Making Home In Small Places

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It’s quite common for young people today, especially students or city dwellers, to live in a very small space or shared accommodation with other people. It might be easy to move into a dorm room thinking that “I’ll just put up with this until I can move somewhere else”. And while it might not be the most ideal living conditions, or even a permanent one, it’s definitely worth making it feel like home.


Three years ago, my husband and I got married. Since then, we have lived in 6 different places (and three different countries). With one exception, every single place we’ve lived in was just one room. The majority of these places had shared bathrooms with sometimes 50 other people. In one place, we had our own mini stovetop, but in most places we either shared our kitchen with others or had no access to any cooking facilities at all. Does that mean we’ve just put up with second-rate living conditions for three years? Not really – we’ve just had to learn to be really creative!


For example, it seems like it would be pretty impossible to cook when you don’t have a kitchen. No stovetop, no oven, and not much of a fridge either. Well, it does take a lot more brainwork to be able to cook, but it’s definitely not impossible! Did you know, for example, how easy it is to bake in a microwave? You can make mug cakes (my favourites, since they only take 5 min), puddings or brownies. We’ve used the free public BBQ’s at the beach to fry up some bacon and eggs breakfast. Others use their slow cookers and frying pans to create all sorts of things – curries, stews, fried rice, spaghetti, even cheesecake! Being creative with what you have can really be applied to anything. If you think your circumstances prevent you from doing what you enjoy, maybe you just need to think differently. If you can’t nail things to the walls, what can you hang from the ceiling? If you don’t have a backyard to grow flowers, what space do you have on your windowsill?


Check what the guidelines are where you live, be creative and have fun making your space feel like home!

Emilie is from Sweden and has been on staff  with us for about 2 years now and has helped all around the base in many areas! She really enjoys hiking, baking, and reading books. A fun fact about her is that she has grown up speaking 3 languages!

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