How to Make Your Rental More of a Home

Kyle and I have just started out with our house-hunt this past summer, and we waited for a lot of reasons.

  1. A home is a huge financial commitment.
  2. Kyle is in the military and deployment is always a possibility.
  3. It’s easier to leave a rental behind than a house.

We never know if he will get deployed, or if the deployments they do know about will actually happen. Things are often up in the air, so we felt too nervous to commit to buying a house until things are more stable. That being said, we are currently in the process of moving into our new rental home, and although it’s exciting, I can’t help but wish it were permanent.

Through this process, I’ve learned some different ways to make a rental feel more like home, and at the same time, still be easy to take apart if needed. Rentals aren’t the type of place where you can paint the walls and put up as many pictures as you want. They often have rules, which make decorating in any way a challenge. Having our first rental home I learned some tips and tricks, especially during the holidays.

Find some wooden signs with quotes or sayings that can be interchangeable throughout the years. I got these signs at Hobby Lobby and since they’re made out of thick wood, they hold up really well when we pack everything away. These are the type of signs you can arrange on your front porch and just lean against something, rather than have it be permanent. Plus they make all kinds of good ones!

Mason jars are inexpensive, and easy to paint/decorate any way you’d like. For fall they can stand alone just like this, then for Christmas you can add some little lights inside them. Some people even decorate them and use them as a drinking glass! Pick a color that’s fairly neutral and reuse them each year. Their thickness and wide rim make them easy to pack away.

Seasonal flowers are always a good way to decorate the outside of your home, and in a rental there’s almost always space for them by your steps. They’re a great way to add some color to an otherwise simple setup. And when you pack up to move, often times landlords/inspectors don’t mind if you leave them behind. In the fall I decorate with orange and yellow Mums (seen above) and in the summer I like to do various flowers in different colors on either side of my doorway.


I found this sign on Etsy (of course) and thought it was perfect to add a little personal touch to our home. It’s just a canvas sign, so very light and easy to move around despite its size. Rentals often have rules about putting any nails in the wall, so sometimes you’re limited to what you can hang. What’s great about these signs is that you can either lean it in the corner like they show on Etsy, or you can easily hang it with 2 tacs, leaving only tiny holes.

I seem to have a growing collection of candles for all seasons, but who doesn’t love them? There are hundreds of great ideas out there for how to make candles, decorate with them, and use them in a beautiful centerpiece. I have a few that stay out all year, but I also have some that are seasonal, like this one that I just purchased. These are super easy to pack, and are a great, inexpensive way to decorate your new home.


This one was an idea I found on Pinterest and plan to do as soon as we move into the new place! Projects like this are great to do for your home for so many reasons: 1. Keeps you occupied if you’re loved one is away for a while. 2. Is unique to your home; no one else will have the same one. 3. Space saver! Living in rentals has taught me one very important thing: Any time you can make more space/save space, DO IT. Things get a little crammed after a while. It’s a lot like when you go on a trip and leave with more than you came with. As much as we would love to have a full bar and bar stools, this will certainly work fine. This way we can have friends over and do little get togethers outside, rather than sit around in a little living room. I’ll definitely post pictures when mine is complete!

Choose your plates wisely! I picked these because, believe it or not, they’re plastic. I have a tendency to break things, so Kyle recommended that we pick out some plates that are simple and nice, but still versatile. I use these every day for our lunch/dinner and for family dinners. Even holidays! Currently I have a gold theme going if you couldn’t tell already (love it) which will hopefully integrate nicely into our new kitchen. Before this we had off-white thick glass plates and it’s safe to say I chipped/broke all of them. So packing away these plastic plates will be so much easier the next time around!


Finding new ways to save space is something every renter becomes a pro at eventually. Our first rental was 700 square ft. No I’m not kidding. It was so frustrating and irritating when I looked around and everything was cluttered all the time. So I started looking for ideas, and thank god for Pinterest and Etsy and all the other resources out there! There are so many ideas for space saving techniques, and the more you utilize them, the more organized you will feel in your new home.

What are some ways you’ve made your rental a home? Any tips?

Published by Amanda N

Lifestyle blogger 🎗 Navigating life as a military spouse on the East Coast. Join our adventure!

11 thoughts on “How to Make Your Rental More of a Home

  1. Awesome ideas! My husband and I will be moving into our first base house next month and their rules are very similar. No painting. Few holes in the wall, etc. But I’m still going to do my best to make our house a home!


  2. Curtains help a ton too! I couldn’t put holes in the wall to hang them, so I bought the kind with the huge holes for the rod (kind of like a shower curtain does – rather than the kind where you run the rod through the fabric) and then hung them on the wall using command hooks


  3. We just bought out home and opted to rent instead for a lot of the reasons you mentioned. My husband plays professional basketball and we’re always moving around so having a house right now really didn’t make since. I’ll be sure to use your tips to make our new place feel more homey.



  4. We are in the process of moving out of our rental and purchasing our first home.I def struggled with making our rental feel homey b/c I didn’t want to buy furniture specifically for a temporary space. I wish I would have thought of tips like this a few years ago!


Leave a Reply to jenniferleigh1304 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: