My cousin, Charlise, needed my room for her stepdaughter, so I had to find someplace else to go until I get back on my feet. After exhausting all my options, my last resort option was a major disappointment. I realized I deserved better.
My cousin saw someone post that they had a room available in a local liberal group, and it miraculously fell into my lap. Faced with three options, I decided to take advantage of the one that kept me closest to my cousin and her family.
And, really, the community in which she’s involved. Because ultimately, I want to live my life as is best for me, not based on what other people want for me.
My first night in my new room/place, I unpacked the essentials from my car, ordered pizza, and went to work setting up my room so it felt like I actually lived there.
This is the first room, in all the places I’ve been, where I can fully set up the room with my things. I can fully unpack. This is such a simple luxury I think a lot of people take for granted.
The ability to surround yourself with your own comforts and things, because it’s fully yours, is one I haven’t had much of in my life. Even as a minor, at minimum my closet wouldn’t be entirely mine.
So yeah, it’s a wonderful feeling to feel like I’m actually “home”. It removed a lot of the anxiety I felt about staying in a stranger’s home. The energy was well-spent.
(I’m also glad the room was semi-furnished, because I literally have nothing accessible, considering my car is so small and nearly out of commission (more on this later).)
1. Set up your pet’s stuff (if you have one) 😺
Setting up Galaxy’s things was the best first thing I did. The car was hot, even though the AC was on, and she hadn’t had water for at least an hour since I was packing everything up.
I decided the closet was the best place for her basics because:
- It has a light
- I can put her in it and close the door without worrying about her litter box/food/water access, if needed
- It’s big enough that everything can fit perfectly
- I wouldn’t be needing the top shelf, anyway
Her “overstock” supplies went on the closet shelf. I find it easier to keep the closet door open instead of opening/closing it all the time, so it doesn’t bother me that it’s open.
I still have enough room to change in there if I want, as well (I keep the window open for her to look out).
2. Start your scents.
The best way to get your new home smelling like home, even if it’s just a room, is by making it smell like home.
I have two wax warmers — I only use wax melts, as I’m afraid of lighting fire (little-known fact). I usually blend my scents, pairing a highly fragrant scent (e.g. fruit) with a mellow one.
My Himalayan salt wax warmer has been with me since I first lived with Charlise — I bought it in 2020 — and it’s light enough to also be a lamp. 💡😎
So I have the scents in the caption + Better Homes & Gardens Cashmere Amber scent going at the time of publishing this post. It creates a warm, inviting fragrance that feels homey without making me sleepy. (Though I haven’t been sleeping much, so I could definitely use the sleep. 😅)
When she was a kitten, I’d touch the wax warmer in the bathroom and say, “Ow!” really high-pitched, so she learned early on not to mess with them. That said, I had to cut fur off her tail in January because it got dipped in wax. 🤭
3. Put your clothes away
Taking clothes out of a bag or box to put on each day inspires this temporary feeling that, at any time, I’m going to be there. Putting my clothes away makes it all feel real — and I can see what I have much easier as well.
I chose to hang up most of my shirts instead of folding them, because it’s just easier for me right now. I have no official dresser and don’t care to get one at the moment, either.
4. Plug in electronics
Tech is better with a full charge, and plugging it in now prioritizes giving that tech a proper home.
I don’t have much that needs to charge or plug in, but designating a plug for my phone charger and one for my laptop charger helps me stay organized. It also creates better predictability/stability, so I know exactly where to put my laptop up at night.
I didn’t set up my Echo Dot (Amazon Alexa) until the next day, however. I was too tired to deal with it. 😅
5. Make your bed
Put on your sheets, blankets, and pillow cases. By the time I’m ready for bed, I never want to put the sheets on it. I’ve learned the best time to make my bed is right after I pull off the old sheets or right after I wash the current ones.
Adding blankets and decorative pillows contributes to the overall texture of the room.
I love adding my own touches to things, so it truly feels like me. This includes bamboo/wooden hangers, cork drink coasters, my tea mugs, art, and the like.
Switch out regular light bulbs with smart ones,
My art is currently still in my car, but the point stands. 😅 Being in Collin County, some local free groups and the Facebook marketplace are goldmines for my aesthetic. I might add more things to level up my room in the future.
7. Make the windows your own
I keep my windows quite basic, and I surmise this is what I’ll do here.
There are different window vinyl stickers I’ve seen people put on windows — and I really like that! My only conundrum is that Galaxy loves looking out the window even at night — she will sit on the side of the best closest to it and look out as she falls asleep, then wake up staring out the window.
Other window options are curtains.
I did lower the blinds in this room so my face isn’t that visible, but Galaxy can still look out when laying down or sitting up.
8. Fill out your nightstand
Neurodivergent people do this thing called “nesting”, where we collect objects that we need frequently in an area we spend a lot of time in or by. Also snacks, drinks, etc.
It’s not uncommon to have multiple copies of the same thing (I don’t have this right now).
So one of the things I do is nest when I have a blank-ish nightstand. There, I keep my
- fingernail clippers
- baby wipes
- water bottle
- glasses case
- allergy meds
- and anything else I need regularly enough.
9. Prioritize organization
I bought a bunch of blue plastic bins from Dollar Tree last year for my old apartment’s bathroom cabinet, and they are super amazing even though they’re small.
My reusable menstrual pads used to be organized by size i them. Now, I use them for Galaxy’s many items, along with some of my items.
Organizing my things instead of just putting them on a shelf and hoping for the best makes everything more pleasant to look at (low-key a visual stimmer).
10. Throw away bags and remove boxes ASAP
Removing evidence that I just moved into this room helped the experience feel real, safe, secure — like I had some semblance of stability again.
Like I’m actually staying, without a ticking time clock.
Like I’m at home. 💗
If you loved this post, please share or buy me a pretzel: