Whether you just moved to a new city and you’re trying to get a better feel for it or you’re just in town for a few months and don’t need a longer lease, a sublet is a great option for those who are in between living arrangements.
Subletting is also great for people who are at an in-between stage of life (whether they’re temporarily moving elsewhere for work, vacationing for an entire summer, or taking care of family business in another state) because it allows them to honor their lease agreements without having to pay their own rent the entire time. An added bonus is that the tenant will typically keep their furniture and many of their belongings in the apartment, allowing the subletter to make full use of them while saving themselves major dollars on storage expenses.
While it’s great that you won’t have to worry about finding furniture, plates, or any of the other things that are necessary to make up a home, it can feel kind of awkward (and maybe even a little emotionally jarring) to live in someone else’s house with someone else’s stuff.
When you’re living in a sublet, there are a few simple ways to make the place feel a little more like your home:
Put Some of Your Own Items Out in the House
It wouldn’t make sense to bring in all of your own furniture, but having a few things out in the sublet will definitely make it feel a little more like yours. Set out a few of your favorite picture frames, that bowl that you put your keys in when you come home, and drape that comfy blanket you love over the couch.
A sublet may not ever feel completely “yours,” but these small touches will ease the anxiety of living in someone else’s place.
Buy Your Favorite Bath Products
Smell is very intertwined with memory and emotion — probably more so than any other of our senses. Because of this strong connection between smell and emotion, filling your bathroom with all of your favorite lotions, bath gels, and soaps can make your sublet feel much more homey. Plus, there’s nothing like lighting a bunch of candles and taking a bubble bath in the tub to really break in your home.
Cook Your Meals at Home
When you’re only living somewhere for a short period of time, the temptation to just eat out and not go grocery shopping is pretty strong. Still, the ritual of preparing and eating a meal in your house certainly makes it feel less like a hotel room and more like an actual home. If it weirds you out too much to cook using someone else’s cookware, bring along a couple of your own pots and pans (or buy a couple of inexpensive ones) to get yourself set up.
Going grocery shopping to fill the fridge or pantry will also make it seem like you’re a true local. But that doesn’t mean you can’t sample the local takeout options every once in a while!
Invite Friends or Family Over
Nothing makes a house feel like a home more than the presence of loved ones. Regardless of whether you live close to friends or family or they need to book a flight to come visit you, a sublet can certainly feel more like home when you’re hosting someone else.
If you don’t live near any friends or family, invite some people from the office over for a dinner party or join a meet-up group based on an interest or hobby you have. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can make friends if you just put yourself out there — especially if you’re willing to host a few events!
Buy Some Plants
Whether you’ve never thought of yourself as having a green thumb or you consider yourself a crazy plant person, there’s something about having a living thing in your house that makes it feel more like a home. If you’re not big into gardening (or you really don’t know the first thing about plants), start with something easy like a succulent, a spider plant, a peace lily, or a Chinese evergreen.
Knowing that something is relying on you for care at your place will certainly make your home feel less temporary.
Use Your Own Bedding
Even if the previous tenant washed and dried their sheets and blankets before you arrived, it’s still a good idea to go ahead and use your own. Not only is this probably a more sanitary option, but it’ll also give your room a much-needed dose of your own style. Store the old linens in a closet or under the bed for safe keeping.