How to Make Corporate Housing Feel Like Home
While temporarily relocating to another city for work can be exciting, after a time it can feel draining to be away from your permanent home for so long. Many times, people living in corporate housing feel out of place in their new surroundings; a new living space and a new city to learn and explore. Although you may still be performing the same job functions, corporate housing may still end up feeling impersonal in a way that comfortable furniture, wireless internet and all your desired amenities won’t fix. For anyone feeling homesick or out of place in a temporary corporate apartment, IFR has tips on how to make it more welcoming and comfortable.
Fully Unpack and Organize
When you know you’re staying somewhere for less than a year, it automatically takes on a temporary nature. You don’t want to take the effort to make any changes in your environment or get too attached, because you know it won’t last. At the same time, those months are still a significant investment of time — and you’ll want to feel at home in your space, even if it’s just for a short period.
One element of settling in is arranging your things the way you like them. Don’t just live out of your suitcase. This will only emphasize that the situation is short-term and make you long for home. Fill your closets and dresser drawers with your clothes. Tuck away your toiletries in the bathroom. Rearrange any housewares you’ve been provided in the way you prefer, and if you are able, move the furniture around slightly. It’s impossible to completely replicate your home, but you can still work with what you have to make the layout and organization feel natural.
Don’t let your level of cleanliness slide during this time, either. Be sure to pick up after yourself, taking care of your short-term rental like you would your own home. While you may have a busy schedule, it can be disheartening to come home exhausted to laundry piles and dirty dishes in the sink. You’ll feel much more at ease if your surroundings are neat and tidy in the same way that your home would be.
Bring the Smell of Home
As you may know, your sense of smell is connected to the areas in your brain that deal with mood, behavior, emotion and memory. That means certain scents have the power to evoke nostalgia or attract you to a specific person or place. One way you can trick your brain into relaxing in a new environment is to give it pleasant or familiar smells to process.
Don’t swap out your normal brands just for this trip. Use the same soap, shampoo and laundry detergent you did back home. If you use air freshener to improve the smell of a space or like to light candles, look for your preferred fragrance in those as well. Think of it as your own personal aromatherapy.
Use Your Own Linens
For a comfortable corporate apartment, you’ve got to consider what soothes you. Is it scented candles, a warm bath or soft sheets? If you’re able to bring your linens from home, they can add another layer of solace and repose to your current housing.
Climbing into bed after a long day will feel even more restful with your own bedding — nothing quite compares to the blankets you picked out yourself and cleaned with your own laundry soap and fabric softener. If you want your personal towels and favorite curtains around, bring them along. You could also toss a snuggly shawl and throw pillows on the couch and place a cozy area rug on the floor. It’s all about increasing your contentment with the space you’re in.
Keep Your Routine
Going on vacation or traveling for work shouldn’t suddenly break up your daily routines. Though you may be tempted to stay in bed later or change your meal times, it’s better for your physical and mental well-being if you follow the same schedule as you always have.
Wake up when you normally would and establish the same eating patterns as back home. If you’re out on business, keep your work schedule consistent. Take walks or go to the gym like usual, shower at the same time of the day as before and fit in time to participate in your hobby or to simply relax. With a set routine, you’ll accomplish more on your to-do list. You also won’t be as anxious or stressed, and you’ll sleep better. Not only that, but a predictable schedule will make your short-term accommodations feel a little more familiar.
Experience Your New Surroundings
What good is temporary housing in a different city or state if you don’t take the time to get out and explore? No matter your reason for relocating, it’s good to spend at least some time outside so you won’t feel trapped or restless. The fresh air will be good for you, and new experiences can keep your mind occupied.
If you’re planning on eventually moving to the area, you can use some of your time researching your options. Items on your checklist may include visiting local restaurants, researching long term rental housing, the real estate market, local entertainment and possibly looking into the area school districts if you have children. You could also consider introducing yourself to your neighbors and getting their take on the town. It won’t make a difference if you’re already in the process of moving, but if you still haven’t made up your mind, they may provide some valuable insight to sway your opinion one way or the other.
Use Your Kitchen
Unlike a bare bones hotel room, corporate housing apartments offer a fully functional kitchen. You’ll have more than just a microwave and a mini fridge at your disposal. Not only does this mean you’ll save money by not going out to eat every day and night, but you can fix any meals you want!
Make good use of your kitchen, because a home cooked meal will evoke warm and happy feelings. You can prepare foods that are familiar to you, following your own personal diet and rotating through your favorite recipes. Plus, there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a bit of comfort food on rough days. Don’t forget to pack the favorite coffee mug you always use as well.
Get a Houseplant
Besides just improving air quality, it’s been scientifically proven that having plants around will reduce stress, lift your mood, ease your anxiety or fatigue and even make you more productive. If faux greenery has already been included in the space, go the extra mile and invest in a houseplant. It’s a small addition that can have a big impact.
Plants can breathe new life into a space, figuratively and literally. Cacti and succulents require little maintenance, so they’d be an excellent choice. Starting a small herb garden would be practical as well. Though it may take some effort at first, it can bring color into your temporary housing and offer tasty spices for your cooking. For those who are truly worried about forgetting to water plants, you could go the simple route and buy a bouquet of fresh flowers to brighten up the room.
Showcase Your Personality
Using your own linens and décor accents, arranging your furniture to your liking and buying a plant are all ways to display your personality in your new space, but there’s so much more you can do. Just because you can’t paint the walls doesn’t mean your personality can’t shine through in other ways. There are plenty of temporary apartment decorating ideas out there.
Interior design experts recommend using mirrors to make rooms appear larger. If hanging them up isn’t an option, you can prop them against the wall to expand the space. Something else you could do is bring in a unique lamp or other functional object that will pull double-duty, serving a practical purpose while decorating an area. Putting up wall decals, temporary wallpaper or floating shelves are an option as well, but should always be run past the your landlord or your corporate housing provider first.
Ultimately, though, you should focus on showcasing what you care about. Take a few of your favorite books and movies with you to place on a shelf. You can also put up artwork or individual photo frames and surround yourself with the hues you like best – as well as reminders of your family and friends back home. It won’t be the same as your home, but it can still be homey in its own way.
Embrace the Little Things
It’s not necessary to ship out your own furniture or go through with major decor changes in a corporate housing situation. These things are not only difficult, but also unnecessary. The smallest, most personal things are what will have the biggest impact on your happiness. It’s all about adding touches of home.
If you have a unique alarm clock or a miniature figurine that makes you smile, go ahead and pack it. If there’s a special bubble bath that makes you feel pampered every time you use it, pick it up first thing when you get into town. Small, easily-movable things that remind you of home, from your must-have belongings to a few little luxuries, should definitely be on your list.
To you, what makes a place feel like home? Do your best to recreate it, whether through fragrance, cozy sheets or decorations. You could even pop into local thrift shops or antique stores during your stay and continue adding pieces here or there — you’ll have more beauty around you during your trip and have an interesting souvenir to take home. It’s all about staying connected to what brings you joy, while keeping spending to a minimum in the process.
For the most comfortable corporate housing you can imagine, there’s no substitute for Interior Furniture Resources. IFR offers corporate rental furniture, housewares & linens, electronics and more. They even provide upgrades such as luxury bedding and top-of-bed options. Your short-term apartment can go from empty and drab to beautiful and functional in an instant. Rent a complete package or rent by the piece from our large inventory. There are several diverse styles to choose from, so you’ll always be able to find the pieces that make you feel at home.
Get in touch with IFR today for help arranging your corporate housing.