So you’ve got yourself a new home, at least for a while? Great. Whether it’s for study, a short-term employment contract, or even an unusually long break in a guest house, you’re going to be surrounded by these four walls for some time. Not a long time, admittedly, but there nonetheless remains the instinct to make the place a little more homely. Here are some tips for how to do it, without overdoing it!
Seriously though – don’t overdo it
Even if you’re only ‘here’, while you’re in between permanent addresses, avoid the instinct to make the place you’re in, entirely your own. As above, we’re aiming for “a little more homely”, for now, so don’t bring every item of clothing or ornament you own. Even if you don’t intend to unpack everything, simply having cases and boxes around will make the place feel less like a home, and more like a storage unit. Ironically, then, the solution is to hire a storage unit, if you have nowhere else to put things for now.
Trust your nose
Although we’re not always aware of it (not until we smell something repugnant, anyway), scent is one of our most powerful senses. Capable of conjuring up emotions, and therefore reminding us of people, places and things, if there’s a particular scent you link strongly to ‘home’, get a little of it going in your temporary accommodation.
Even if this will soon be followed by a quick goodbye, it’s still well worth meeting the people who’ll be your neighbours for the next few weeks or months. Even if you’re not the most sociable person ordinarily, being able to greet someone as you pass in the street or corridor, and wish them a good day, can be enough to make you feel that even though your home is only temporary – there are still people nearby who know you’re there.
Don’t ignore problems
At the end of the day, you’re living there. You shouldn’t have to deal with the sort of terrible smells alluded to above, noise from above or beside, or problems in the property. If there’s a problem, even in your temporary home, get it sorted. Your landlord should be responsible for everything that’s needed to fix the problem, from an electrician in Manchester, to roofers in Middlesbrough. It may be your temporary accommodation, but it’s their responsibility.
Keep it personal
Like a child who mournfully watches their favourite blanket spin around the washing machine, we all have those one or two things we depend on. From a favourite comfy t-shirt, to a mug that just seems to make tea taste better, these subtle talismans for our spirit are essential. No matter how small, unusual, or outlandish your favourite item is – it’s yours. Keep it with you, wherever you are, and wherever you go next.