How to Decorate Your Apartment for the Holidays Without Losing Your Security Deposit

decorate for holidays

The holidays are a great time to decorate your home. A Christmas tree in the living room, lights strung along the roof and other classic signs of the holidays really create a festive feel. But what if you live in an apartment?

The size of many apartments won’t comfortably fit a traditional live Christmas tree, and there’s only so much your landlord will allow. Still, if you’re willing to get a little creative, you can inject your apartment with plenty of Christmas spirit, without losing your security deposit. Here are a few holiday decorating ideas for apartment living.

Twinkle Lights

Hang these little lights from the ceiling using removable hooks, and drape them around doorways, fireplaces and cabinets. They create the perfect holiday feel, cost next to nothing and leave no lasting footprint on your apartment. Just take them down when the holiday is over.

Downsize Your Tree

Okay, maybe an eight-foot tree in the living room isn’t going to work, but there are tabletop trees that are much smaller and can still give you a mini-version of the Christmas tree effect. If you don’t have enough space for that, a few seasonal plants or some leafy tree branches in vases on the window or table can provide some of that green holiday spirit. In fact, many places where you can buy Christmas trees will give trimmings away for free. Sprinkle a few of these around your apartment for some extra holiday feeling. And don’t forget to add your favorite ornaments! Many stores offer packages of ornaments or even mini ornaments (look for the plastic ones, not glass) that make decorating a tree for the first time easy.


Whether you have a tree or not, wrap your holiday presents up in decorative packaging and place them strategically a couple of weeks before the holiday so you get both that holiday feel and the anticipation. You can do this even if you’re buying presents for yourself! For added effect, wrap shoe boxes or packaging from those online Holiday gift orders in decorative paper, even if there aren’t presents inside (just make sure you know which ones these are!).

Hanging Window Display

Another cheap and easy way to make your apartment festive is to take a nicely framed picture, string it up with ribbon and ornaments and hang it in the window. Ta da! Instant holiday spirit!

Decorate Your Furniture

You can decorate your existing furniture without making any permanent changes. For example, you could take your fancy holiday ribbon and tie pinecones, stockings, ornaments or whatever else you like to your dining room chairs. Throw a festive blanket over your couch, or add some inexpensive holiday pillows.

Hang It All!

There are so many things you can hang in your apartment, from ornaments and stockings to mistletoe. Of course, you don’t want to screw a bunch of hooks or hammer a lot of nails into your walls, since you do want that security deposit back.

Still, there are plenty of safe ways to hang things that shouldn’t damage your walls, from temporary hooks to Fun-Tak and even good, old-fashioned tape. Just be sure the method you’re using can bear the weight of the item you’re hanging, and be removed without leaving a mark or taking paint with it.

Another way to make your apartment feel festive is with furniture that’s the right color and style for the season. You don’t want to buy all new furniture, of course, but if you’re looking for a change, why not rent some furniture for the holiday season? You can find great deals on attractive, stylish furniture for rent.

If you’re in the Central Pennsylvania area, head over to Interior Furniture Resources for great deals on all kinds of rental furniture for your apartment or home.