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it's only temporary how to make your short-term pad feel nice and home by Yee-Fan Sun | 1 2 3
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go digital: Save even more space by leaving your photo prints in storage. Assuming you’ll have internet access, you can upload your photos, and simply have them reprinted once you get to wherever you’re going. If internet access is an issue, just burn your favorite pix onto a CD instead.

textile tactics: Fabric goods are light and easy to pack, and can instantly transform a strange space into one that feels cozily familiar. Your favorite duvet cover, that quilt your mom made for you, a cool throw you picked up during your travels in India, those adorable tea towels your sister got you when you moved into your previous apartment – pack them up and bring them along. Hang ‘em up, lay ‘em down, use ‘em to cover up that threadbare hand-me-down armchair. There’s nothing like falling asleep snuggled under your favorite blanket to cure the occasional pang of homesickness.

Once you’ve arrived…
So you've packed along a select few of your favorite things, sold off or thrown the rest into storage, and moved into your interim quarters. Here are a few more tips for pepping up your new space without too much money or hassle...

Move it! Sure, when you were hunting around for an appropriate short-term pad, getting that fully or partially furnished place seemed like a good idea. Then, of course, you can actually saw the furnishings in question -- that dated sofa, that lumpy bed, that clashing dining table “set”. Still, don’t despair quite yet. While you might be stuck with whatever furniture comes with your temporary quarters, remember: a little rearrangement can work serious magic. As long as the furnishings aren’t affixed permanently in place, there’s no reason you have to accept the arrangement exactly as is. A bad configuration can make a perfectly decent space feel awful and awkward and cramped; it can highlight every lump and bump and flaw of both the furnishings and the space. Moreover, an arrangement that works for the previous/regular tenant’s needs might not be at all suitable for you. So don’t be afraid to move the furniture and accessories as needed. Just take some photos or make a floor plan of the original setup so you can easily return things to their rightful place come moving time. And of course, be extra super careful as you’re pushing things around (you don’t have to like the stuff, but for the sake of your deposit, do respect it).

Light n’ easy: While there’s not a whole lot a person can do about turning a window-deprived abode into a sun-filled sanctuary short of major renovation, there are all sorts of non-permanent ways to improve just about any lighting situation with little investment of either money or time. Try swapping dingy low-wattage bulbs for brighter, warmer-toned versions (though do make sure you don’t exceed the fixture’s recommended wattage; energy-efficient fluorescents will allow you to get more light for less wattage … while they’re pricey, you can always bring them with you when you go). Hate that yellowing lampshade covering your ceiling fixture? Replace it with one of those inexpensive but elegant Japanese-style paper shades, or scour local thrift shops for other options.

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