Serial mover? How to make your new room feel ‘homey’

Last December, while many were busy adorning Christmas trees and doors and buying last-minute gifts, I was packing boxes and making lists of the things I needed to get for my new room. It was the third time I was getting a new room in three years.

The procedure is the same at this point: I make peace with the facts, I pack, say goodbye to my old room and I start accepting the reality that I’m in a new one. Yes, it is even more stressful than it sounds!

At this stage in the game, it’s a process I don’t really think about because my whole being knows I’ve been there over and over and over again. So I just go ahead and get on with it cause I know I’ll be over it like I was the time before.

I always make sure I stand there one last time. Consciously. I’ve made it “my thing” to stand at the door for one last time; I assess the situation, I recall the exact moment I walked into the room, the first décor I added, the things I moved around to make it look the way I wanted it to. I try to remember the times I literally peed myself laughing in there and the nights I cried under the covers so no one would see or hear. I remember the times I wanted to give up and the times I decided I wouldn’t. The times I wrote on the bed and the times I did my makeup looking at my reflection in the wardrobe mirror.

To me, a room stopped being just four walls to myself since I realized there were so many things I couldn’t feel or remember the same way because I had lost the memory and specifics of that place.

Letting go of the one place you felt most comfortable and safe in doesn’t really become easier especially when you have no other choice but to do so. I noticed something about myself not too long ago: I don’t really like change or uncertainty or lack of concrete plans. I hate the feeling of having no ground to step on which is ironic because I keep putting myself in situations where I have no choice but to embrace uncertainties. From country to country, city to city, house to house… it never seems to stop and I’m not sure I’d want it to. Maybe I find comfort in discomfort.

Once I get to my new four walls, I like to throw myself into making it look like it does in my mind. I imagine every single thing and put all my energy into designing it. I do it to a point of obsession like it has to look perfect no matter how small or big the room is.
I think it’s a bonding mechanism: a way for me to feel like I created it, so it’s mine now. This way, by investing my time and energy I feel like I have the right to it. I literally mark my territory.

A part of me questions whether this is the right approach to take when moving on from something to a new one and while I’m probably prone to say it might not be, it’s a method that works well for me, for now.

Making the new room feel like home doesn’t happen over-night, it sometimes takes weeks and sometimes months, but it does happen, and it feels really rewarding at the end. Until you have to move again, I mean, then you wonder why you wasted all your time and money on décor you now have to carry along. Which explains why in my family, I’m usually the one with the most boxes and bags to move when the time comes.

Here are some things I do to make my new room feel “homey”:

Some thing’s gotta stay

Decluttering and getting rid of unnecessary stuff comes really easy when moving to a new place. It helps get rid of the things you were holding on to for keepsake because when the big day arrives you want to know with all certainty that everything you held on to, you’re actually going to use. I’m naturally a hoarder but this helps me let go.

There are certain things I never get rid of though, certain things that are too ingrained in my memory to be left behind.

My bed follows me to every room.

My mum has suggested changing it a few times, but my answer has been no each time.

I like knowing that even in a different place, I’ll be sleeping on the same bed. It’s the safe place even when everything seems unfamiliar. It still feels like my own, like at least that didn’t change at all.

I love how I have to jump on it every single night because it is way too high for me, I love that I still sleep on the same side of it every night even if it’s a double. It is still that place I eat midnight snacks in even if I know I shouldn’t and where I watch way too many series on Netflix than I should. It is on my bed where I can still laugh like I’ve gone nuts and cry for no one to see.

Lights, Lights, Lights.

When I invest in décor I especially like things that shine.

There is a different kind of feel a well-lit up room has in the night. About two years ago, I bought a rechargeable lamp on Amazon which was integrated with a Bluetooth speaker. Ever since then that lamp became part of my night-time routine. I noticed I preferred having softer lights around my room rather than the actual electric bulb on the ceiling.

It gives a different vibe to my room, a cosy feeling, and I get to save a lot of electricity too.

A Ritual

Every night I drink a cup of tea. Sound simple, right? There’s a lot more in that cup than just tea though.

I started to drink it maybe when I was about 15. My dad drank it and so did I.

At that time, I was still living in Italy and everything was a lot simpler to me. I loved that tea so much that everyone in my family knew it had my name written on it whenever the things in the shopping bag were being tidied up.

I’ll be 22 in April. Although I can’t seem to find the tea in any shop in Manchester, every night I still make myself a cup of tea, that same brand, same flavour. I have it brought over whenever I know someone’s coming to my current city.  A little bit of sugar, hot water and I become blissful as ever.

Every sip reminds me of where I came from, the steps I took to be where I find myself now. It’s something I do as a reminder that somehow, I always find myself. It’s like a symbol, a salute to that girl I used to be, the girl that used to smile at everything and dance to every single song.
Through that cup, I’m reminded daily of when I was innocent and carefree.

Sometimes, I wonder if I still like the tea or if I’m just used to it. A part of me thinks I do really love it, I mean it’s a great taste, on the other hand, maybe it’s just something I do to feel closer to who I was, a kind of ritual.

Your restless romantic roamer

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