A few days ago I was talking with a few friends (ok a coworker and a customer… but ultimately friends 😉 ) and an interesting topic came up. STUFF! No I don’t mean to be vague… you know exactly what I’m talking about! Let me explain… one friend (the customer) was explaining how he had recently started parring down his ex-wives things and how he was astounded by how much STUFF she had! What on earth did females do with so much stuff? (I can hear the sound of every man on the planet simultaneously nodding in agreement) (you boogers!) I never understood the accumulation of stuff… but I know that I have it… and that I love it! Doesn’t everyone? The times in my life where I have been without my stuff (stuffless if you will) I have been extremely sad… I can remember wailing to my husband “… but I miss my stuff!”
My friend (the coworker) is currently living in a trailer with her hubby while they build their new home (it’s going to be gorgeous! Maybe I can convince her to do a home tour on the blog when it’s done… she just bought a set of antique yellow tufted bar stools that are amazing!) The amount of “stuff” you can fit in a trailer is not anywhere near the amount of stuff I am sure she possesses… in the short time I have known her she has mentioned many a yard sale and flea market! She articulated quite eloquently to Don (the customer) that women “just need their stuff” and I wholeheartedly agree! I may have left out a comment or two about how much she misses her potato peeler and brown shoes… but you get the point!
We all have a certain set of things that make us feel at home… that may be a potato peeler and brown shoes and it may be a stuff-less house with the bare essential and everything in it’s place. After moving quite often (once a year growing up!) I feel like I have gone through this transitional “it doesn’t feel like home… where’s my stuff!” phase more than the average person! So here are my tips to avoid the potato-peeler depression and make anywhere feel like home!
Pick your favorite things!
Pack those in a box or bag that is clearly labeled and unpack those first! Whether it’s a short trip away for the weekend or your moving into a new house having your favorite things near by will make you feel right at home! When I was little and moving so often even the act of staying in a hotel for a night was difficult for me… I didn’t sleep well in any bed but my own! In order to make it easier I would bring a few of my favorite pieces of home… things like a favorite photograph, my own pillow and blanket, and a favorite book to read before bed (and take my mind off the whole thing!) I still prefer to bring my own pillow and blanket with me… even though I do better in hotels it definitely makes it feel more homey! When I’m packing for a longer trip (like a move) I make sure to pack things that I usually have around my bed: my diaries, an Indian Elephant box that was my Great Grandma’s, picture frames etc. Even if the whole house isn’t unpacked having a little area of calm will help your world to feel more homey.
Have an unpacking party!
A lot of people ask for help packing and moving the boxes to your new home and as someone who just moved I know EXACTLY how important that is! I also know that unpacking by yourself can be a long, hard depressing road. Especially if you’re someone like me who gets more and more depressed the longer there are boxes in. your. house. Ask a couple really close girlfriends over a week or two after the move for an unpacking party! Not only will you get a ton finished but it’s so much fun! I’ve been on both sides of this type of party since my friends and I have moved so much in the past few years… it has been just as much fun to assemble bookcases and unpack salt shakers at my friends house as it was to unpack bookcases at my last apartment! The best part? You get to see things from a different perspective… and perhaps see your belongings in a way you never imagined! When I moved into my very first apartment one of my very best friends spent a million hours helping me unpack (ok just a teeny exaggeration) and she styled my bookcase in a way I had never thought too before! It was eye opening and I absolutely loved it… but I would have never decided to put my books in that configuration if my friend had gone home for the day!
Label your boxes clearly!
For over a year my hubby lived in his tiny one bedroom, one bathroom apartment… and most of my pretty stuff was in storage. I don’t know how many times a week we had to say “I better go dig through the storage unit for that”… a well organized storage unit is the in-betweeners best friend! Even now with our recent move well labeled boxes come in handy. While the kitchen is now unpacked along with the bedroom and 3/4ths of the living room we still have 4 rooms (ok 3 rooms and the little laundry room off the back) that are very NOT UNPACKED! Which would be fine if all of the boxes were in the right room. They aren’t. Which means that while the kitchen is unpacked we are still missing a couple boxes… ok we’re missing the box with our pots and pans… and silverware. Luckily we found my old skillet and pot from college (or we would really be up a creek without a paddle!) but we had to break down and purchase a box of plastic silverware! Yikes!
Pack your bedding in one box!
When you label your boxes make sure to have one clearly marked “SHEETS” or “BLANKETS” or “STUFF I NEED FOR MY BED!” Pick whichever label you like but the point is to pack your bedding in one box and know exactly where it is. Having your bed properly made with your entire bedset (sheets, blankets, quilt, comforter, pillows, shams, decorative pillows, bed skirt) the whole she-bang can really go a long way towards making it feel like home. After the first box is labeled make a second box labeled “PARTS” and then put all the parts in it! Bolts from the bed, screws to the TV stand, cable for the wi-fi… anything that’s a little part! Then when you get to the new house and sit down to watch your TV on the floor because you don’t have furniture yet you won’t have to go searching through boxes to find the remote… it will be right there in the part box!
4 Tips to Make Anywhere Feel Like Home!
- Pick your favorite things!
- Have an unpacking party!
- Label your boxes clearly!
- Pack your bedding in one box!
So that’s it! Not exactly earth shattering (I know!) but guess what? It works! So what about you… are you a stuff gal like me and Mrs. Beverly? Or are you a minimalist like Don? Is this a man vs woman thing? Sound off in the comments… I’d love to know what you’re thinking!