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How To Make Your Apartment a Place You Actually Want To Be

For the times when, you know, you have to stay home

I used to hate being at home.

I lived in a really expensive one-bedroom apartment with barely enough room for myself, let alone my child, my belongings, and her belongings. I dreaded nights and weekends because it was cramped, uncomfortable, and there wasn’t a single spot without clutter.

After making a few changes, I’m much more comfortable being at home.

So comfortable, in fact, that I don’t mind if I have to stay home for the foreseeable future.

Here’s how you can do the same — regardless of where you live.

Get rid of things you don’t need.

This is a basic one, but it’s probably the hardest one to do. The thing is… you just have to do it. Start with the piles. You know which piles I’m talking about.

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

If something doesn’t have a home, give it a home — whether that home is on a shelf, in a closet, or in a donation bin. You’ll feel a lot better when you don’t have piles of things all over the place.

Yes, you can sell things — but if you’re trying to be expeditious and if we’re not talking about big-ticket items, just give things away or donate them. If something is literally garbage, just throw it away.

Hang things on the walls.

Nothing says “This is a home!” nearly as much as a little decoration. Can’t put nails in the wall? Get yourself some command strips and stick some decorations on the walls. A painting, a photograph, a tapestry — whatever. Just get something up on those walls so they don’t look so lifeless and barren.

Command strips can hold up to 16 pounds.

Not into traditional decorations? There are some heavy-duty hooks that stick right on the wall and can hold all of your frying pans and kitchenware. Turn your clutter into something pleasing to the eye by hanging things up.

Each hook can hold up to 13 pounds.

Spice up your lighting.

Who says you have to have plain white lights? You’re an adult. You can do what you want. You can make your bathroom lighting blue if you feel like it.

Get some LED strip lights and put them under your bed, or swap out a regular lightbulb for one that can change colors. If you want to go all out, you can get 32 feet of smart LED lighting for around $45. Then, you can just be like, “Alexa, make my living room purple,” and cuddle up in front of the TV.

Get some plants.

Look, I get it. I’ve killed a few plants in my day. I tried my best, but sometimes, fruit-bearing trees just don’t want to live indoors.

Get succulent plants that don’t require much water. They look great and they won’t die unless you REALLY mess up. Or get an AeroGarden and grow fresh herbs in your kitchen. Or, if you can manage to take care of a whole garden of plants without killing them, go crazy. You can even get one of those pink plant lights and combine “get some plants” with “spice up your lighting”.

Good luck killing THESE plants.

Move furniture.

It will feel like a new home if you move things around. Sometimes, you just need to trick yourself. Move your couch, move your bed, move your dresser, move your hamper… move whatever you can move.

Paint something.

Paint a wall if you’re allowed to. Accent walls look nice. Can’t paint a wall? Paint a desk. Paint a chair. Paint a picture and hang it on the wall. Instead of spending an exorbitant amount of money on paint, get paint samples for a few dollars. There’s more than enough paint in those little cans to do something cool.

Photo by Emily Wang on Unsplash

Use furniture for unintended purposes.

Bookshelf? You mean blanket storage. Put a picture frame on top and call it a day. Cube storage? You mean TV stand. Look around for things that can be repurposed, and repurpose them.

Organize stuff.

Not only does organizing things make it more pleasant to be at home… it’s also a great activity to do when you’re stuck indoors for awhile.

These hanging shelves were $5 at Five Below.

Being home doesn’t have to be miserable.

Make a few changes. Order whatever you need online. Some things arrive the same day with Amazon Fresh (yes, they sell more than just groceries).

Worst case scenario: you’ll enjoy the results.

Best case scenario: you’ll enjoy the process.

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