Posted on: 22 March 2016
If you're renting your apartment, one of your priorities is taking care of the property so that you don't lose your damage deposit at the end of the lease term. However, when you have a kid, it can be difficult to keep the destruction contained, especially when you are limited in the type of kid-proofing you can do in a rental. For example, you can't install cupboard locks if they will mar the finish of the cabinets. Here are some things you can do to reduce the impact your child will have on your rental without making any permanent or damaging changes.
Knob or Magnet Locks
Kids get into cabinets, and when they do, potential for damage increases, especially if they access items like scissors, markers, or glass dishes. Instead of traditional cabinet locks that hook inside the cabinet and are installed with screws, try using the locks that go over the knobs of two-door cabinets. For single knob cabinets, talk to your landlord about putting magnetic locks on the doors. These locks can be mounted with double-sided tape or a screw, but they can be shut to the "off" position so that they don't hinder the regular use of the cabinet for future tenants. The magnet locks have a hook that prevents the door from opening, and they open when a magnet is used on the outer side of the door to slide the hook down. When the lock is off, the hook stays down permanently.
If you live in an apartment rental with carpet, you'll need to protect it from crayons, juice spills, or the time when Junior finds your make-up case and dumps liquid foundation on the floor. Some easy methods of protection include:
- purchasing a large area rug to go on top of carpet in the main living space. Rug-on-rug may not be your ideal design for your living room, but a cheap area rug (one you don't mind getting damaged) will become the catch-all for rogue stains and leave the rental carpet undamaged. After your child grows older, you can toss the damaged rug in favor of a more design-friendly one.
- having a professional come and place a stain-resistant coating on rental fabrics and rugs. This coating is not visible, but it makes stains easier to wash out if something does happen to get spilled and extends to overall life of the carpet. This will probably be something your landlord will not pay for.
As you learn more about your child and their antics, you will need to brainstorm new ideas, but here are a few more that might help:
- Provide a white board or chalk board for coloring on. If your child does get an illicit marker, having a designated coloring surface can help deter coloring on walls or floors.
- Place a mat underneath a high chair to keep food from marring the finish on the floor.
- Use couch covers for furnished apartments to catch spit-up, jam from sticky hands, or potty accidents.
- Lock the toilet to prevent toys from being accidentally flushed. Most toilet locks are removable, so they don't impact the toilet when you need to remove it.