How to choose furniture when you’re living a nomadic lifestyle

When you’re renting property and are frequently upping sticks, you need furniture that fits in with your nomadic lifestyle. Fortunately, IKEA has you covered…

tiles flooring with books on table and sofa with cushions
(Image credit: IKEA)

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How often do you move home? If you’re a renter, chances are you’re moving fairly frequently. Moving house every few months or years is a reality for many people nowadays, especially for young people. Whether that’s moving for work, studies, adventure or love, life can sometimes seem to be in constant motion, and when that’s the case you don’t want to be tied down by furniture.

Having said this, there are certain furniture must-haves that even the most nomadic of us require. Nobody wants to live in a home that feels unfurnished, uninspiring and unloved… Which is why we’ve come up with some top tips and products for renters who are always on the move:

Choose multifunctional furniture

Having furniture with multiple functions is key when living the nomadic lifestyle of a renter. It means that instead of having two or three pieces of furniture taking up lots of space, you can have one piece that ticks all the boxes. A great example is the Ekebol sofa from IKEA, which combines sofa with storage space. Making the most of otherwise redundant space is vital, especially in smaller rooms.

white wall with tiles flooring and sofa with cushion

(Image credit: IKEA)

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Ekebol sofa, £350, IKEA

Another example of multifunctional furniture is boxes that can be used for storage, display and transportation. Choose stylish boxes such as these from the IKEA PS 2017 range – they look good, and storing and displaying your clothes, books and personal items in them means there’s virtually no packing up when you’re ready for your next move.


white wall with boxes and books with cloths

(Image credit: future PLC/Per Wahlström)

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Set of 5 boxes, £45, IKEA

Make sure it’s easy to transport

The last thing you want is to be lugging around heavy furniture every time you move house, especially since the nature of 21st Century life means that it’s common to not only be moving home frequently, but also moving between cities. This can be expensive business when removal vans are factored in, and many young people move city alone using public transport, so lightweight furniture is essential.

Clothes rails are a light and transportable alternative to wardrobes. They look stylish and add character to a room once all your clothes and bags are hung up and displayed.

sewing machine with cloths and hangers

(Image credit: IKEA)

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Mackapar coat rack with shoe storage unit, £45 each, IKEA

Select items that are suitable for different spaces

With the internal décor of rental properties out of your hands, it’s important to choose versatile, minimalist pieces that are adaptable and work with any décor. Rental properties can often be characterless, so the few pieces of furniture you do have can be used to add personality and design to the space.

This table from the IKEA PS 2014 range can be used indoors and outdoors, as a dining table or a workspace, and its simplicity means it would look great in any home. It folds away compactly and comes with two benches that can be tucked neatly underneath.

wooden table with chairs and plant on pot with scissor

(Image credit: IKEA)

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Table and two benches, £190, IKEA

Obey the rules and avoid damage to the walls

A lot of landlords aren’t happy with tenants making holes in the wall to hang mirrors, art and photos, but nobody wants a bare home. Place a large pinboard on top of a table or chest of drawers and use it to pin photos, postcards and trinkets. This quickly adds impact and character to a room without causing any damage.

Large canvases can be propped up and leant against walls, and freestanding mirrors are great as they can stand, lean, and make any room look bigger.

For more IKEA buys, check out their online catalogue.

Your rental home need never feel bare and characterless again!