One of the appeals of travel nursing is the opportunity to see and explore different parts of the country. Moving every 13 weeks is exciting for most in this industry, but it can get tiring when feeling like you’re living out of a suitcase. Here are some ways to make yourself feel more settled when at your new location!
- 1. Find Out What Home Feels Like
Take some time to reflect on what home feels like for you. Judging by the vast array of interior design styles out there, home can feel cozy and warm or clean and organized. Home can look like every wall filled with art or bare walls with one bookshelf full of photos. Dedicate a few moments to think about which senses are stimulated when you feel most at home. Is it the smell of vanilla? The feel of your favorite fleece blanket? The kitchen where you can cook or bake? Every travel nurse’s sense of home is different, so when you find yours, add those touches everywhere you go!
- 2. Seek Out Furnished Apartments
When looking for apartments, check to see what furnishing options are available. If you can get a fully furnished apartment, it will take a lot of responsibility off yourself for finding the right pieces for your place. It will also allow you to unpack faster since all the furniture will already be set up. If you don’t like the setup, you can always move things around, which is much easier than having to move everything in upon arrival and out when your travel nursing or travel therapy job is complete.
- 3. Pack Light
It should be obvious for most travel RNs, but packing light is the easiest way to get all your belongings organized once you arrive at your new place. Not taking everything you own (including the kitchen sink) will allow you to get everything out of your suitcase quickly. You’ll be swift to find a spot for everything without stressing.
- 4. Pack Belongings in Sets
Not only is packing light necessary, but also organizing your belongings as you pack will be a huge time saver once you arrive at your new place. Accessory bags for your electronics, toiletry travel bags, and shoe bags are some examples of items that will help keep your things separated. When you move in, you will be able to find everything quickly and unpack with less hassle. Also, when packing your clothes, try to pack similar items together. It might be a pain in the beginning, but you’ll be thankful you did this when you get to your new home!
- 5, Quickly Set Up Your Internet
We live in a digital world where everything requires WiFi, and this is one of the keys to staying connected with friends and family across the globe. Try to set up your internet before move-in, or at least within the first few days of arrival. Don’t underestimate the power of having everything and everyone accessible to you as soon as possible. It’s one more thing off of your to-do list that can make a big difference.
- 6. Turn Up Your Tunes
Music is the perfect way to set the mood in your new living space. Relax with meditative beats in your earbuds or pump up the jams with a Bluetooth speaker. Music can whisk your mind back to happy memories in an instant. Before you head to your next assignment, create a move-in playlist that will keep you motivated while you unpack, and help you fight off homesickness.
- 7. Unpack Immediately
If you can unpack your belongings as soon as you arrive at your new place, you’ll feel more at home immediately. You’ll be able to spruce up the space and surround yourself with familiar objects, making you feel more settled. Since you are only there for 13 weeks, it doesn’t make much sense to wait to unpack!
- 8. Organize your living space
Set up your toiletries in the bathroom, stock the kitchen with food, and make your bed. Once you have your main areas set up, you will be able to add other items to the house to make it feel more like your own. Add some photos, artwork, and greenery later on. If you make this a priority at the beginning, you’ll be able to relax more once your new job starts.
- 9. Decorate to Make the Space Uniquely Yours
If you have some unique or meaningful decor items that you can’t live without, bring them, and use them to decorate your place. Also, check out local thrift shops to see what items they have to brighten up your travel nurse housing and make it feel more like home.
- 10. Check Out Your Neighborhood
You did it! You’re all moved in! Hopefully, your suitcases have made it under a bed or in a closet, and you’re feeling right at home. Now it’s time to stroll the city and learn about where you are. Get some tips from the locals and go exploring. This is going to be your home for about 13 weeks. Make the most of it!
Three months may seem like a lot when you first arrive at your new destination, but the time will fly by. Soon enough, you’ll be dreaming of your next bucket list city, and it’ll be time to pack everything up again. Just remember: the more organized you can be while packing, and the more strategic you can be while unpacking, the more at home you will feel.
Need help deciding where to bring your suitcase to next? Check out our list of 8 Unexpected Cities for Travel Nursing to find your next destination!