Do you have the essentials? Here are some ways to think about decorating a Belle Mead, NJ rental.

Which camp are you in: do you like to decorate everything at once or spread the projects out? Or…are you the type who has never done this before? In every case, making lists of what you are doing to each room helps reduce the chaos. With those aiming for the longer term, lists can keep things on track and be given timelines for when your entire apartment will be done.

First, think themes. Are you going for modern, antique, rural, a hyper urban look? What are you after? Hint: steal shamelessly: start surfing home design sites and magazines for ideas. Clip ideas for later use. It can be one theme throughout your apartment of one theme per room (modern, antique, rustic, super polished, etc.).

Second, ask for help. Know any friends into design or have a flair for art? Sometimes it’s more fun to do this together, especially with someone who knows what they are doing. (If that’s you…what are you reading this for?) The best design thinks out of the box, and that’s what friends and surfing the net are for.

Then apply this question: how can I get the biggest bang for my buck and efforts? Lighting is way up on the list of big impact for little work. Lamps, and even nightlights, can make a difference. Will your choice of lighting be modern or antique? That depends on your themes.

Just can’t make up your mind? Start by organizing the clutter in your Belle Mead, NJ, rental. Where will your mail go, and all those items you bring in when you come into the house (dog leash, hats, coats, groceries). If everything has a place, you set the stage for your design choices to shine through. Live in clutter and it doesn’t really matter how fancy you get—life is just cluttered. This means getting little organizing boxes and trays for things like staplers and paper clips, keys, etc. And hooks for clothes, that dog leash, etc.

Lastly, think of this as a long-term project. What can you tweak today? That’s a question that can make the activity enjoyable—you see frequent changes—while keeping it from being overwhelming.