Reader Tips: Turn Your Apartment Into A Home

Apartment Feeling Like Home

Home isn’t that far

A couple of  weeks ago, we ran a post calling for reader tips for how to make your first apartment feel like a home. We got some GEM advice. To make sure you saw all the great tips, we wanted to compile them into a fresh post – highlighting some of the key themes we saw:

Empty Walls = Sad Times: Hang Posters and Frame Photos.

Another  frequent tip we saw was that decorating fast and furiously can make a huge difference in turning an anonymous space into your own. Whether you find that sports posters or cinematic landscapes make your heart go boom — familiar wall decoration is an important ingredient to a new place. For instance, Gerardo M. wrote:

”I had all the stuff that reminded me of times when I used to live with my parents. . .  I had my baseball cards, pennants, autographed pictures put up first simply because it reminded me of all the times I watched baseball with my younger brother and dad (in front of dad’s TV). I put up some of my art b/c it reminds me of times in college with my art buddies living carelessly. Lastly I had a picture of my family next to my bed to remind me how much I will truly miss sleeping under the same roof with them. Times will never be the same and I may never get to see them everyday like I used to, but it will definitely make us closer and make me appreciate the good old times and future ones even more. That’s a home.”

Meanwhile, Courtney H., Laura and Sammy all wrote-in that their first step to feeling at home is putting up photos of their loved ones. We couldn’t agree more – if we have to live miles away, a friendly face goes a long way!

Add some LIFE to Your Place: Invite Friends Over/Get a Pet!

Aside from four walls and a roof, a new apartment represents a new chapter in your life. Why not start that chapter with some new memories, made within those walls and invite friends over for dinner? We lifted this idea directly from MFA reader, Jessica.

Or, if you’re in a new city without a friendbase, start cooking for yourself, making a comforting meal with a  familiar scent. Linda writes:

My tip is set up your kitchen first and cook a home cooked meal. I moved in at the beginning of August and just cooked my first real meal. Now I feel right at home!

Another tip is to bring something living into your new place, be that in the form of a new bird, cat or, even, a baby plant.  From experience, I can say that having a little basil plant to care for definitely made me feel like I was living somewhere permanently instead of crashing in a strange apartment.  Shauna writes:

I think the one thing that makes your apartment feel like home is some sort of life. Whether you go and get a puppy or kitten, have a beta fish, or even just get a plant that you remember to water once a week, some other form of life living in that apartment besides you makes it a little more homey. Most of us grew up in houses with family, so moving out on your own can get lonely. Add a pet or plant and you start to feel more at home and less on vacation.

Get Quirky: Do What You Love:

Finally, we HAD to share one of the most inspired tips from K. E. because it totally resonated with us from the perspective of OWNING your new space. When we’re at work, when we’re out to dinner – we have to stick to social norms. No jumping on tables or couches unless we want to be Tom Cruise-ified. But…when you are at home and no one is there to judge, that’s when it’s time to do whatever the heck you please. K. writes:

A soon as everything is settled in and I’m all alone, I plan on jumping on my bed a bit. As well as being a bit of a stress reliever . . . just doing something fun and (just a bit) out of the ordinary helps to establish your new place as YOUR place to be who you are. It’s a chance to start fresh and to start enjoying life.

 We couldn’t agree more.  Whether you’re blasting your favorite tunes (also a popular tip), or jumping on the bed like an energetic 6-year old – you’re entitled. You’ve made the move. You’re paying for your rent and your right to live however you see fit (roommates aside).


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Author My First Apartment

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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