Looking for Simple Ways to Make your New House feel like Home? Keep Reading!
October 12, 2017 By Cassie Let me know what you think and Leave a Comment below!
Moving can be hard. I can honestly say that that our recent move was one of the more stressful events that I’ve gone through in my adulthood. (Read about the move Here) Once we finally got into our new home I was so overwhelmed with the amount of boxes that needed unpacked and the sheer magnitude of the task ahead that I *almost* put off investing time into the little touches that made our new house feel more home like. Luckily, I had three little boys that helped me get my perspective where it needed to be and motivated me to invest some time in the home-making and not just the house unpacking. Read on to get my top 10 tips for making your new house a home no matter whether you have been there 3 days, 3 months, or 3 years.
Top 10 Tips to Make a New House Feel Like Home:
1. Start at the Front Door:
With so much to get done it can be very tempting to put off decorative tasks as they feel unnecessary in the grand scheme of things, but I strongly encourage you to take the time to make your main entry inviting. There is just something about coming home to a welcoming front door that makes you feel like you are really home. I also found it encouraged me and put a smile on my face every time I carried in yet another box to be unpacked. Consider the time invested in your entry as therapy for you as you haul all those loads in and the empty boxes out!
Don’t stress over making your entry perfect. A seasonal wreath, a new door mat and a few cute accessories are all you need to really make your entry way say “Welcome”!
2. Set Up Your Kitchen:
The kitchen is often referred to as the “Heart of the Home” and as such I recommend treating it with a little extra lovin’ when you move in. Most of the friends I talked to about moving gave the same advice; “Set up your kitchen first!” It was advice I took to heart and I’m glad I did. After eating out a ton the week of the move, it was so nice to be able to fix a homemade meal in our new home in the first couple of days. While I was itching to start unpacking the rest of the house, I spent the time to really set up my new kitchen so that it was organized and usable and it really made the new house feel more like we belonged.
Priorities in the new kitchen included getting the dishes, silverware, and pots out so that we could start enjoying meals cooked at home. Organizing the pantry was next on the list as it allowed me the opportunity to know what I needed to restock. If you have time and energy, I highly recommend laying contact paper on your shelves before you put in anything as it will protect your cabinets for years to come. I had a dear friend come and help me with this task and I’m so grateful she did as I wouldn’t have taken the time on my own and it will really be a life-saver with 3 messy boys!
3. Create a Sanctuary Spot for Yourself:
This one tip might have saved my sanity throughout the moving process and it was all because of my sweet hubby. “Why don’t you take a bath?” This one phrase is a gentle way for my dear husband to nicely tell me that I am stressed out and acting like a crazy lady. I am a firm believer in the restorative properties of hot water and silence which is why a bath is my “happy place” in an other wise wild world.
If at all possible, I highly recommend carving out a Sanctuary Spot for yourself and your mental well being during the moving process. Whether you can create a lovely little space in your master bedroom, a bench outdoors in a peaceful spot, or like me, a retreat in your own bathroom, this little place of solitude will be your place you can disappear into for a few minutes when it all feels like too much.
All you need to create your sanctuary space is a comfy place to relax, a favorite book, magazine, or journal, and maybe a hot cup of tea to sip away the stress of the day. Visit as often as possible!
4. Personalize the Kids Rooms:
If you have children, the moving process can be even more exciting. The moving schedule often disrupts naps and throws little ones off of their grooves. Kiddos thrive in safe environments with at least a touch of a routine, so it is important to get their rooms set-up as soon as possible after the craziness of a move. New rooms can often be impersonal and even scary at first, so I recommend spending some time making these spaces fun and personalized for each child. Try to add in a good blend of old favorites such as a treasured teddy bear or a box of their favorite toys with some new pieces to make the new space exciting. Themed wall decals are inexpensive and easy to trade out as the child grows up and their tastes change. I love how quickly and easily they are to put up as well!
5. Prioritize an Eating Space:
This tip falls under the same category as taking the time to set up your kitchen. A house doesn’t really feel like home until your family is able to come around the table and spend some quality meal times together. I know after our recent move, sitting down at the table together for the first time stands out as one of my favorite memories in the new house.
