Cheap Life Hacks to Turn Your New Apartment into a Home

An apartment living room filled with plants, books and natural lighting. A great example of cheap life hacks to make an apartment cozy.

When you move into your first college dorm, the minute you tape some photos of you and your besties and your favorite band poster to the wall, you feel pretty much at home. But, as you grow up and move into an apartment, the chances are that you’ll be looking for slightly more aesthetically pleasing (and grown up!) ways of making your apartment feel like a ‘home’. If you’re looking for budget apartment hacks to take your interior design game to the next level – you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got some of the best (and cheap) life hacks in the business.

See, you’re in luck, because your friends at Roomi love a life hack or two and we’re always searching for new ways to make your interior Instagram-worthy!

So, without further ado, here’s our favorite cheap life hacks that’ll make your new space feel less student, and more like you – a responsible adult (kind of!). 

Life hacks 101: Frame EVERYTHING

Okay, not everything… but you know where we’re going with this. The good news is that you don’t have to throw your favorite posters away. All you need to do is buy actual frames for your posters, artwork and photographs of you with your friends. Your chosen frames don’t have to be fancy either, a simple black or white frame from somewhere like Target or Ikea will do. The addition of framed art and photographs will definitely add personality to your space without breaking the bank balance. This is one of the best apartment hacks that will give your home a personality on a budget!

Life hacks for the plant lovers!

Nothing, we repeat NOTHING elevates a space more than a houseplant. From succulents to cacti- there are different types and sizes for every type of home. Start off with a couple and add to your collection if and when you can. There’s no such thing as too much when it comes to our green friends. Roomi team recommends the snake plant, it’s a favorite over here. And while we’re on the topic of how much we *love* plants, did we mention how good they are for you? They purify the air, boost your mood and can even reduce symptoms of mild stress and anxiety? The power of mother nature.

If you’re not sure about what plants to get, here’s a really helpful guide!

Use books as decoration

If got heaps of books and random knick-knacks lying around at home, this one’s for you. Instead of hiding them under your bed never to be seen again, consider piling them on your coffee table, near the couch or even stacking them on some shelves near framed photos. Super affordable without looking ‘cheap’, decorating with books is a trick used by interior designers all over the globe. It’s truly one of the classiest life hacks of all time! From travel books to your favorite fictional tale- they add color and personality to your space! And what’s not to love about showing off how well-read you are?

Portable home bars and trolleys

This is one of our favorite life hacks! If you’ve got wine bottles taking up valuable space on your kitchen counters, it’s time to give them a proper home. That’s right, it’s time to organize your booze! How very adult of you. We recommend getting a cheap and cheerful bar cart or home trolley. Not only are they great for entertaining, but they add character and color to any home. Another bonus? When your friends leave bottles behind, you can simply pop them on to your bar and add to your collection or tasty décor. Win, win!

If you want some inspiration, here’s a really helpful list of portable home bars starting at $49!

Invest in your lighting

People often forget about lighting when they’re redecorating and it’s a big mistake! When you first walk into a room, one of the first things people tend to notice is the lighting. This is one of those cheap life hacks that will completely transform your home without much effort!

Many rental apartments come with standard (and not so stylish) lighting fixtures. So, mixing it up with your own light shades, floor lamps and table lamps will make all the difference. From industrial Scandinavian vibes to bohemian style rattan and bold, statement colors, the options are endless. Not only can you change the whole appearance of your apartment whilst remaining within your budget, but there’s something super cozy and welcoming about warm, low lights. Apartment hacks FTW!

Whatever you do, don’t pressure yourself to get things done straight away. Finding creative ways to put your own stamp on a new apartment is part of the fun. So slow down, shop around, and enjoy it!


D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its readers turn their apartments into beautiful homes on a budget? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!