Moving into a new home, especially one that you’ve probably only seen with other people’s stuff in it, can present a daunting task of making the house feel like it’s your own. Yes, your stuff will eventually arrive from the movers and you can set it up as you’d imagined it when you first saw the house, but that won’t automatically give it that lived-in, we’ve-made-memories-here feel. Here are some tips on making your new house your new home.
Probably the most important one: Use it.
Cook in it, serve meals in the dining room, fill the bathtub for a long bath, and sit on the sofa in the living room. If you make the habits of really using your house as soon as you move there, you’ll keep the habits, and your entire house will be well-used.
Decorate in a new way. It’s easy to paint the walls and arrange the furniture as you had in your last home, but where’s the fun in that? Paint the walls a new color and don’t be scared of the outcome. You can always paint again in a few months, or even a few days. Use patterns, colors and setups you wouldn’t normally use, you may just surprise yourself.
If you’re in the market for new furniture, consider making something new out of the old. Check Pinterest for easy step-by-step instructions on how to repurpose everyday things and how to make your own coffee tables or headboards. For an easy re-do, paint it or add new decorative handle pulls.
Give it a scent. Whether it’s as simple as your favorite soap or laundry detergent, give your house a smell, so that every time you come home, you’ll notice it, making coming home that much sweeter. Bake a batch of cookies, a loaf of bread, have fresh flowers out, or add a herb plant to the kitchen counter (basil and rosemary are easy options).
Put up photos. Hang them on walls, line dressers with them, put them on the piano and night stands. Don’t let choosing your favorite photos stop you, as you can change them whenever you want. For other memories, arrange ticket stubs, notes and other mementoes in a frame for a reminder and a conversation starter.
Lastly, make your own traditions. Don’t wait until holidays to create traditions, do something special each week, whether it’s Taco Tuesday or pizza on Fridays. Use the nice china, set out the nice decorations, because every day is special and you shouldn’t wait until a day with a label to put the nice tablecloth on the table. The sooner you start using all the nice stuff, the sooner every day will start to seem that much nicer.
Moving can be overwhelming, and an empty house can be discouraging, but the sooner you start using it, the quicker you’ll feel at home and make traditions and habits of really using the house for its full potential. With more work, the house will feel more like your own, you’ll be able to claim more ownership and feel prouder of your hard work.