’t have to cost a fortune or result in permanent changes. These six simple style overhauls can turn your temporary place into your sanctuary without breaking the terms of your lease!