Friday, 7 August 2015

How to make your new place feel more like home

We probably all move to another place at one point in our lives, whether it is for family, college or university, work or for an internship like me, far away or close to home, moving to a new place can be very exciting but scary too. I moved from a little town in the Netherlands to London in England about half a year ago. I was super excited and I thought I would be the happiest person on earth when I finally arrived in my favourite city London. But that was not what happened: my house in London smelled weird, and my room and bed were super small. I then realised that for the next 5 months, I can't sleep in my own familiar house anymore, or go to my friends whenever I wanted. This thought made me sad and scared. Ofcourse I knew it beforehand, but I didn't expect to feel like this. My thoughts were like: "Why do I want to move away from all that good stuff for 5 whole months? I don't know anybody here, how am I ever going to feel at home here?" I completely forgot why I wanted to move to London. Luckily this feeling didn't last long, and London started to feel like a home to me before I knew it. Those 5 months flew by super fast and I didn't even want to leave London anymore!

In this post I want to share the things that helped me to make my new place feel more like home. I hope these tips will help some of you, who also moved to a new place, as well!

First thing I did which made me feel a little bit better was unpacking and organising everything. Having a place for all my makeup, my laptop and all my other stuff made it not only easier to find something, but made my room feel more like my room as well. I didn't want to spend much money on  organising tools since I wouldn't be living here permanently, so luckily there is Primark!

Decorating my room helped me to make my room feel like my room which made it feel more like a home already. I printed out some photos before I went to London. I used Pinterest to find photos and quotes that made me happy and inspired me. These include quotes that inspired me like "Go outside and do something you will remember", "If we wait until we're ready we'll be waiting for the rest of our lives" and "The world is too big to be at one place & life is too short to do just one thing". I also printed photos of happy memories. I moved to London in winter time, so I bought a soft blanket and lots of pillows. I also brought my fairy lights with me which made the room look so much more cozy!

I think this might be the most important one but maybe also the most difficult one: meeting new people. Meeting and hanging out with my house mates made this new place feel so much more like a home. Unfortunately some moved out the first month that I was there. Meeting new people was a little hard for me since I was working 40 hours a week and there were only 3 other people in the company that I worked for. I knew staying at home wouldn't help me find new people and friends so I went to pubs and clubs alone and I would always meet new people. Saying that you just arrived here and don't know many people in the city always helped me. People often wanted to show me around or introduce me to their friends. There are a lot of people who moved to London on their own, so a lot of people knew how it was for me and were more than happy to show me around. I think you just have to be brave to talk to strangers. If people don't respond nicely or they don't want to be your friend, don't think about it too much. There are many more people around who do want to help you make your new place feel more like a home or want to be your friend!
The people on the photo above are all from different countries but one of them is my friend from the Netherlands who came to visit me in London. One is from the Philippines, one from Japan, and one from America. We didn't know each other (except for me and my friend form the Netherlands) and we all met at a bar and we got along really well. So my tip: just talk to strangers!

If you're not familiar with your new place, explore! Walk around, get lost, make photos so you can show your friends and family where you live. Don't be afraid to ask locals if you're looking for something. You never know, you might make new friends as well. :)

Stay in touch with your friends and family, tell them about all the things you've done and seen. The internet can help you to make the distance between you and your family and friends feel so much smaller.

Moving to a new place means that there are a lot of new things happening in your life. This can take a lot of your energy. I've been told that your body need 30 days to adjust to a new place. I was super tired the first few weeks, and having some good me time helped me to get new energy so I didn't get stressed or anything. For me, me time is taking a shower, followed by a face mask and watching lots of series when I'm curled up in my soft blanket with some tea and cookies!

Do you have any tips to make a new place feel more like home?


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