Decorating and organizing your home with damage-free techniques is something we all can get behind. If you are a renter, you want to ensure you don’t damage your rental space and risk losing your security deposit. As a homeowner, it’s always better to preserve the integrity of your space, although you have the leeway to make modifications. Some of us have resale value at the back of our minds, and reverting a space back to its original, saleable state can be costly and time-consuming.
While it can seem like your options are limited, there are a lot of damage-free and creative solutions to ensure that your space is looking flawless and incredibly organized.
Command strips: One thing I always recommend is a healthy application of command strips—the removable damage-free hanging devices. These magic little inventions can do everything from hang curtain rods (primarily for a sheer, lightweight fabric drapery) to organizing an entryway with hooks and shelves to hold keys, bags, coats and mail. All this without holes in your drywall! You may also want to consider poster putty which allows users to adhere paper products to walls without leaving any residue or holes behind. It's perfect for hanging photographs or posters and even temporary party decorations. Poster putty can be found online and at most office supply and craft stores.
Wall decals: If you are a renter, you’ve probably been instructed not to paint any walls in your home or apartment. As a homeowner, you may want to keep things neutral for resale value. After all, the next buyer may not like lime green as much as you do! Vinyl decals are an option. These removable adhesive images can be stuck to walls and removed without causing any harm to your property. Wall decals come in a variety of designs from silhouettes, quotes, trees and much more. Some online companies offer customized wall decals for personal photos or phrases.
Shelves: While installing shelves on walls for decoration or storage can definitely cause damage, there are many alternative solutions for stand-alone shelving units that can add charm and utility to your home. Thrift stores, garage sales and even IKEA are great places to find free-standing, affordable shelves or bookcases. Since the holiday season is almost upon us, you may also be thinking about how to make an appealing spot for Santa to visit—even if you don’t have a mantel. Check out how to spread holiday joy with a beautiful faux mantel, that’s removable after the season closes.
Washi tape: Washi tape boasts an adhesive similar to that of masking tape but comes in a variety of fun colors and patterns. It’s used for sprucing up everything from notebooks, furniture and walls. Washi tape is inexpensive and available at most craft stores or online. Most importantly, it’s damage-free and easily removable. A quick Google Image search reveals all the creative ways people have used washi tape for decorating. If using tape to cover an entire wall seems overwhelming, try wrapping paper instead to accent a space with a burst of color. Bigger sheets of beautifully patterned wrapping paper are perfect temporary solutions to decorating.
For other decorating ideas that might require a nail or screw here and there, renters should always check with the landlord or property manager first. Some apartment communities have iron clad leases and will not budge, but smaller property management companies or private landlords might be willing to let you install a curtain rod or light fixture to add value to the house. Just make sure to get permission in writing before putting any holes in the wall if it is not allowed in your lease.
Maintaining an organized space and curating a great look without lasting damage or impact on the property has its obstacles, but a handful of creativity can go a long way toward making your space your own. After all, developing a space you love is part of what “home” is all about.