How to Love a Temporary Living Situation (Even Through It’s Not Forever)

published Aug 16, 2015
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

If you’re languishing in a dorm room, sublet or any other type of temporary housing, you’re probably facing a particular kind of decor dilemma. On one hand, you’re living there so you want it to be nice. On the other, the idea of putting tons of time into fixing up a place where you won’t be for very long is exhausting. What to do? Read this.

Pare way down

If you know you’re gonna be on the move again soonish, it’s worth it to figure out how to weed your belongings down. Way down. You really can get by with less and when you’re in transition, it’s so nice to move through life more lightly. What you do with the excess is up to you. Maybe you’ll store it away with plans to land somewhere more permanent soon or maybe you’ll decide you like the low-key life and ditch that stuff completely.

Invest in improvements you can use up or take with you

The best way to jazz up your space without wasting a ton of time and money? Think about little treats that will make your space feel more homey like a lovely luxurious candle or a plant. Need more help? Invest in something you can take with you! Water pressure lacking? Try switching out your shower head. Blah, boring kitchen? Add some colorful cabinet knobs. Above all, avoid buying furniture or decor that’s super specific to that space. It will only go to waste when you leave.

(Image credit: Leanne Bertram)

Commit to a few big changes (that you really want)

Clearly, you can’t put your time and energy into customizing everything, but you don’t need to linger in decor hell either. If something is really bumming you out, it’s worth the time to change it (and change it back later). Even though you know there’s an endpoint, stop waiting to live your life. Spending a few bucks and a few hours on painting a wall to cover a color you hate will help your mood every single day that you do live there. Worth it.

Get out of the house

You’re only going to be here for a limited time, so really get all you can out of the neighborhood or city. Make yourself a list of what you’d like to see or do and a time frame for those activities. No excuses! It will keep your mind on the positive things your situation has to offer, rather than feeling like you’re just waiting it out.