Renting your home can be both liberating and restricting at the same time. Yes, you can leave almost at the drop of a hat without having the expense of property sales, but at the same time you may not be allowed to make big changes or introduce too many of your own ideas on decor.
If you’re struggling for storage in your rented home, or you just want to make it more your own without leaving a permanent trace, we have a few tips that might help. From self storage units to in-home storage ideas, there’s bound to be something that sparks an idea of your own.
Use all the Space
Every inch counts when you’re searching for storage space. Look for naturally empty areas, such as above wardrobes or under beds and sofas.
The trick to making storage like this look good is to use attractive containers. Under the bed you may not notice so much, so go for shallow tubs on wheels that are easy to pull out.
But if the storage peeks out or is on show, choose a container you enjoy looking at. Ideas include:
- Vintage suitcases
- Wicker or fabric baskets
- Rustic wooden packing or fruit crates
- Ordinary drawers, but on castors. You can screw them on yourself.
Train yourself to see the possibilities in storage solutions. For instance, just because something is marketed as bathroom storage doesn’t mean you can’t use it in the kitchen if it’s the perfect shape and size.
You might not be allowed to drill holes everywhere for shelving, but you can certainly use freestanding units to maximise your storage.
You can also use freestanding shelving units as room dividers to help break up the space and offer a little more privacy if it’s needed.
- Open backed shelving units let light through so are good for shady rooms.
- Solid backed units offer more privacy, and you can treat the back as a wall, decorating it by painting, wallpapering or just hanging pictures or photos.
Either open or solid backed bookcases make lovely privacy screens for a computer or office area, while also giving you somewhere for the printer, stationery, or other work-related items.
Restrict Home Possessions
You don’t have to keep every item you own under your own roof. Lots of people are taking advantage of local self storage facilities to live seasonally and free up living space by hiring a storage unit.
It’s a simple, but effective, solution. In winter, you pop all your summer gear in self storage, then swap things around as the seasons change. You can take the same approach with hobby items, cook and bakeware, or furnishings that don’t fit in your rented home but that you want to keep.
The handy thing about self storage rooms is you’re not tied to a long contract, plus there’s a huge range of sizes, right down to lockers if you just need a bit of extra space.
Living in a muddle really highlights a lack of storage space and makes you feel even more hemmed in. Containers can be your best friend for corralling all the little objects that clutter up work surfaces or countertops.
Even if you have the same number of items to hand, they just look neater when they’re all gathered in a box, container, or basket.
Gathering a few together that match the overall decor or colour scheme of your room looks like a planned strategy and they make quick tidy-ups easy. They’re also very portable, so you can shift them around as you need to. If you enjoy crafts, decorating small boxes and decorative containers is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, and blanks are available in many craft shops or online.
Double-duty or Collapsible
Look for furnishings with built-in storage, such as coffee tables or beds. One thing to watch out for with storage beds is to make sure you can access the storage. In a small room you might not be able to open divan drawers, in which case an ottoman style would be better.
If you’ve no room for a dining table, consider a drop-leaf version that can stand against the wall when it’s not in use. Folding chairs can complement it. Some dining sets even have built-in storage for folding chairs inside the table unit and are great in smaller spaces you’re not allowed to change.
A sofa bed may also be useful if you’re renting a studio apartment or a one-bedroom house with nowhere to welcome overnight guests.
It’s definitely possible to make your rented home feel more like your own, even if your landlord is resistant to letting you make changes. And the best thing about moveable decor is you can take it all with you when you move.
This is a collaborative post