Photo by: Suzette Pauwels, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Life Hacks: Simple DIY Tasks to Personalize Your Apartment

Whether you’ve just graduated and made the move to a large cosmopolitan area or you’re an experienced renter, your personality and style ought to shine through in your apartment. Naturally, watching home improvement shows that only cater to homeowners can be a bit frustrating at times. So if knocking down walls or adding a dormer to an upstairs bedroom isn’t quite what your rental agreement allows, what can you do to put your stamp on the place you call home?

Fortunately, with the help of the Internet and sites like Pinterest, and Apartment Therapy, there are plenty of space- and cost-saving ideas for the apartment-renting DIY crowd.

There are a few projects that almost anyone can do to help dress up an rented space for less or give your bathroom the spa treatment without breaking the bank. Just remember to review your lease agreement and obtain all necessary permissions before you install any wall-mounted decorations, shelving or electronics.And don’t forget to protect your investment, regardless of size. A simple renters insurance policy can protect your stuff for less than you think.

Cheap Curtains

If, like many young professionals starting out, you just spent the last dime of your last paycheck making sure your first and last month’s rent were covered, then forking out significant coin for curtains isn’t an option. But living in an apartment (especially one with large windows like so many lofts and studios) without window coverings isn’t feasible, either. Instead of going broke or being overwhelmed by sunlight, head to your local hardware or home supply store and pick up enough picture hanging wire, eye hooks and T-buckles to stretch across the windows to be covered. Then, purchase flat sheets instead of curtains and hang them with café clips. Enjoy the softer light and privacy in your new living space, and start musing about what artwork you’ll eventually screen print onto those sheets.

Shelve it

There’s nothing like having a well-organized space in which to live, and a big part of keeping lives tidy in space-conscious apartments is shelving. Now, in order to install shelves, you should check with your landlord first. In many circumstances, so long as you agree to repair the wall upon moving out, you can install shelving brackets. While you’re at it, consider that you’ll be looking up at these shelves quite a lot from your couch. Go shopping for funky wallpaper remnants and line the underneath of your shelves with prints that are as fun to look at as your collections on them.

If you have a flat screen TV, consider getting it off its base and mounting it on your wall with the appropriate brackets. Now you have a truly modern and beautiful living room that helps maximize your space.

Shower yourself

What’s the one DIY project that only takes minutes to complete but makes you feel good every day? A new shower head! Many models are available with a choice of massage levels, and they might be just the trick to turn your bathroom into your own personal spa. Just remember to save the original shower head and put it back up before you vacate the property. Since newer shower heads are also water-efficient, you’ll either be saving on your own water bill or your landlord’s.

From your living room to your bathroom, your home can have your style written all over it, even if you rent. So go ahead and be creative. Just don’t forget to share your ideas, so others can feel at home, too.