Almost everyone struggles to feel at home immediately after a move. While this may seem like a reason to panic (What if you make a mistake?), it is just a very normal reaction to a change of scenery. You will start to love your new house as you build memories in it, but in the meantime, here are a few quick things you can do to make yourself more comfortable.
Get Rid of the Mess
Americans take on average 182 days to unpack all of their stuff after a move. Don’t let this be you. Get as much unpacking done as you can on your first day, and recycle the boxes right away. The faster you get all the cardboard and plastic evidence of the move out of sight, the sooner you can start thinking of your new house as home. Be methodical in your approach and prioritize the things that will be important in your day-to-day life. Your bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom basics are good places to start.
You will also want to give the house a good cleaning as soon as you move in. Before you unpack, take the opportunity to vacuum, mop floors, wipe surfaces, clean windows, and air out the rooms. You could also hire a professional cleaner to do this before moving day to save you the hassle. Angie’s List has a useful guide on house cleaning, from how to tackle every room in the house to hiring professional help.
Do Some Quick Decorating
Your long-term plan for the new house’s decor doesn’t need to be fully settled by the time you move in. However, there are plenty of small, easy touches you can add which will immediately inject some personality into the space:
- Wall art – Hanging up any art you had in your last home will make your rooms feel familiar, but you should also take this opportunity to buy―or even create—some new pieces. If you don’t feel like committing to a specific layout, prop your pieces against the wall so you can still enjoy them.
- Curtains – Curtains are a great way to bring life to your new home. Depending on where you hang them, curtains can be used to make a room look bigger, create special areas, or even help hide storage space. Check out this guide on creative uses for your curtains.
- Cushions and throws – Buy some new covers for your living room cushions to breathe new life into your sofa without committing long-term to a certain color palette. Bring out your favorite throws and find the best places for them, or buy new ones if your current ones are looking worn.
- Plants – A couple of plants instantly add life to a room. If you’re not usually great with houseplants, buy easy-maintenance ones that won’t die on you.
Recreate a Familiar Atmosphere
We may not think of it often, but there are certain smells, sounds, and sensations we associate with home. Plan your packing and unpacking so that you can access and recreate some of these as soon as you move in. Some ideas include:
- Investing in a small yet powerful portable speaker so you can blast your favorite music while unpacking without having to install a sound system.
- Focusing on unpacking the kitchen first and cooking a favorite recipe on your first night.
- If you like to burn candles or incense, make sure you pack a couple separately, so you don’t have to sift through your boxes to find them.
- Make your favorite bedding easily accessible so you can sleep comfortably on your first night.
The first few weeks in a new house can be disorienting. It’s up to you to make your house feel like a home by changing anything you don’t like and adding familiar, personal touches throughout. Remember to also take some time to explore the neighborhood and get to know your local community, as this can also make a huge difference in acclimating to your new home.
This post was written by Natalie. Natalie and her husband, Jason, recently bought their first home. She hopes to make the process of buying a home less scary for first-timers by sharing what she and Jason have learned along the way.