By @george_arkley

Moving back in with my parents at 22 was hardly ideal. In fact, it was pretty much as far as I could get from my post-graduation plan. I was bursting to travel, move to a new city and, most importantly, find a media job that was actually paid. However, my determination to achieve financial and personal independence was soon squashed by the pandemic.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

All of my friends moved back home in the first lockdown. I was a little more reluctant. As I finished my degree, I camped out in a crowded student house for six months and desperately searched for a job. Fortunately, I found one. While working full-time, I lived in, yet another, grotty student house for five more months. And then, lockdown 3.0 hit and I was finished.

I moved back in with my parents with my tail between my legs. They welcomed me with open arms and rattled on about walking the dog, cooking in their brand-new kitchen and living in a clean house. But one resounding thought continued to pound in my head: I had spent four years at university to wound up back in my childhood bedroom.

Three months later, and I have never felt healthier. After years of battling mental illness, and embarrassingly, a Deliveroo addiction, I am finally feeling better inside and out.

However, I would not be feeling this way without doing these simple things.

Get rid of your childhood stuff

When I first moved back home, I was adamant it was only for a few weeks. Despite my parents telling me to clear out old teddy bears and clothes from the room, I didn’t see the point. I was only going to be there for a few weeks, after all.

Two weeks later, I caved. My bedroom had already been stripped of my teenage life years ago. It looked more like an impersonal guest bedroom these days so granted, there wasn’t much to do other than clear out the wardrobe. I finally unpacked my suitcase and hung-up numerous joggers, jumpers and even a shirt for work Zoom calls.

If you are living in your old childhood bedroom, it’s important to update the space to your current needs. Childhood you isn’t coming back anytime soon.

Add some personal touches

For a lot of young adults, our childhood bedrooms have been scrubbed and renovated into guest bedrooms. Although living in a hotel room sounds delightful, it can actually be a little depressing after a while. It doesn’t feel like home.

When I was planning to move back home, I made sure to pack a few photos and prints in my suitcase. This is something I do whenever I am living somewhere for more than a few weeks.

Sticking a few photos on the wall and hanging your favourite prints can make a blank bedroom a little more personal. It was nice to see a few familiar faces in the photos to remind me that just because I moved back home, didn’t mean the last four years hadn’t happened.

Organise your belongings

Unpacking is the best thing you can do to feel more at home. Organise your clothes and fully empty your suitcase so you can tuck it away neatly. There is nothing more annoying that scrambling through crumbled clothes in a suitcase for weeks on end.

For me, this also meant organising my skincare and makeup. I ordered a plastic organising container to put everything in on my dressing table. Even having this small container, made my room feel a little more like my own.

Light it up baby

I am a woman who loves being cosy and nothing says cosy like fairy lights. I ordered some cheap ones to my parents’ house and hung them up on my bedframe. I also added a few scented candles so that the room would be the ultimate relaxation station.

Now, this one is a bit ridiculous. When I was planning to move home, I decided to bring my copper lamps and light-up diffuser. I knew I would have to work from home, and I like my desk to be aesthetically pleasing. Honestly, it was a genius decision.

I converted the spare room into my office space. My lamps and diffuser made it feel like my old desk and actually motivated me to get more work done. I am more productive in a space that feels my own.

It’s the small things

I also travel with two books at all times: Girl Boss by Sophia Amoruso and The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray. I put both of these on my desk to remind me of my goals.

Another little thing that really helped me was having a couple of mugs from home. Sounds silly, I know. But as a huge coffee drinker, I spend a lot of time with a mug on my desk or bedside table.

It’s all in the details, I guess.

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