Over the past few years, I’ve moved ten times. Ten times. Earlier in the year, I relocated from Los Angeles to San Francisco and started the settling in process all over again. Moving is overwhelming and stressful but also, really really exciting. With each move, I’m determined to turn a blank space into a home. Temporary homes need energy and warmth just as much as long term pads do. Here’s some tips I’ve collected along the way to make a makeshift space into a home:
Add (a little) art to the wall
I usually create a collage on one of my empty walls with the huge collection of postcards I’ve collected during my travels. The colors, familiar pictures, and memories of the destination they came from, always make me feel right at home. Adding prints, photographs, or magazine clippings to your walls will give your space an intimate ambience but, aren't too big or permanent of a commitment. I always keep a box of 3M Command Hanging Strips around to hang up my prints without damaging the walls.
Make your bed your sanctuary
If you’re living somewhere for a short time, your stress level is probably/most definitely way higher than usual. In order to alleviate some of the stress, make your sleeping space your retreat. Angle your bed/cot/sleeping bag in a corner to make the space more cozy. Add all the blankets and pillows you can find. To create an even cozier sleeping vibe, I love to spray a sleeping aroma around my head right before dozing off. I use this Dream Weaver Mist or you can make your own lavender scented balm like this one.
Hang up your daily essentials
Oh, the agony of trying to find your favorite black turtleneck among the sea of other black shirts in one of the numerous boxes around your room. It’s kind of the worst thing ever. But unless your spending months in your new place, hanging up your entire wardrobe seems a little extreme. Instead, stick to the basics. What are you wearing on a daily basis? Jeans? Your favorite jacket? Your beautiful polyester flight attendant uniform? Have those items out of the boxes. When I lived in a tiny room in France, I had no closet and no room for a dresser. I did have wooden beams going across the bedroom walls though. So, I nailed some nails into the beams and hung up my coats. Voila! Organization.
Make a pile of books/records/notebooks
I love being surrounded by my books. I know we live in an age of e-readers but, I can’t be bothered to throw out all my beautiful paperbacks (not yet at least). So...I drag them with me all over the country. A few personal belongings like your favorite novels or records can give an empty space depth and personality. I currently have this book of inspiration and this novel on my bedside table.
Get a little tiny plant
What’s cuter than a teeny cactus or a small succulent? Uh nothing. I believe that plants are an essential part of any room. They can breathe life (literally) into a space. Invest in a tiny succulent, which require little water or care, and add some greenery to any space. Plus, they’re easy to transport to your next home.
There's beauty in living somewhere temporarily. You can let the small household annoyance slide off your back because the situation isn't permanent. Your bedroom carpet hasn’t been cleaned in the last fifteen years? Gross but, whatever. Your apartment is on the seventh floor or a building with no elevator? There goes the need for a gym membership. You can hear your neighbors rendez-vous every night? Eh, who cares, you'll be out of there soon. Enjoy every minute in your new place. One day, you’ll be missing that teeny tiny twin bed and the fact that you could fit all your clothes in two suitcases.