Travel nursing is a great opportunity to expand your horizons. But when you have to limit your possessions to what fits in the back of your car, travel nurses may want to try a more minimalistic approach. Travelers are usually in a unique position between a visitor and a permanent resident when staying in short-term housing for their travel nurse assignment.
Still, three months doesn’t require you to bring all of your belongings. Too much stuff can lead to clutter, and travel nurses need to stay organized. Like the organizational guru, Marie Kondo said, “Your home is a living space, not a storage space.” So when you get ready for your travel nursing job, remember these tips.
1. Leave the “maybes” behind
Before even stepping foot in your temporary travel nurse home, you must be picky about what you bring. Ask yourself, is this necessary? Have you used it in the past year or on your last assignment? Questions like these can help you recognize the objects you need to keep and what you can let go of. If you’re only keeping certain items around because you might use them, they can be left behind. Always ask your travel nurse recruiter what will be included in your travel nurse housing. That will significantly cut out what you’ll have to bring to your travel nurse assignment.
2. Reuse boxes
A simple yet useful resource when travel nurses must pack up and move from location to location. Flattened cardboard boxes stow easily under a bed and can save so much time! Label each box with its contents and pack the same items into that box every time. A good idea is to set aside a box or two for items you’ll need in the first 24 hours of your travel nurse assignment—i.e., kitchen utensils, coffee mugs, towels, bedding pajamas, etc.
3. Go Digital
To prevent clutter, try taking advantage of the digital world. Digitizing important documents (resumes, health records, certifications, CEUs, etc.) gives travel nurses easy and immediate access to paperwork without having to keep a close eye on them. Use apps to set reminders or checklists to stay focused throughout the day. Also, purchasing a digital photo frame is a great way to decrease the space you might take up but still have multiple pictures of loved ones nearby.
4. Group And Organize Items
Developing an organizational system will help make it easier for you to stay tidy during any travel nurse assignment. Most of the time, it makes sense to organize your belongings by category—kitchenware goes in the kitchen, towels and toiletries go in the bathroom, etc. However, it’s probably easier for travelers to keep their belongings where they conveniently use them rather than where they traditionally go. For example, it may make more sense for a travel nurse to keep their backpack or bag near the front door instead of in a room so they can grab it and go. It’s essential to make the home convenient for you based on your habits and schedule, rather than making yourself conform to the space.
While not everything has to be “organized,” using an extra box or container to group similar items together, like office supplies, will at least give them a designated area. Compartmentalizing creates a smoother process for your day-to-day. Leaving loose objects out makes it easier for them to scatter throughout the house and eventually become lost.
Organizing your space is essential for travel nurses to stay focused and less stressed. Every traveler is unique, so what works for others may not be your best option. Play around and find which method makes the most sense to use. If you need more packing tips or help personalizing your space, visit Nurse First. We’re happy to help!