Since everyone was forced to stay home as often as possible this year, apparently everyone decided their homes need some work. Ikea is facing long lines and waits for deliveries, online shopping didn’t exactly slow down during the initial quarantine periods, and everyone had to find a way to make their homes into an enjoyable work space as well.
Okay, well not exactly.
Basically, when it comes to my apartment, I’ve been here over two years and… I still have loads of boxes with my stuff in it. I live in a studio with no storage - I don’t even have a closet - so I’ve been trying to find creative and interesting ways to store my stuff. I’ve even gotten rid of a lot of things in the time since before moving here and settling in, paring down because I have very little homes for them.
Then, like most people, life changed dramatically in March and I found myself with more free time than I expected. Of course it would be the perfect time to finally make my apartment my own. Even moving in, there had been a bit of a “temporary” mindset for it. It was temporary, I wouldn’t be there very long so what was the point of putting things up and buying expensive furniture, or even much furniture at all.
Which isn’t a great mindset, when you live with it for a while.
Who wouldn’t jump at all this extra time to make their home?
Nesting is a concept that comes up a lot when reading about pregnancy - a moment towards the end when people feel the urge to “nest” by making their homes ready for the upcoming baby. I am in no way, shape, or form pregnant, but it’s the closest word that I know for this feeling. Especially when so many of us are feeling cut off from our friends and family, by not being able to spend time with them outside of our homes. I've mentioned that my mom was supposed to come visit, I haven't been able to go to Orange County to visit my grandmother. Cut off. We have to protect our spaces, by making them a place that - for once - is for us and us alone.
It’s not even driven by the need to show things off anymore, as many home designs are with the whole culture of designers on Instagram and everything. Aspirations, that even I’ll admit to wanting (you should see who I follow on Instagram). But it’s more about making your home a place that you want to be and spend time in. Because we have nowhere else to be these days, and probably won’t be for a long time ahead of us.
And it feels so good.
I can only speak for myself but it feels so good to finally get things the way that I’ve been dreaming they would be. I’ve written about my desk set up, and my click-y Bluetooth keyboard, and how happy they make me. My boyfriend and I recently, finally, were able to buy a set of Ikea bookshelves that I’ve been trying to get for months — stopped only by the lack of a click and collect window at our closest location and the long, long, lines to get into the store, and the exorbitant amount for delivery - and just knowing that I finally have that space to unpack some of my final boxes and put things that may be trivial like my Funko Pop figurines, is so fulfilling.
My apartment is finally on it’s way to becoming my home, not just the place that I come to and sleep between jobs, or order Postmates to when I need dinner. Who cares that it has taken two years and some change to get here, what matters is that it’s getting there.
Especially for someone who, since she moved away from her family, had only ever lived with roommates. I always thought, “I actually need another person because I would go crazy living alone.” That always meant collaborating on our living space, though, and while there are the benefits to living with roommates like sharing those costs, I don’t know if I would ever give up this freedom to make this space mine. And I know I won’t, not really, because the next step is moving in with my boyfriend anyway.
Someday, eventually, when we can afford it and it makes sense. (Don’t worry, we’ve talked about it).
It’s taken two years and a pandemic, but I finally feel comfortable living alone because I’ve created my own little home here in the Valley. I can’t keep plants alive in here, so I’m going to get fake greenery. Art will eventually go on the walls. A tea bar is in the works in my little galley kitchen to save me some countertop space. I have a good stock of my favorite candles to keep the place smelling inviting when I open the door. My bed welcomes me in and my altar gives me a space of peace.
It took two years and a pandemic, but this is my home. And it’ll be my home as long as it needs to be, before the next step.