Moving Out and Feeling Homely

It is no hidden secret that moving out can be one of the most stressful experiences us as humans can encounter. Of course there are much worse, more severe events, but within the lower ranked, more pathetic of all stresses moving out is pretty darn high.You have to clean the last place, and tick off all the landlords list of issues (if any, which normally there is because you’ve f**ked the place up) and then you actually have to move to the new place. I recently moved out… and it was no different. The actual moving in to the new place was pretty stress free and comfortable, the cleaning and the moving out… eh not so much.

As students that enjoy their time at uni, but also having moved into a place that seemingly fell apart every month or two we had a lot to do. So, as one of our flatmates spent much of his time working in London til late and another who…well, we’re still to work out what he was actually doing… my last flatmate and I spent a few days cleaning as harshly as we possibly could. We saw and touched things we wish we could erase from our mind, and we saw red on more than one occasion, wanting to break things erratically, before realising that’s more money from our deposit. Nevertheless we did well to clean the big issues and the smallest we could find, going back and forth cleaning, and then moving little bits into our new place. Then last Sunday (4th September) my Aunt came up with the car, and helped me and my flatmate move in the remainder of our stuff to the new place. But then of course we weren’t finished because the old house wasn’t completely clean and the new place… well it was just a new place with a mess of black bags, and crap.

Before too long of course we had finished our cleaning, (even being left a gift of beers and ciders from our flatmate (who worked in London)) and had comfortably began sorting out our new place. That’s when things get easier, and more creative. You see, both my flatmate and I are of the mindset that moving in, and decorating your new abode is one of the most important decisions, especially as a student living in halls. Moving from place to place, whether it is from halls to halls or full on hometown house to halls can be emotional. You’re saying goodbye to a place you’ve lived for a while, and have shared many memories in, it holds the truth to a lot of the things that have furthered your own personal development. So you need to find a way to feel comfortable in your new place quicker.

For us it was already a little easier because 1) we were living with people we’d already lived with or knew very well and 2) this was our 4th time moving while at University so we were used it. But that didn’t mean we put any less effort in, in fact this time is probably the time I’ve put the most thought and effort into my new place. Here’s why: it’s our last year, or for now at least, we are now in our 4th year at The University of Essex studying for a Masters. Having felt how quickly the last 3 years have gone by it is terrifying to know there is only one last year, and incredibly awakening. This year will no doubt be the fastest year we have ever encountered. Which is both exciting and terrifying because at 21 we’re trying to deal with losing a lot of our younger days but also the looming prospect of our older days.

So how do you make your new place homely and enjoyable? Make it personal. Decorate, but be creative. Don’t just unpack and place your books anywhere, or your folders in a draw, and put a sheet over your bed and think you’re done. Do that first of course, but then try and feel the potential of the room. Some places may look hideous (and even smell the same) at first, but can be turned into luxurious abodes worthy of envy. Find out what kind of person you think you are, for example I’m pretty spiritual so I’ve filled my room with ideas or objects that represent myself and my spirit or that just have a spiritual nature to them. I still have a lot more I want to add but here’s some idea of what I mean below:

What I’ve mainly done so far (I still have a lot I want to do but gotta save that dolla) is put all my books in alphabetical order (only just about fitting them on) lined some of my important documents on the side of my desk along with my laptop fan and have just placed four burnt out candle holders in a row with potpourri in them. I really enjoy the look of the burnt wax against the glass for some reason, and it seems to work pretty nice with the potpourri, hence the mixture. In the main part of  the bedroom, I still haven’t done too much, mainly I put up a couple of posters (Paramore, Its A Wonderful Life), I’ve pinned up a patterned blanket just above the head of my bed for a tapestry effect, and have erected some net curtains providing a partition between a ‘study’ area and a ‘chill’ area. Lastly I’ve drawn some basic stuff and placed it on one of my walls (consisting of chinese symbols of Love, Hope, Strength and Peace, music notes, my cat in a suit, facial drawings, theatre masks, the two flags of my culture – English and Dominican – and a drawing of Robin Williams). Just a sort of mural if you will of the things I enjoy or I feel represent myself, and then I hope to place another tapestry next to it to cover the gap, while also adding more drawings as the years goes on. I’d like to add quite a bit more but it was important to me to just get some basic bits up in the first week so that I can feel at home as soon as possible, and to be honest it’s worked pretty well so far. Waking up and being proud of your room, or for that matter waking up and being able to say “this is my room” and not think that its someone elses room that you happen to be sleeping in makes a huge difference.

Never skimp out on the personalisation or thought into your room. Your room is your sanctity and your haven. It is your office, and your dorm, your escape and social centre. Make it your own and living in that house will be 100 times easier.

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