In order to start enjoying meals together, carve out a clean and somewhat clutter-free space to eat. It is hard to enjoy a meal together balancing on top of boxes or constantly worrying over what needs done next. If you really want to go above and beyond, dig out a tablecloth and some pretty accessories and set your table. If nothing else gets done that day, at least you can sit down to a warm meal at a pretty table!
6. Warm Up Your Rooms:
New houses can feel somewhat empty and bare for a while until you start to add your personality to the space. Speed up the coziness process by being intentional about adding layers of softness to your rooms. Our living room felt cold and empty until I laid down our new rug and hung some curtains that I found in one of the boxes. I also tossed on some velvet throw pillows (Like these: Pack of 2 Velvet Pillow Covers) and layered in some textured throws to add color and softness to the room. Just the other night a friend commented on how much she liked the house now that it “felt like us”. I attribute that feeling of welcoming to the of warmth added throughout.
Bedrooms are rooms that also benefit greatly from added layers of softness. Don’t be afraid to toss some extra throw pillows on the bed and a soft throw at the foot to add another dimension to the bed. A soft rug underfoot and some simple curtains will really transform a bare bedroom into a cozy retreat.
7. Hang Artwork and Family Photos:
I jokingly say that I never measure when hanging artwork, but rather, eyeball it and go! While I am usually pretty darn close (a skill I am grateful for as a designer) I have found myself much more hesitant to put holes into my new homes perfectly untouched walls. Even with that hesitation, I have slowly been adding my favorite artwork and family photos into each room as it feels right. In my opinion, there is nothing like adding wall decor to your bare walls to really make a home feel like yours. Do not be afraid to put holes into your new walls, but at the same time, don’t rush the process! Hang what is right for the space and give yourself time to find the perfect pieces for those spaces where you don’t have just the right thing.
8. Condense the Boxes:
I don’t know about you, but visual clutter makes me anxious. I find myself running around in circles from one task to the next without ever getting anything really done. When we moved into the house, dear friends helped us carry everything in and piled boxes everywhere and in every room of the house. For about two days straight I ran around like the old proverbial chicken with my head cut off. Finally, sweet hubby took notice and started moving the boxes out of the rooms and stacking them in categories in the back bedroom/playroom. All of a sudden I could breathe! It was truly only then that I was able to start breaking down the unpacking by tasks and really accomplishing any real unpacking.
If you have a space in your home or garage that you can condense your boxes while you unpack, I highly recommend doing so! This allows you to deal with one space and one box at a time. I find this helps myself really deal with the items in that one box instead of feeling overwhelmed and jumping into box after box at once.
9. Explore Your Community:
While this tip isn’t necessarily one focused in your home, it certainly will make you feel more at home! While our family only moved about 20 miles from our old home, the new home is centered in a new town. It has taken a while for us to get use to a new grocery store, new library, and even a new coffee shop! I’ve discovered that we are only 5 minutes from our local Farmer’s Market and fun little downtown and getting out and exploring these new areas has really helped us all feel like we are a part of our new community.
If at all possible, take some time in those early weeks of moving to get out and explore your new neighborhood as well. Meeting new neighbors can make you feel less alone in a new area, especially if you have moved from far away! I love to take family walks in the evening, and we have used those walks as intentional times of meeting and greeting neighbors as many of them are out enjoying the evening or coming home from work. We are hoping to host a neighborhood meet-and-greet sometime once we get settled to get to know our neighbors even better!
10. Take Time to Enjoy:
The final tip is centered on taking the time to enjoy the beauty of your new surroundings in the chaos of the move. If you’re like me, there will always be more things to do on your list than you can realistically accomplish in one day. Be sure to take the time to say thank you and appreciate the new residence that you are making your own. If you have a yard, spend sometime outdoors enjoying the beauty of the season. If you are in an apartment or have limited outdoor space, start a gratitude journal with all of the things that you love/appreciate about your new home. Even if you really don’t love the space you’re in (cue college apartment memories), take time to dream about the small changes you can do to make the space your own.
Just remember, don’t let the busyness of the season distract you from the task of making your new house a home!
Have you moved recently? What tips would you add to this list on making a new house feel like home? Leave your comments in the bar and the end of the page!