9 Strategies to Make Your New Apartment Feel Like Home


Finally, you paid all the deposits and enlisted family members to carry boxes up several flights of stairs. Now, all you have to do is make sense of the furniture stacked in random corners and the mountain of boxes in the middle of the living room.

This is your new home (at least until the lease is up). How do you make it feel like it?

Start with a comfortable bed

If you can only splurge on one thing in your apartment, let it be the bedroom. You will spend a great deal of time in this room, so it should be comfortable. On the first day, you should assemble your bed, cover it with sheets and blankets and top it off with pillows. Set up your dresser, unpack your clothes and decorate the walls. Nothing says home quite like a good night sleep.

Unpack everything

Yes, unpacking all those boxes from your old place is a chore. The longer you let them linger means you have less time for your new space to feel like home. To make this process quick, begin by making sure you are organized. Label your boxes by room (don’t forget to mark anything fragile). Put the appropriate boxes in the designated rooms, and begin unpacking based on what you need first (like the kitchen).

Set mini goals to make the process seem easier, and clean along the way to prevent being overwhelmed. Get some easy wins early on by organizing those big bulky items because it will help you feel accomplished and motivated to continue on to the more time-consuming tasks.

Decorate the bathroom

Nothing says new apartment like a curtain-less shower. Put down some throw rugs, hang up art and install that new shower curtain. Make sure the bathroom is also stocked with essentials (like toilet paper and towels).  

Hang photos and art on the walls

Renters hate hanging art and photos because it could mean not receiving a deposit back or worse, receiving a bill from the complex after moving out. Some command strips might be good enough for the job, and the best part is they don’t leave any damage when you remove them. It may also be possible to do minor repairs to the wall before moving out to fix any small nail holes. 

Display pictures of your family, friends and even your pets. Special knick-knacks and paintings are also important. These little sentimental items will help you take ownership of your space.

Add some fun rugs

Rugs serve multiple purposes. They keep carpets clean, but they can also add style. The best way to make your new abode feel like home is to add as much of your personality as you can while also preventing any long term alterations to your space.  ApartmentTherapy.com provides guidelines for choosing a good rug.

Hang curtains on your windows

Curtains will help your utility bills stay low, but more importantly, they give you an opportunity to display your unique style. The more you customize your walls, the more the space will feel like yours.

You may be concerned about leaving holes from hanging curtains, but similar to wall art, you can use command strips to get the job done with little to no damage to the apartment walls.

Make the space smell fresh and inviting

Do you like cinnamon or spring breeze? Go find candles and sprays in your favorite scent. When you walk through the door every day, it is nice if it not only looks like home but also smells like it too.

Get a plant (or a few)

Make your apartment feel more welcoming and alive with a few plants. Sometimes, in apartments, natural light is limited, so it is important to choose the right plants. There are plenty of plant options that are low maintenance (not fake) and great for an apartment.

A peace lily is a great option because it favors low light and low humidity. A snake plant, also known as the mother-in-law’s tongue is a good option that needs little water and can thrive in most lighting situations. An Areca Palm is great if you daydream about tropical climates. It can grow up to seven feet, and it requires very little water.

Pretend the space is permanent and upgrade one area of the apartment at a time.

You might only live at the apartment for a year (or even less). Regardless of how long you plan to rent, pretend the space is permanent. The only way you can really make your new space feel like home is to treat it like home. The job of unpacking and decorating is difficult, so the best strategy is to tackle one area of the apartment at a time.

We want you to choose a NorthStar Property to be your next home. Come tour one of our complexes, and we can help find your future apartment.