Storage is listed by Harcourts Otago under the top landlord 10 tips to boost your rental appeal. Space saving ideas and storage go hand in hand, and as a landlord, ensuring that your renters have capacity to store what they need is an easy way to maximise the attractiveness and feasibility of tenanting your small rental property.
The best way to maximise the storage capacity in your property is by using every possible space from floor to ceiling. This means that there is no dead space under or above a storage unit. Within the floor to ceiling storage, it is important to think through potential items that would be stored there. Is there capacity for an integrated work station to rule out the need of an office? Are there slots for miscellaneous items, kids toys, and stationery? And big slots for duvets, suitcases, and large storage boxes? Make sure there is space to compensate for seasonal bulky blankets and sporting equipment.
Make your way through the property and fill any nook or cranny with cupboards or shelves, maximise under stair storage by adding shelves and coat hooks for example, as every little bit helps. Garage and/or loft storage are great ways to store items that aren’t used everyday, but still need to be accessible. There are suspended nets, and pull down ceiling stair access products that can help to keep the rental organised.
From a renters point of view, investing in items such as a bed with a storage base, or a console with storage to the ground, helps to future proof the possible lack of storage in the space you are tenanting. Investing in these pieces creates a core base of furniture that you can take from home to home.
#2 Multipurpose Furniture
Some people get freaked out about signing the lease to a small house, flat, or apartment. Just because you have taken on a small space, doesn’t mean you have to buy compact furniture for it. Small spaces look small if they are filled with a cluster of ‘small space furniture’. The key here is to prioritise and still have luxurious furniture that serves many purposes, meaning you will only need a limited number of items per room. Overall, we recommend creating a balanced core of furniture. Bigger is better.
Large scale artwork and a mirror on the wall helps to make the room feel larger, again instead of a cluster of small items on the wall. Mirrors are great because they reflect the space, making it look bigger.
Items such as a fold out bed in the lounge means that the space can also be used as a guest bedroom. This would then help to justify the need for a large sofa - it doesn’t have to be small and impractical.
To conclude, compact furniture is often uncomfortable and restrictive. There is a risk of ending up with lots of it to cater for different purposes, however one key piece of comfortable furniture that is multipurpose will take up just as much or sometimes less room when it acts as a collective or multipurpose item.
A major issue for renters, and also new home buyers, is that there is no planning involved when it comes to the purchase of new furniture. Before you go shopping measure your space and make a plan. What are you going to store in that extra cupboard? Will the chase on that lounge suite take up too much space, or does it need to be on a specific side?
It is important that you know exactly what you are looking for to help save you time. You may think you can picture it in your head, however we have talked to many clients who have run into trouble previously buying furniture without considering the parameters of the space, and how they can utilise those pieces in future rentals.
Planning your space determines flow and control of congestion in the areas you think might be most commonly occupied, including passage ways. Identify these traffic routes, and allow at least an empty 900-1200mm to comfortably move through these spaces.
As mentioned above, it is important that you consider your future living situations. Will the couch you buy now last if it is moved around for the next 5 years? Is it an adaptable piece that could potentially change in configuration such as a modular sofa?
Downsizing can refer to decluttering, or moving into a smaller home. This is relevant as when renting, as it is common to move around every few years on average. It can be hard to move around a large amount of items, and have them fit into a smaller property, so ask yourself if you really need that item, or how you could combine needs or wants into limited items. Its about living with less but owning purposeful items that you value and use frequently. We would recommend taking a minimalist approach as a space looks larger with less clutter lying around.
Keep furniture functional and timeless, however downsizing means that those clothes you haven’t worn in a year, or those art supplies that you have been meaning to use for a while, have to go.
Less is more. You would be surprised with how little items you really need for everyday functionality. Marie Kondo, as seen on Netflix, explores the act of decluttering and how to feel great about doing so. Check out the video below.
Placement of rooms and amenities are worth consideration for landlords to maximise rental capacity and appeal. You would be surprised how you can redesign a space with minimal construction change, while maximising functionality and purpose.
As a tenant, placement of furniture and moveable items is important as you may find it opens up new opportunities for storage, or functionality of the space. An example of this could be pulling your sofa out from the wall to allow for a freestanding tall storage unit behind. This relates to #2 Multipurpose Furniture and #3 Planning as it is important to make the space you occupy, functional for you.
Whether you would like your living room focused around the TV, or used for entertaining guests, impacts the placement of furniture. Your home is about you and your values, everyday functionality, and interests. Coming home to a place that you can function and relax in comfortably means that you can enjoy being home.