The Pitfalls of Temporary Living Situations and How to Not Make it Permanent

As someone who has moved ten times in six years (only broke one lease!), I’ve learned the art of temporary living, the joys of being noncommittal, as well as the pitfalls and challenges. 

But what happens when a temporary space starts to become more permanent. Perhaps you only intended to stay for a short time, but before you know it you’ve been there much longer than you anticipated. To make matters worse, your temp space doesn’t feel like home because you haven’t invested the energy you normally would for a “permanent” home. 

Transition spaces represent transitory times in our life - they are an important time of being in that oooey gooey caterpillar-to-butterfly-in-between-liminal space that takes us from one major chapter to the next.

If not aware of its purpose, however, you can go down a rabbit hole and get lost in your own Alice in Wonderland subplot that feels like it goes nowhere. 

When you are ready for your next chapter, here’s the key: You need to fully embody the space you live in. It’s a bit paradoxical because you have to fully live and immerse yourself in the currentness of your situation before you can move on.

That means, yes, you need to unpack those boxes and even hang some pictures.

The space we live in never lies. It’s an externalization of the current state of our life.

And so it’s okay that it’s temporary, but you need to embrace the temporariness by actually committing to where you are. Once you have fully lived all the life out of your temporary situation, you will then - and only then - move on to that next chapter. Whatever it may be.

Here are some tips on how to not fall into the trap of feeling like you’re on a hamster wheel of a temporariness: 

  1. Unpack all boxes and/or suitcases in your immediate possession (except memorabilia).

  2. Hang pictures/photos/images. If nail holes are not allowed, then use the non-permanent adhesives to hang prints.

  3. Put up window treatments even if they are inexpensive or even the adhesive ‘temporary’ ones. You need to feel a sense of privacy in order to fully embody a space and feel at home.

  4. Create new filing systems. This is not a time for paper work to stack up, or worse yet, get backed up on financial responsibilities. Inefficiencies in your home equal inefficiencies in your life. Don’t let clutter build up by not having adequate systems and filing options. If this is a creative time, then you can slack on this a bit, except for the financial obligations.

  5. Declutter. I know you think you don’t have clutter and maybe you don’t, but if you do you will want to drop some weight now. You will feel like a million more bucks if you do, guaranteed. You outgrow things quick in the in-between space.

  6. Know Thy Feng Shui and Apply. Yes, feng shui rules still apply and may even be more important than ever.

Every transition period is actually an upgrade from your old life to your new life.

You need all the energetic support you can get. That goes for the bagua map, mirrors, side tables, etc. Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way! Need to bone up on your feng shui? I’ve got some books for you and even an app for those Feng Shui 911 emergencies.

Photo by Erol Ahmed