The first few days after moving in can feel slightly surreal, a mix of giddy excitement and apprehension at the huge task ahead: making this new house into your home. It may take a while to unpack all your belongings and figure out where you want them to go, so in the meantime here are a few easy ways to settle in and feel at home right away.
Arranging the decor for a house is a big undertaking, so it may still be a few weeks or even months before you have your dream arrangement. While you are still planning the details of where everything is going to go, do some quick, easy and inexpensive decorating in the first few days:
- Hang up your favorite prints and wall hangings or shop for new ones.
- Buy a few houseplants to liven up the house and boost your mood.
- Print out some new family photos (let’s face it, they’re all digital by now) and put up a few old ones you particularly like. Get nice frames and place them around the house.
- If you have kids, plan a craft session where you can make beautiful new things for the home together – potato printing is a great start, endorsed by Martha Stewart herself.
Check Your Air Quality:
Indoor air quality is an essential yet often overlooked part of home maintenance, so get things off to a good start by making sure the air you breathe at home is healthy and free of pollutants. As soon as you move in, open all the windows to let some fresh air in, especially if the house was previously unoccupied. Another option is to invest in an air purifier. A filterless air purifier can remove dust mites, pollen, secondhand smoke, and mold from your home. Filterless air purifiers are also ideal because you can avoid the hassle that comes with cleaning and maintaining filters.
Though it may be the last thing you want to do at the moment, it is important to give the house a deep clean before you start unpacking your things. This is the best time to reach difficult areas and get rid of any lingering smells or stains from previous owners, so roll your sleeves up and really get into it. By the end of the day, you will probably feel much more at home just by sheer virtue of having put so much effort into making the place spotless.
For a detailed breakdown of the must-dos, check out this guide by The Spruce on cleaning a new home before moving.
Our sense of smell is extremely powerful and is closely linked with our memories. You can use this to your advantage by creating smells that make you feel at home, whatever that means for you and your family.
For instance, if you have a preferred scent of candle or incense, get some burning as soon as possible to help you settle in. If you love the smell of home cooking, go buy some groceries to make something you used to cook often in the old house. You can also just use smell to make the place feel pleasant and relaxing. For a subtle effect, consider buying some fragrant houseplants.
‘Home’ doesn’t have to mean it has to be the same as your old house, and this time is a great opportunity to make tweaks in your new residence. Nevertheless, these small changes can make a big difference during those first few days and will help you in the process of defining what you want your new house to look, feel and smell like. Once you settle in, and an everyday routine starts to form, you will find yourself calling the new place ‘home’ in no time.
Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.