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How to Survive Your Time Between Homes

Whether you’re building a custom home, traveling for long periods of time, moving to a new city, or transitioning between leases—you may need a place to stay during the “in-between time.” This is where temporary housing comes in handy! Short-term living arrangements can be stressful, but with these simple tips, you can survive (and even thrive) during your time between homes.

Find the Right Short-Term Housing Solution

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When looking at options for temporary housing like extended stay hotels, month-to-month apartment rentals, or Airbnbs, consider how long you’ll be staying, your budget, and how much space you need. Take into account whether it comes furnished, amenities provided, and if your temporary living space needs to be pet-friendly. Unsure where to start your search? There are plenty of helpful websites that can make finding a temporary place to live while moving easier.

Bring Only the Essentials . . .

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If your temporary living situation is in a smaller space than you’re used to, you may not have room to bring all your belongings—and no one wants the stress associated with excess clutter in a cramped home. So, prioritize the essentials, like toiletries, clothing, electronic devices, and personal valuables. If you have kids, let them bring their favorite toys and belongings to the temporary living space. They can look forward to getting the rest back when you’re settled in your new home!

. . . But Try to Make It Feel Like Home

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While you won’t be in short-term housing forever, staying somewhere unfamiliar is a tough adjustment—especially when you’re moving with children. To improve the space and your experience, add some personal touches and keep routines as normal as possible. Use adhesive picture-hanging strips to display family photos, keep your favorite blankets on the couch, and make home-cooked meals—whatever makes you feel more at-home. While extended-stay hotels have their perks, make sure that everything you do is renter-friendly—especially if you’re staying in an apartment, so that you get your security deposit back!

Map Out the Area

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Whether your temporary home is in a different neighborhood or new city, it’s a good idea to get familiar with your surroundings. Regardless of what season you move in, knowing where the local schools, parks, grocery stores, pharmacies, medical clinics, post offices, restaurants, and shopping centers are can help you feel more comfortable with your change of scenery. While you’re at it, find places you can enjoy while living here—like biking trails, coffee shops, movie theaters, and local festivals. Moving is stressful, but getting out and about can help if you’re feeling cooped up, especially while living with family or friends.

Rent Self Storage

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Since you likely aren’t taking everything you own to your temporary living space, you’ll need a place to store your personal possessions in the meantime. If you’re doing a short-distance move, a renting a self storage unit may be easiest—while a portable storage unit may be a better option for a long-distance move. Check out our storage unit size guide to determine which size of storage unit is right for you. Whichever option you choose, having a safe place for the rest of your belongings will provide peace of mind while you’re between homes!

Set Up Temporary Mail

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Consider where your letters and packages are going while you’re between homes. If your short-term home doesn’t have an option for you to receive mail during your stay, you’ll need an alternative. Thankfully, there are several temporary mail solutions that can make your life easier while you’re transitioning homes. Rent a personal mailbox, set up mail forwarding, or even get a PO Box for the time until you can move into your new home.

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Remember This Is Temporary

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It’s easier said than done, but try to relax! Your time between homes is temporary and a necessary step to getting where you want to be. There may even be new experiences to enjoy—like the swimming pool at your apartment complex, not having to mow the lawn, or getting a change of scenery. Either way, it will end at some point, and you’ll be on your way to setting up your new home!


Need to store your belongings while in temporary housing? Extra Space Storage provides a safe, affordable place for your items while you’re transitioning to a new home. Find short-term storage near you!

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