So, you’re living on a very low budget. So low that your furniture is all preowned and you’re using a cardboard box as a nightstand. This doesn’t mean you (or your guests) should feel like you’re living in squalor.
One of the most important things you can do to make your low-budget apartment welcoming is to keep it clean. There’s nothing wrong with a threadbare couch or a table that’s held together with duct tape, but there’s only so much disorder one apartment can support before guests start turning down your invitations. If your furniture is visibly distressed or your building itself is already run-down, don’t add to it with dirty dishes and piles of clothes on the floor. Sweep or vacuum your floors, wipe down the inside of your microwave, take out the trash often, and for goodness sake, don’t leave food containers strewn across the floor. Low-budget should never mean dirty.
Be kind (to your space)
Since you might not be able to afford much on a low budget, treat what you have with care. Just because your things didn’t cost you much doesn’t mean they don’t have value. This means picking up after yourself. Hang your posters straight and stack your books neatly. Keep your bed made, even if it’s just a mattress and a sheet on the floor. These are your things now, no matter how many previous owners they’ve had, and if you keep your things strewn about the apartment like their worthless, you (and your guests) will start to think of them that way.
Make the space yours. You don’t have to spend money to give your apartment a little personal flair. Decorate it with things you already have. That picture of your best friends? Hang it up where you’ll see it every day (and maybe use it to hide that weird stain on the wall). Have a favorite mug? When it’s not in use, it could be your table’s centerpiece (bonus points if you pick some flowers to give the place some color). Too hot to keep that pretty blanket on your bed? Use it as a decorative throw (plus, it can cover that spot on your couch where the stuffing is starting to fall out). Get creative!
It’s easy for a low-budget living space to appear gross or unwelcoming, but it doesn’t have to be that way! With care and a little work, you can keep even the most ramshackle apartment homey and comfortable.