My track record for staying in one place isn’t great. I moved out of home when I was 17 and on average, I have moved once every two years.
I wouldn’t define myself as the transient type, I’ve just had a lot of different opportunities take me in a lot of directions. Your life or job gets bigger, you get a bit more money and you can afford that slightly better crib so why not move along?
The problem with moving around a lot is a place never really feels like yours. Home is where the heart is, so even if your name isn't on the mortgage it's worthwhile tweaking the interior to suit your style.
Here are my top tips for revamping your rental on an affordable budget...
1. REFRESH THE SPACE WITH A LICK OF PAINT
Be sure to check with your landlord first, but the most straightforward and predictable improvement you can do is with a tin of paint. Just by refreshing the ceiling and wall paint you will get a huge change to any space.
You won't get the fresh finish you are after however, unless you do the proper preparation. Be sure to at least clean all the surfaces with sugar soap and water first, or for best practice give the painted surfaces a light sand, fill any gaps and smooth over imperfections before applying a new coat or two of paint.
Painting doors, architraves, skirtings and window frames is a killer, so if their condition is okay you can save a whole lot of effort by just applying a new coat of pain to the ceilings and walls.
2. CHANGE THE LOOK AND FEEL OF THE ROOM WITH VINYL FLOORING
A friend of mine was renting and didn’t like the floors so she applied a vinyl plank – one of the ones from my Provincial Lane range come to think of it – that clicks together easily, can be cut with a box cutter/Stanley knife and laid by any amateur.
It’s by no means best practice, but it’s a great way to temporarily change the look and feel of a space.
If you’re putting down timber floors and you live in an apartment building you may well have to consider your neighbours and the noise levels, as well as consulting the building’s by-laws and also the body corporate or board.
3. CHANGE-UP THE SIMPLE THINGS
You can also easily replace fittings with a quick trip to the hardware store. A new showerhead will set you back as little as $40 and with an adjustable spanner it's easy to install yourself. The difference a new showerhead can make to your showering experience is not to be underestimated. You can always leave it behind considering it only cost a few bucks, or you can easily change it back to the old fitting and take your new one with you.
Light fittings are similar in that you can buy new ones to replace the existing, and switch them back before you go. Just don’t try and do this works yourself, you’ll absolutely need to use a qualified electrician if the change means disconnecting wires. If you’re just changing a shade here or there though you’re pretty safely in DIY territory.
4. THINK ABOUT YOUR INTERNET CONNECTION (WE DO NOW LIVE IN A DIGITAL WORLD!)
If you're renting and about to move, or move often, or even just share a place but don't want to share your connection – take the internet with you! Optus Home Wireless Broadband is a simple plug and play product that uses mobile technology and ensures you're back up and running in a matter of minutes, not weeks.
If you are considering this solution visit www.optus.com.au/homewireless to check if you’re in a serviceable area first.
5. MAKE SURE THE PLACE FEELS LIKE HOME
When settling into a new nest you should first get connected and put your creature comforts in order, and then make your place look and feel like home.
You can achieve a lot with some simple fixes and also by decorating with your belongings. Even if you are renting, you are absolutely entitled to make your place look the way you want and work the way you need, so long as you respect the landlord's wishes and the desires of the next person to enjoy the space.