Finding an apartment in Rotterdam is like enduring a boxing tournament. Hits come in from all angles, and you have to give everything you have to survive the fight. However, when the struggle is over, and you move into your new place, the apartment gets bumped from your priority list, and more urgent matters move up. Don’t you owe it to yourself to embrace the place you fought for with a little more than just your stuffed wardrobes and secondhand books? This guide will give you ideas for how to do just that by addressing your senses.
Firstly, think about your sight. What do your eyes meet when you enter your room? Is it the typical chair full of clothing, some unpacked boxes, and a complete set of IKEA furniture in black and white? If you recognise any of these examples, then you might want to give your brain a break and stimulate some senses, for instance by adding some colour to your room. You could buy those candles you have been looking for, a pretty vase, or perhaps even a poster of your choice to include some shapes and colour to the otherwise dull room. Also, many people keep plants in their room to make it appear less static and more inspiring. If you want to go all in, then buying an interesting lamp or chair can make your room stand out even more.
Secondly, the sense of touch needs some attention. Having your bed be the only mediocre soft item in your apartment might alienate you from your room. Get in the habit of wearing cozy socks when walking around your room or perhaps even invest in a yoga mat to walk, sit or study on for comfortability. You can of course also use a blanket for this, if the yoga mat is a bit over the top. Adding some pillows or comfortable furniture will similarly do the trick.
Thirdly, there is your ability to hear. Changing the location of your apartment might be quite the challenge, as it would mean for you to step back into the boxing ring again, which, I at least, would want to avoid. Therefore, simple measures such as playing some music or certain sounds in the background can give you the vibe you seek. Many people have specific sounds that make them feel calm or at home, such as rinsing water or the ocean. Streaming a talk show, radio, or your favourite series in the background similarly works for some. When I was living at a college, I found that some people listen to water fountains or chipping bird sounds to calm down.
Lastly, the sense of taste and smell will be addressed. You can focus on them separately, however, I think they go well together, as cooking your favourite meal will for instance also leave some traces of smell in your room. Buying spices that remind you of home can set the mood for relaxation. Furthermore, eating what you crave can bring some joy. You can also approach the sense of smell by buying your favourite flowers, lighting some scented candles, or simply changing your detergent.
I hope this guide will help you embrace your apartment and make you feel more relaxed at home.
Author: Monique Veni Jørgensen
Editor: Phoebe Elliott
Visuals by: Rea Roitner