How to Decorate When You Can’t Put Holes in the Walls

August 13 / Posted by Christi Hintz

While your travel nurse housing is technically short term, 13 weeks is still a long time to stare at blank walls. And sometimes, depending on the housing you end up with, you may not be allowed to put holes in the walls. This might feel limiting, but it doesn’t have to- there are lots of ways to decorate even when you can’t put the normal wear and tear on your space that you typically would on your home. Try some of these tips instead.


Command Stips


Command struck gold when they created these damage-free wall hanging strips. They allow you to decorate your walls to your heart’s content, and then remove everything with no trace that you were ever there. This is pretty ideal for someone who travels a lot, as they’re easy to use and even easier to remove. Just be extra careful to follow the instructions. If you pull them off the wrong way, you could still end up damaging the wall.


Even better is that these strips come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and even include things like wall hooks when you need a place to hang something. Each package displays how much weight the product can support, so it’s easy to find what you need quickly.




If you’ve got art, photographs, or other pictures that you want to display easily in your new space, bringing along a few easels when you travel is a great way to show them off with some style. You can find everything from basic acrylic easels to stylish ones that are decor in and of themselves. If you have a bookshelf, end table, or other surface in your housing, you’ll be able to create a small gallery of the images that inspire you most- and what better way for you to make your housing feel more like home?


Candle Warmer


If you can’t put holes in the walls, you probably aren’t allowed to burn candles either. It makes sense as a safety precaution, but it’s kind of a bummer that you can’t burn your favorite candle when you’re trying to relax after a long shift.


Or can you?


A candle warmer is kind of like a small hot plate, and it allows you to melt your candles without an open flame. You can find them in a variety of styles (this one looks like a lantern), or you could opt for a wax melter instead, like this one.  Either option helps you get around the no open flame rule that some residences enforce.


Plug in Fragrance Warmer


If you still want a nice scent but are short on counter space, a plug in scent warmer is a great alternative. There are a variety of different wax melts that you can use for these, and many stores sell them. Some stores like Bath and Body Works even have an oil diffuser in the same format.


Remember: it’s important to thoroughly understand the terms of your temporary housing contract so that you know what is and isn’t allowed.


Making your housing feel like home is a great way to help yourself feel more comfortable in a new space. What are your favorite ways to add charm to a temporary living place? Leave your own suggestions in the comments below.


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