How to Make Corporate Housing Feel Like Home
Relocating to another city for work can be exciting. You’ll get to see a part of the world you never thought you would get to experience and meet so many new and exciting people as you explore your new community. But, although you’ll still have the daily grind of your job to hang onto for a sense of familiarity, you may not feel at home in your new home.
For anyone feeling homesick or out of place in their temporary corporate apartment, we have put together these tips for creating a welcoming, comfortable space you can’t wait to come home to.
If you know you won’t be staying in your new home for more than a year, the space will feel temporary from the moment you put down your bags. This can mean you may avoid making changes to your space in an effort not to become attached to it since you know you’ll have to leave it behind in only a few short months. But this mindset can be damaging to your mental health. You should feel at home in your space, even if you are just staying in it for a short period.
An easy way to make your corporate apartment feel more like home is to incorporate your own belongings into the space. Living out of a suitcase may seem like a great idea if you are only staying in a place for a week but for a stay any longer than this, the bare walls and lack of decor will only emphasize the short nature of your visit, which can make the space feel impersonal. Fill your closets and dresser drawers with your clothes. Stack your toiletries around your bathroom sink. Rearrange appliances and any housewares you’ve been provided with until you are happy with the look of your space.
Whether it be moving your sofa from under the window to opposite your TV or swapping the position of your dresser with your chest, moving your furniture around is the best way to make your space feel like yours. Subconsciously this gives you the same level of control over a space as you would have in your permanent residence, which will help your new corporate apartment feel like it belongs to you. Don’t try and replicate the arrangement of your old space. This will only remind you of what you are missing. Instead, take advantage of any unique architecture within your new space and work with what you have to make the layout and organization feel natural.
When you don’t see your corporate apartment as your home, it’s easy to let your cleanliness slip. Coming home to dirty dishes and piles of laundry on your floor can be disheartening, especially after a long day at work. So be sure to take care of your space and treat it in the same way you would want your home to be treated. Take five minutes to wipe your surfaces down after making a meal and roll a vacuum cleaner over your floor every once in a while. These repetitive tasks will soon become routine, and you’ll be looking after your apartment in the same way you’d be looking after your permanent residence. A clean space is sure to feel more like home than a messy one would.
Smells Like Home
Certain smells can evoke a sense of nostalgia and bring back positive memories. One way you can trick your brain into thinking your new corporate apartment feels like your permanent residence is by placing candles, air fresheners, and wax burners around your home so they can emit a pleasant, familiar scent through your new space. If the smell of campfires reminds you of an evening around your backyard fire pit, invest in a nice candle with a warm woody scent. If floral aromas remind you of laundry day at your old apartment, use air fresheners around your new space so you can come home to a space that smells like home.
Don’t Overlook the Importance of Linens
Your level of comfort in your new corporate apartment can be affected by a lot of things. To create a relaxed environment, you need to think about what soothes you and try and incorporate these things into your space where possible. The easiest way to accomplish this is to bring your linens from your old home to this new space. Your new bed will feel much more restful if it’s covered with your old bedding. Your towels will have that familiar roughness you are used to rather than that soft hotel feel that can make you feel like you are a visitor in your own home. This even extends to curtains and drapes, bring your old linens to your new space so they can cast a familiar glow across your room. This step is all about increasing your joy with the space you will be occupying for the foreseeable future.
If you cannot bring your old bedding to this new space, consider buying similar bedding and laundering the linens in the same way you did in your old space using the same detergent and fabric softener. Although this won’t have the same feeling, the similarity will be enough to ease you into a good night’s sleep on those first few nights. Add soft throw pillows to your couch, throw a snug shawl over your armchair and settle into your new home.
Don’t Break Your Routine
Traveling may feel like the perfect excuse to break your routines and lounge around your corporate apartment all day when you aren’t working. But this can have disastrous effects on your level of productivity during the workday and your mental and physical health as a whole.
Try and wake up when you normally would and establish a set time to make meals that is at a similar- if not the same time, as you would have before moving. If you are working from home, try to keep a 9-5 schedule with regular breaks throughout the day to keep yourself motivated. You’ll be less stressed and anxious about living up to the reputation that got you moved to this new location in the first place. With a set routine, you’ll accomplish more on your to-do list and feel like you are making good use of the time you are spending in your new home. This sense of accomplishment will make the move feel like it was worthwhile, which will make you feel more willing to accept the space as your home.
Get to Know the Area
Whether you are relocating for a month or a year, you should make the most of your time in this new location. Spending time outside will make your corporate apartment feel less claustrophobic, and the exercise will help you rest easier at the end of the day.
