The new year is always a time to reflect on and refresh your life. While many concentrate on health and fitness goals (particularly after a busy season of eating and drinking during the holidays), there are plenty of other resolutions you can commit to in order to make your life more enjoyable, more organized, and much less stressful. For renters in particular, there are many creative resolutions available to help spruce up your apartment on your next trip around the sun.
Here are six New Year’s resolutions that every renter can get behind.
Commit to Paying Your Rent On Time, Every Time
This one may seem obvious, but its importance on your mental health is understated. Getting your check into the landlord on the very first of the month will ensure that your bank account is always balanced and that the management won’t be putting notices on your door anytime soon. Set a reminder on your Google calendar, tie a string around your finger, or tell your mom to text you on the first — whatever it takes to get you to hand or send the check in to the landlord. Paying your rent on time will also be beneficial to your credit score.
Purchase a Big Item on Your Apartment Wishlist
We all have something we’ve been wanting for our homes for a long time, but oftentimes the price tag prevents us from pulling the trigger. The new year is the perfect opportunity to let go of your checkbook a little bit and purchase that must-have item on your home wishlist. So go ahead and spring for that new headboard, splurge on the sectional that would fit so perfectly in your living room, or go for the more expensive curtains with that beautiful pattern you absolutely love. Your apartment will feel more homey, and you’ll feel grateful for having done something nice for yourself.
Making something specifically for your space will help make it feel more like home —something that’s no small feat when it comes to living in a rental. Whether you’ve had your eye on a succulent planter, a hanging shelf, or even something more in-depth like a coffee table or chair, consider it time to buy the materials, clear a space in your living room for your makeshift workshop, and set to work on your project. You’ll come out of it with a brand new conversation piece and the satisfaction of a job well done.
Set Your Apartment Up for Wellness
There’s always a rush of people who go to the gym (or join the gym for the first time) around New Year’s. While you may be renewing your commitment to going to the gym regularly, it’s also a good idea to set your own apartment up for overall wellness. This can mean anything from keeping an easily accessible yoga mat and a good set of weights in it to setting up your bedroom for quality sleep. It can also mean buying bath products that help you relax at the end of a long day or installing some blackout curtains to help you rest better on weekends.
Host a Dinner Party
Your apartment may be small, but that doesn’t mean you should let it prevent you from hosting people in your home. One of the biggest signs of a happy, healthy home is one that hosts plenty of gatherings of friends and family. Pick a date, pick out a dish, and write up a guest list for an impromptu dinner party.
If you live in a small studio that doesn’t have a dedicated dining area, you may have to get creative with your furniture arrangements. Ask to borrow a friend’s folding table, or purchase one that can be stored underneath a bed or behind a bookshelf when not in use. You could also be cheeky and ask your friends to BYOC (bring your own chair) if you don’t have enough seating for everyone. Another alternative is to position your living room furniture around a makeshift table that’s covered with a tablecloth. Whatever you can do to make your guests more comfortable as they gather around and eat will be plenty good enough.
Make an Improvement
It’s the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that your home is safe and updated, but you can always do little things around the apartment to improve it and make it feel more like yours. You can change out the drawer pulls in the kitchen or bathroom, put some temporary wallpaper up in the bedroom, or temporarily replace the bathroom mirror with a more attractive model. Just make sure you’re adhering to your lease and that you put everything back before you move out!