10 Easy DIY Tricks to Upgrade Your Rental Property

woman decorating wall with washi tape

When you live in a rental apartment or home, it may seem like you’re prohibited from doing a lot of things that would make the space feel more like home. However, there are a lot of great hacks to allow you to make your space more homey without violating the terms of your lease.

1. Hang Curtains With Command Hooks

Rather than drill holes into the walls to affix curtains, simply use command hooks to hold a curtain rod.

2. Washi Tape Wall Design

You may not be able to paint the walls whatever color you want, but you can definitely still add flair! Consider adding fun designs with washi tape, which is affordable, easy to install, and easy to remove without leaving marks behind.

colorful washi tape

3. DIY Roman Shades

Add some elegance plus an added layer of privacy to your rental with easy DIY roman shades. All you have to do is install a tension rod to your windows and then drape the fabric of your choosing over it.

4. Install a Pegboard

In any room where you’re lacking in organization, use Command hooks to install a pegboard. This is great in places like an office or kitchen to help you hang items like pots, pans, cups that hold things like pens and clips, and other items in order to keep your space neat and tidy.

pegboard organizing hooks

5. Temporary Wallpaper

Peel and stick wallpaper is all the rage these days, so take advantage of the trend in your rental! Even if you just create an easy accent wall, this will really do wonders to transform your space in a way that is kosher with your lease terms.

6. Use Several Small Rugs

If your rental has a long hallway that is oddly shaped in width or length, don’t stress trying to find the perfect runner. Instead, opt for several smaller, inexpensive rugs that can go next to each other to give the same effect.

stylish modern room with small rug under wooden table

7. Be Savvy With Storage

The storage situation in rental units can sometimes be tricky, but there are a ton of hacks to try out to give yourself more space. For instance, use an over the door shoe organizer inside a pantry or linen closet to store things like spices or extra toiletries. Another storage hack is to double up hangers by putting a soda can tab on the top one, allowing you to hang another one on the bottom and hang almost double the clothes in your closet! Finally, hang tension rods across the bottom of your closet to make a DIY shoe rack to get more out of the space.

8. Use LED Light Strips

Instead of installing new light fixtures in a spot in your rental that is too dark for your liking, use LED light strips. These are adhesive and can be easily added to a pantry, under kitchen cabinets, or in a closet to brighten it up.

led strip lighting in kitchen

9. Swap Out Hardware

You can easily swap out much of the hardware in your rental without violating any of your lease terms. This includes cabinet knobs, drawer pulls, and outlet and light plates. These small changes can really make a difference in your space, and it’s a fun way to customize your home. Just remember to put all of the original hardware somewhere you’ll remember so that you can replace it prior to moving out.

10. Contact Paper

Contact paper works wonders in many ways in rentals - from covering up an outdated counter top to making appliances that are old and drab appear to be stainless steel and updated. The best part? You can find contact paper to fit any look or style - from marble to solids to patterns, there’s no shortage of ways that this easy to use and simple to remove material can help you to update a rental in the blink of an eye.

If you find yourself wanting to do something to update your rental without risking being chastised by your landlord, these are great places to start.