If you rent, you want your home to reflect your fabulous personality, but don't want to leave a bit of yourself behind when you move.
Instead of investing in permanent decorations or home improvement fixes, spend your money on items that will convey—that's real estate speak for the stuff on floors, walls and counters you can take with you.
LED light bulbs
If you were smart, you replaced (and stored) existing incandescent and CFL light bulbs with long-lasting LED light bulbs, which will shine bright for a lot longer than your standard one-year lease. Don't feel embarrassed taking those LEDs with you, so you don't have to buy new ones for your next place.
Upgraded shower heads
Most rentals have builder grade, fixed shower heads that do the job of pouring water over you, but have no style or options. For around $70, you can replace that blah head with a Magnetix handheld showers—the first Moen shower head product to include magnetic docking, which allows for easy release and securely snaps back into place.
When you leave, unscrew the showerhead, and bring it with you.
Rugs instead of carpet
It's likely that some dingy white carpet covers your rental. Don't even think about replacing it. Instead, buy great area rugs you can throw down now, and pick up later. You can easily find reasonably priced rugs online, at estate sales or going-out-of-business promotions (rug places always seem to be heading out of business.)
Buy big art
Sure, a couple of gallons of paint are cheap and can cover linen-white walls that bore you to tears. But painting an apartment takes hours, and many landlords will make you return the color to the original before you leave. Instead, buy or make big art that you can hang on walls to cover marks and cracks, or just to give the place a pick-me-up.
You don't have to be a Picasso to create art. Select some fabulous fabric you can frame or attach to embroidery rings and hang on walls. Pinterest is a great place for ideas.
Portable home security
You'd be amazed how many companies now make no-contract, wireless, DIY security systems designed especially for renters. You can control your security system with a smartphone app, then throw it into a tote and bring it to your next home.
Portable home organizers
It's easy to organize your drawers and closets with portable product. You can expand closet space with special hangers with hooks that can hold 10 tank tops or scarves. You also can slip metal dividers onto shelves and form instant cubbies. The best part is when you move, you can use these products to expand closet space in your next rental.
Remember, a house isn't a home until you express yourself with personal items. But you'll save a ton of money if you install things you can easily cart to your next rental. Who knows? In the end you may save enough money to fatten a deposit for your first home.