Temporary home decor. Create a "home" even if you are in a temporary situation.

The Ultimate Guide to Organizing and Decorating a Tiny Home

Do you need help with your temporary home décor?  Or maybe you are living in an extremely tiny space?

Temporary home decor. Create a "home" even if you are in a temporary situation.

I recently wrote about leaving my home to prepare for Hurricane Irma.  I described that it felt so amazing to leave my home and all of my possessions behind and be at peace with whatever happened.  Well… whatever happened!

The short version of why we are in a temporary home

Irma dropped a 100-foot oak tree on half of our home.  It is currently unlivable and honestly, we aren’t sure when we will be able to go back.  We’ve gathered up most of our clothing, baby books, a few of the

Temporary home decor. Create a "home" even if you are in a temporary situation.
Glass top desk give a lighter feel to the room

kid’s toys and have moved into my parents home.  Luckily they have an in-law suite, which is about the size of a hotel room, or a studio apartment, for us to stay in.

I am still totally fine without all of my “things”.  The “things” really and truly are not important to me.  However, being in a temporary home does make me a bit sad about not having my OWN home.

I realize that this type of situation happens to people all the time.  There will be families living in hotel rooms, sharing bedrooms in someone else’s home, living in temporary accommodations for months after Irma and Harvey.  Sometimes it’s a job change, a new home, a foreclosure, a divorce or so many other reasons that a family might be temporarily displaced.

Just because you aren’t in your “own” home doesn’t mean that your accommodations cant feel like a home.  Let’s take a look at some ways we can create a “homey” feel with some temporary home décor.

Exterior temporary home décor

It might seem a bit silly but the exterior of your space can set the mood that you have before you even enter your space.  Even if you are in a hotel, putting a wreath on the door will make your residence feel a bit more permanent and “real”.  You are staking this space as yours for as long as it needs to be.

There are several options to make this décor temporary.  You can use an over the door wreath hanger, a command hook or if you have a glass door you can use a magnetic hook.

If you have the option of bringing a wreath from home do it!  If not, my favorite places to get something like that are Hobby Lobby or Etsy.  If you are crafty you could even make your own!

Since we have an outside entrance to our temporary dwelling, we also added a welcome rug and a cute fall sign with our name on it!  I have a mild pumpkin obsession so I couldn’t manage going through fall without a little décor!

Whatever you decide, just make it inviting.  Invite yourself into this space and allow yourself to feel at home once you are inside.

Interior temporary home décor

First things first.  Decide what you NEED.  Your temporary space is probably a lot smaller than you are accustomed to!  We went from almost 3000 sqft to 300!! DO NOT fill your new space with random stuff.  If you fill

Temporary home decor. Create a "home" even if you are in a temporary situation.
Use bookshelves for décor and storage.

it all up and make the space visually disorganized that is how you will begin to feel.

Clutter is not something that is going to be your friend if you are in a temporary home OR if you are permanently living in a really tiny space.

When my dad originally moved to Florida he lived in my grandparent’s winter home for a couple of months while he was looking for his own place.  Not only was my dad living in someone else’s space but he was also living with someone else’s things everywhere.  To him, it was so visually disorganized that he avoided being at the house as much as possible.  He worked long hours just so he didn’t have to go “home”.

You do not want your temporary home to rob your joy and happiness this way.  No matter how long you intend to stay, make it functional and make it inviting.

Living in someone else’s space

If you are staying in someone else’s space see if you can possibly box up their things while you are staying.  This will give you more room for your own things and make you feel like less of a visitor.

Temporary home decor. Create a "home" even if you are in a temporary situation.
Use throw pillows to bring in your personality

If you are staying in a hotel, just remove their basic décor and safely store it for when you leave.
Personalize your own space.

My mother-in-law always talks about textiles.  Textiles can bring a change into ANY room.  It’s quick, easy and is very cost effective.

Throw pillows – If you are going to be in your temporary space through the holidays I HIGHLY recommend going with seasonal pillows!  If holiday décor isn’t your thing (insert gasp and head shake) just go with your personal preference.  Throw pillows for your bedding as well as any seating areas you may have.

Rugs – You can go big or small here!  Whatever makes sense for your space.  Could be a few accent rugs or just one big one.  Target offers lots of pretty cheap options that could spruce up your space.

Blankets or quilts – Is there anything homier than snuggling up under your favorite blanket and just relaxing?  I don’t think so.  Thankfully we were able to retrieve these from our home.  Having these items brings a bit of security to our temporary home.  Plus it also brings in lots of Temporary home decor. Create a "home" even if you are in a temporary situation. colors!

Small décor- Maybe it’s a few frames, a few seasonal décor pieces, candles that you normally use at home.  Whatever it is that makes you happy, find a place for it!  I am from the south (North Carolina if you are wondering) and in the south, we LOVE our monograms.  I snagged this darling monogram print from my sweet friend Shannon at SomethingShannon.  Totally personalizes our room and makes it feel like we aren’t temporary here.

Organize your temporary space

Temporary home decor. Create a "home" even if you are in a temporary situation.
Laundry Sorter is a must in ANY home

I really can’t stress this enough.  Everything has its own place in your permanent home and it should be the

same in your temporary home.  You don’t want to feel like you are living out of a suitcase!

If you are on a budget (which I would imagine most of us displaced folks are) you can grab great organizing bins at the Dollar Tree.  Target and Hobby Lobby have pricier but more visually appealing options too.  Check your budget stores like Home Goods, Marshalls, Ross and TJ Max too.

We were able to snag a few organizing items from our home and the rest we picked up from the Dollar Tree.  I’ll be giving you our temporary space tour soon!

Don’t forget the kids

As adults, we can deal with transitions much easier than our kids.  Make sure that you create a personalized environment for them as well.  Make sure they feel secure, safe and welcome no matter where you are.  If they are old enough have then help create their space.  Ask for their input.  Make sure you treat the situation as positive.  If you put a positive spin on it there is less of a chance that they will feel displaced.

Temporary home decor. Create a "home" even if you are in a temporary situation.
Minimal toys

If your kids are anything like mine they probably have a TON of toys!  I recommend bringing a few of their favorites but honestly don’t overcompensate for the situation with toys.  Find better ways to help your kids deal.

Check out this post to get a few tips on ways to save your sanity when organizing!

Have you been displaced before?  Are you displaced now?  I would love to hear your story and how you handled being in a temporary space!


  • Grace October 27, 2017 at 8:10 pm

    Glad you are safe. I had the same thing happen to me during hurricane Gilbert (I am from the Caribbean). Our roof went. You could lie down on the bed and watch the blue sky1 We ended up moving in with family. Like most things you learn to adjust. You will be fine.

    • TheGracefulOlive November 1, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      Wow! Hopefully you weren’t there when it happened! I bet that would have been terrifying!!

  • Macs November 3, 2017 at 4:42 am

    Good thing your family is in a safe place. Loved that you still manage to find ways and be creative in living in a tiny house that you are not used to. Thanks for sharing.

    • TheGracefulOlive November 3, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      I am hoping to get started on Christmas soon! Its going to be a serious challenge because I LOVE Christmas décor and my mom is a super minimalist so we shall see how it turns out!!

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    About Zhade

    About Zhade

    Hi Mama

    I’m wife to my high school sweetheart, and mama to three little girls: Everleigh, Magnolia & Juniper. I LOVE motherhood, holidays and hot chocolate. I crave efficiency and NEED to figure out the easiest and best way to do EVERYTHING. Life is short & I refuse to waste it on being boring.


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