As I am sitting on my bed in my temporary apartment in Malmö, I finally get the time to reflect on the last couple of months and think about what the future has in store for me.
I know I have been absent from my blog a long time – too long to be honest. However in the last half year a lot of things have happened privately and professionally. I have not only changed jobs but also countries!
After having lived in my old hometown Wiesbaden in Germany, I have decided to take the next step in my career and move to Sweden to work for IKEA of Sweden in the heart of Älmhult, right where all the products are designed. An exciting step not only for my work but also for my private life!
So on April 27th I packed my bags and boarded a flight to Copenhagen, took the train over the bridge and checked into my hotel apartment.
It is interesting to be back on the road after so many years. The last time I have lived abroad was in 2001-02 when I went to the U.S. for my Graduate Studies. Now I have to get used to the culture, customs and language of a new country again! Exciting!
First things first!
Getting settled in a new county isn’t always easy. I had to get registered, open a bank account and start to look for an apartment. All while trying to figure out my new job and getting used to a new schedule.
And while the apartment is only in the hotel I’m staying in at the moment, I was trying to personalize it at least a little bit so I will feel welcome when I get home every night. The 5 things I did to make it a bit more of a ‘me’ space:
Buy a new one with a nice pillow case
One of the things I love about my bed at home are my pillows – nice, plush but stable ergonomic pillows. However most hotels only have simple polyester filled pillows that sag away when I lay my head on them. I order to sleep well and wake up rested every day for work I got a new pillow while at IKEA that combines an ergonomic core with a nice plush outer shell. All together with a nice percale pillow case makes all the difference!
Stock up on kitchen supplies
Living in a temporary apartment has the drawback for me that I have a tiny kitchen with no oven. But not only that; I also came across a mostly bare kitchen with no utensils. Since I want to make an effort to eat better (which I sometimes manage) I had to stock up on things such as knives, a decent frying pan and some nice kitchen towels. The best things about the new gadgets I bought was that I will need these also in my need apartment. I have been neglecting to invest in some quality pieces for a long time so now I had the best reason to spoil myself!
Light a relaxing candle
To make my hotel even more homy, I decided it should have a scent that I really love. Sadly there is no Bath & Body Works store in Europe that carries their scented candles (give me Mahogany Teakwood anytime), I luckily came across a Rituals store where I got a Sweet Sunrise candle. The citrus smell gives a nice fresh atmosphere that makes coming to a hotel room like coming home to my apartment back in Germany.
Shop for a home accessory that you will bring to your new home
I admit, I love my big quilt and some nice bedding! And much like the kitchen utensils I thought it would be a good idea to invest into something that would make my hotel look nice but something that could also transcend into my new home. Shopping for things just to buy is money not well spend; so whatever I buy needs to be able to make a transition into a new place. I had been eyeing some hotel quality bedding from IKEA for a long time and finally got around to buy it! It makes all the difference waking up in the morning in your own sheets than in something tons of people have slept in. And since the sheets are a pure white percale they will look good in any bedroom I might have in the future!
Prepare a home cooked meal
Buying new things for a place is easy, I admit that. What makes me really feel at home though is a home cooked meal. It is tempting to me to get out and explore all the great food choices that Malmö has to offer (and safe me some time and energy to stand in my mini kitchen) however nothing beats a home cooked meal. It does not even have to be something fancy; a tasty salad, some spicy pasta with shrimp or even an old-fashioned sandwich will make me feel at home.
All in all I made some small chances that have a big impact for me when I think about my temporary home. I come back every night and like to spend time there… and somehow I’m starting to feel a bit sad when I think about leaving the place to move into my own new home in a couple of weeks. But at least know I know how to make any space a bit more me in a few simple steps.
Tell me, what do you like to do to an unfamiliar living space to make it your new home?