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Moving alone and becoming a homeowner for the first time is a huge deal. Whether you’re renting a gorgeous condo in the city or a sprawling multi-story home in the suburbs, you’d be surprised at how much a rental space feels like home. From practical decor pieces designed to warm your homes to tools and storage solutions, making sure your bases are covered will celebrate the move-in process and make it seamless.
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Below, we’ve spoken to a handful of home organizers and interior designers to help narrow down what new homeowners should keep in mind when planning and organizing a move. Here are nine must-have apartments for new homeowners or renters.
1. This elegant and practical light
“Good lighting options are something I would advise new tenants to have on their list,” says Grace Baena, interior designer at Kaiyo. “Often ceiling lights provide too much light and can overwhelm a room, making it difficult to relax. Especially in bedrooms and living rooms, I suggest investing in a quality floor lamp that will provide softer light and create a more welcoming atmosphere. This drop-resistant floor lamp is an ideal option. It adds a softer glow to the room, while the three lighting levels provide versatility.
$23 at Amazon
2. Proper laundry storage and equipment
One thing that many people overlook, especially when moving into their first rented space, is laundry equipment. “It’s easy to overlook the need for a hamper or hamper when you’ve always been provided with one,” says Andre Kazimierski, CEO of Improovy Painters Plano. “So that’s definitely something new tenants need to keep in mind to avoid inconvenience and awkward situations.”
$39 at Amazon
3. An investment mat
Want to add instant character to an otherwise dull space? Invest in an authentic vintage rug. “Whether you choose a bold over-dyed Moroccan Boujaad rug or opt for a perfectly faded Turkish Oushak flatweave, a unique find adds an instant cool factor,” says interior designer Monica Guarnaschelli. “Pro Tip: Etsy is [one of] my favorite places to source [products]! And, if you need a one-size-fits-all or a specific color, you can often message the store owners directly and they’ll show you options that might not be listed.
$54 on Etsy
4. Invest in a hotel-inspired shower curtain
An easy way to upgrade your bathroom is to upgrade your shower curtain. Guarnaschelli suggests ditching your drab novelty curtain and opting for a classic hotel-style waffle curtain, but – here’s the kicker – buy it in an extra long length like this one from mDesign. “Standard curtains are 72″, but raising your rod closer to the ceiling – 84″ or 96+” if you’re lucky enough to have high ceilings – makes such a difference in your perception of the room.”
$26 at Amazon
5. Consider investing in matching glassware
“I also recommend upping your glassware game,” says Guarnaschelli. “Fine crystal and monogrammed silver Julep coupes have their place, but my go-tos are actually affordable champagne coupes from CB2 and, for something party-proof (or toddler-proof), from beautiful hammered Mule cuts. Everything is more festive in the glassware you love, whether it’s your morning smoothie or a well-deserved nightcap.
$8 at CB2 $29 at Amazon
6. This handy cordless electric screwdriver
“Moving to a new place always means new plans,” says Molly Cody, interior designer at Cody Residential, LLC. “This minimalist electric screwdriver from HOTO will come in handy for move-in week and can be used for a variety of purposes.”
$63 on Amazon
7. This light-filtering curtain set
“Rentals usually put up cheap blinds that get really cold with it,” Cody says. “You can easily warm up any rental property by adding light-filtering curtains. Keeping the color light will add coziness without making the room look dark or small. AmazonBasics Room Darkening Blackout Curtains are perfect; they are relatively affordable but still offer that coveted black coverage of a more expensive blackout blind.
$23 at Amazon
8. This cheeky but practical doormat
“Especially if you’re entering directly from the outside, but even if you’re entering through a vestibule, a doormat can reduce the dirt and pathogens you bring into your home,” Cody says. “Plus, they can be cute and announce your personality to the neighbors!” This cheeky option will instantly let your neighbors know your priorities, but you can always opt for something a little more understated if you’re looking for something more practical than fancy.
$14 on Etsy
9. A decent (but small to medium) chest of drawers
Don’t settle for plastic bins to put your underwear in! “Having a real dresser will make you feel a lot more like an adult — and having one that’s not huge will be easier to manage if and when you move again,” shares Certified Professional Organizer Darla DeMorrow. Be sure to look for something thin enough to fit in a corner, but big enough to hold your clothes. This three-drawer option from Wayfair can easily fit into tight corners, but the surprisingly spacious drawers should easily fit most of your closet.
$109 at Wayfair
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.