12 New Year’s Resolutions Every Renter Should Have

published Dec 15, 2020
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The new year is almost here! (Thank goodness, right?) As we transition to 2021, it’s important to remember the little things you should do to keep your rental in tip-top shape. Check out these New Year’s resolutions—both practical and fun—from seasoned real estate professionals to ensure your space stays lively and safe throughout the next year.


1. Tend to your AC unit. Remove it and store it (if you can) for the colder months before reinstalling in the warmer months. If you can’t do that, give it a good clean once every four months. Becki Danchik of Warburg Realty

2. Clean your curtains. Put it on your list to wash or vacuum your curtains twice a year or more. “Dirt gets through even the strongest city windows. With so many people spending more time in their apartments as they work from home, a cleaning ritual on a weekly basis is necessary.” —Becki Danchik

3. Unclog your drains. First, put a cup of baking soda in the drain, and follow that with a cup of vinegar. “I can’t tell you how many times our maintenance department gets called out for clogged drains due to hair. Even if you don’t have long hair, standing water can still develop in the shower drain and sink.” Marina Vaamonde, founder of PropertyCashin.com and commercial real estate investor

4. Change the batteries in the smoke and CO2 alarms. Check the manufacture date of your smoke detector, too. If it’s older than 10 years, ask your landlord to replace it. —The Apartment Therapy editors

5. Deep clean everything. That includes the windows, the toilets, and the floors. If you really don’t want to do it yourself, hire a cleaner to do it for you. —Jordon Scrinko, founder and sales representative at PreCondo

Credit: Joe Lingeman


6. Green up your space with some “sleeping plants,” or plants that help you sleep. These particular varieties—like peace lilies, English ivy, or aloe plants—produce clean oxygen and lower stress levels. If you’ve been stressed out from being home all the time, they’ll help. —Marina Vaamonde

7. Add some new decorations, like a few art pieces or some removable wallpaper. The change in scenery will lift your mood. Jules Borbely, real estate consultant at Real Estate Bees

8. Rearrange your furniture. It’s a low-risk switch and one that can give you a welcome change of pace. And if you don’t like it, you can quickly move everything back to where it was. —Jordon Scrinko

9. Introduce a signature decoration: something that stands out, sparks conversation, and symbolizes how you want the next year to turn out. —Jordon Scrinko


10. Check in on that renters insurance. It should be current and should ideally be paid annually. You don’t want anything to destroy your stuff (like a leak, fire, or flood) without getting compensated for the damage. Broker Michael J. Franco with Compass

11. Set up automatic rent payments, and any other automatic payments you can think of. Having a good record of on-time payments without having to think about it is the kind of energy you want to bring into 2021. —The Apartment Therapy editors

12. Start saving to buy your own place, if you want. “I always advise my clients to look at renting as a temporary solution and focus on saving up enough money to ultimately purchase an apartment. This will allow them to build wealth.” —Jules Borbely