There's a temptation not get too attached to your rental. Just keep things casual for now, you think, because who knows where you'll be in one, three, five years? Why invest in something if you don't know it will last? Because this is where you are right now and you deserve to enjoy your life right now; that's why. Not knowing the future is no reason to deprive yourself of love, so we've set up everything you need to woo your rental, short of making the plate of spaghetti and meatballs for you to push around with your nose.
Add living things
Bringing in something alive lifts an apartment's mood instantly – and forces you to invest time at home, tending it. Everyone is ready for a plant. Everyone. Don't know where to start? We've already done some matchmaking work for you. You have a black thumb, you say? Not buying it. Here are four plants even you can keep alive, no matter the apartment...or its inhabitant. If you're a little more advanced, maybe we can talk about pets. You'll have to buckle down to a routine a little more, but the tradeoff is better mental and even physical health.
Make your bed the most comfortable place in Earth
This love story is PG, but it still has a bedroom scene. Set up your bed to be an inviting place for all bedroom activity. We've found hotels offer good hints for finding the balance between comfy and sexy. Think a good set of sheets is a rich person's luxury? We beg to differ.
Commit early to enjoy it longer
In song, only fools rush in. In shelter, only fools wait until late in their lease to make their apartment their own. Look at it this way: If you sign a one-year lease and make it your home in the first month, you have at least 335 days to enjoy it. If you hem and haw and finally get started halfway through, you're only guaranteed 183 days. These five tasks might sound like a lot of commitment for a rental, but done early, they bring a solid return on investment.
Buy it flowers
Tropey? Yes. Cheesy? Maybe. But Apartment Therapy founder Maxwell Ryan made this "affordable luxury" a foundational task for his Eight-Step Home Cure because it "sets a standard for attention to detail that will inspire you each day on your return home." If you want to go all in, a pro told us how to do it. If you just want the cheapest/prettiest bodega flowers, that works too.
Put a record on
If a romance movie doesn't have the smooth sounds of Peabo Bryson, can we really call it a romance movie? If Peabo's not your jam, fine; the point is that homemaking has a strong aural aspect, which happens to be one of the cheapest and most fun design elements. Here are a whole bunch of playlists for whatever mood you're in at this moment, and here are some songs and artists our panel of party experts (dream job title) say are universally lovable.
Make friends with your neighbors – and be a good one
You don't need to make a muffin basket. But you do need to generally get along with the people you share drywall and plumbing with. Yes, we get it, meeting new people is scary even for fully-grown humans. So here are a few totally radical ideas for getting to know your neighbors like, for example, talking to them.
This post is sponsored by ForRent.com and was created by Apartment Therapy's Creative Studio.
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