How To Make the Most of Wall-to-Wall Carpet

Renter's Solutions

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When dealing with a rental, there's usually not much you can do about wall-to-wall carpeting. But here are some ways to get yourself into the mindset that it's not all bad, as well as some ways to make wall-to-wall as pleasing as possible.

  • Get it cleaned. Landlords should engage a professional carpet cleaner before you move in. Make sure this is something they are planning on before you sign on the dotted line.
  • Clean it again, yourself. Not only do old stains tend to resurface after a few weeks, but there's just something reassuring about knowing that you cleaned every inch of what's beneath your feet in your new residence.
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  • Look on the bright side. While it does hold on to dirt and allergens and is harder to keep clean, there is still something to be said about wall-to-wall carpeting: it's soft on bare feet, it keeps your space warmer, and it muffles sound. Try to focus on the positive when you're inclined to bemoan the downsides of wall-to-wall rental carpeting.
  • Consider a no-shoes policy. There are many reasons to institute a shoes-off-at-the-door policy but if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, the reasons are even more compelling. Shoes not only track in obvious dirt, but pesticides and other chemicals as well. Carpets hold on to these more than hard floors do and eventually affect the quality of your indoor air. If you've waffled on a no-shoes rule before, now might be a good time to try out this controversial practice.
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  • Make it your own. Pretend you don't have carpet already and put rugs where you would if you had hardwood. Defining spaces such as the entry way or the living room with rugs that suit your taste add color, a cozy factor, and, most importantly, allow you to layer your own personal touch in the space you call home.
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  • Try to get rid of it. If you really can't stand the thought of wall-to-wall, open a dialogue about the possibility of ripping it up. Maybe there's only a concrete sub-floor, in which case the conversation will probably end there. But if the carpet is covering up hardwoods that have seen better days, maybe you can arrange a deal with the landlord to have the carpets pulled up and the floors polished. Especially if you or members of your household have allergies, it's definitely worth an ask.

What are some ways you've made peace with wall-to-wall?

(Image credits: Sam's Sydney Simplicity)

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Shifrah is a writer and editor who lives with her husband and three adorable children in Tallahassee, FL. When she’s not working, she can usually be found reading, studying, sewing, taking photos, blogging, and documenting it all in a digital scrapbook.