We’ve all been there. You move into a freshly painted, perfectly clean apartment and all you want to do is get in there and make it yours. Decorating is one of the best parts of moving into a new place! But sometimes, those decorations can end up costing you a big chunk of your deposit. Fortunately, there are lots of ways for you to decrease the chances that any of your deposit will be taken for decorating-related charges.
- Paint - Wouldn’t it be great to add a bright blue accent wall to your living room? Or maybe paint that bathroom a soothing mint green? In some places, this isn’t a problem at all! In others, this would be a huge mistake. Be sure to check your lease and talk with your landlord before painting anything in your home. Even if you are allowed to paint, you may have to paint it back to a neutral color when you move out.
- Hanging Decorations - Paintings, mirrors, portraits and more! Wall decorations are one of the best, easiest ways to personalize your space, but many leases have stipulations about how many screws can go in each wall, and what types of materials you are allowed to use to hang. We recommend using the smallest hanger possible for the size of the item you’re hanging. Stick on hangers hold the least weight but leave no mark, while picture nails leave a tiny, nearly unnoticeable hole and screws with anchors leave a substantial hole. While a larger hanger, such as a screw with an anchor, may occasionally be necessary for a heavy mirror or very large framed piece, be aware that you will need to be patch the holes they leave when you move out. When possible, use a smaller hanger but find a stud in the wall; you’ll get much better strength for a much smaller mark.
- Floors - Whether you have high-end leather couches or a $50 set from your local thrift store, seating, tables, cabinets, bookshelves and other large pieces can cause substantial damage to flooring. If you have hard floors (wood, tile, laminate etc) be sure to put felt floor savers on each of the legs to avoid scratches if things gets slid around. On carpets, be sure to lift things before moving them; trying to slide something on carpet can easily result in snags and tears.