If you plan to move to the area when your tenancy in your corporate housing expires, you should use your time in your corporate apartment to research your housing options. Talk to your neighbors about the town, get their honest opinion about the area and how it is when you aren’t there. For example, if you live in your corporate apartment during the summer, ask them how the winters are. Make inquiries into the real estate market, research long-term rental housing in your price range, and discuss your options with your friends and family. Check out local entertainment events, shopping malls, restaurants, and the areas school districts if you have (or intend to have) children. All of these activities will help you get to know your area, and this, in turn, will help you feel like you belong to the space. This will help you let go of your old permanent residence, and by extension, you’ll feel like your corporate apartment is your home.
Cook Up A Storm
There is nothing better than a home-cooked meal, and unlike a hotel suite, corporate housing apartments have fully functional kitchens for you to take advantage of. This means you’ll be able to make full meals at home, which will help to take away the temporary feeling of your space and save you money on takeout meals.
Buy Houseplants for your Home
A houseplant does more than improve the air quality in your space. It has been scientifically proven that having plants in your space will help reduce stress, lift your mood, and ease any budding anxiety about work. Therefore they can be very useful when you are trying to make your corporate housing feel more like home.
Since your new home is tied to your job, you may feel like you cannot escape the stresses of the workday as you could in your permanent residence where everything belonged to you. By bringing in some greenery to your space, you are taking back control over your life. Not only will you have something to take care of, but you’ll also breathe new life into your space and start to see it as more than just an extension of your job.
We recommend cacti and succulents to most people living in corporate housing as they require very little maintenance. But if you have a green thumb, a lot of window space, and you know you’ll be staying in your new home for a while, you could start a small herb garden in your kitchen so you can benefit from your hard work. If you like the idea of this, but don’t want to commit to looking after a plant, then consider buying a fresh bouquet of flowers to add some color to your home.
Let Your Personality Shine Through
Just because you can’t paint the walls of your corporate housing doesn’t mean you can’t let your personality shine through in other ways. As we have mentioned, adding your own linens, houseplants, and rearranging the existing furniture can all have a dramatic effect on how you feel about the space. But there is so much more you can do. We have spoken to interior design experts to get their top tips for decorating a temporary apartment.
Mirrors make your room feel larger by spreading light from light fixtures and windows around the room, creating the illusion of depth. Prop mirrors against the walls of your space or hang them on the backs of doors if hanging them up on your walls isn’t an option.
If your corporate housing doesn’t get much natural light through your windows, then consider bringing a unique floor lamp into your space. Lighting drastically affects your feelings about your space, so move the lamp around the room you are decorating until you find the perfect place for it. This action will make you feel like you have control over your space in a similar way rearranging the furniture does, and since you’ll own this lamp, you’ll feel like you own a piece of your new home.
If your landlord or corporate housing agent allows it, consider putting up wall decals, temporary wallpaper, or even floating shelves. This will add a personal touch to what may feel like a clinical space. Since most corporate spaces are designed with a neutral palette to be palatable to everyone who stays there, they can feel like it is devoid of any personality. The act of decorating will subconsciously help you claim the space, which will help you accept it as your home for the foreseeable future.
Embrace the Little Things
When all is said and done, it’s the little things that make a place feel like home. It isn’t necessary to have your big bulky furniture shipped across the country from your permanent residence to your corporate housing. Just bring some of the smaller items you care about with you and put them pride of place in your temporary home.
Take a few of your favorite books to place on a shelf in your new living space so you can pull them down on a cool night. Bring a photo album full to the brim with family photos and pick up inexpensive frames for them when you arrive. Buy postcards of your favorite sights from your hometown and put them on your fridge door to remind you your old home is only a few hours away.
If you have room in your suitcase, pack your alarm clock from your permanent residence. Waking up to the same sound as you did in your old home will put any morning anxieties about being in a new place away before they can ruin your day. Before you leave your permanent residence, look around your space for small, easily movable items that make you smile, and take them with you on your journey. Making your temporary corporate housing feel like home is all about the little things.
Here at IFR, we offer corporate rental furniture, housewares, linens, electronics and more, because we value our customers, and we want you to feel at home wherever you are. When you work with us, your short-term corporate home can go from a dull space to a beautiful, functional homely environment in an instant.
You can rent a complete package and have your corporate home filled with rental furniture or rent by the piece from our large inventory and add personal items to an already furnished space. With several diverse styles to choose from, you’ll always be able to find the pieces that make you feel at home when you work with us.
If you are looking for rental furniture in Harrisburg, get in touch with us today by calling 717.657.3000 or 800.347.9277 between 8.30 am and 5 pm Monday- Friday. We service Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Virginia, and West Virginia, but if you live elsewhere, please contact us and speak to a rental agent to inquire about our services.