Moving into a new house can bring a wave of mixed feelings. Maybe you’re leaving behind your beloved apartment or condo in the city. Or perhaps a job brought you across the country and you’re now focused on crafting a new life for yourself and your family. Owning a home is a huge accomplishment, and you should be proud to enjoy the fruits of your labors. After the initial rush of signing the papers, closing on a home, and making moving arrangements, you’ll cross the threshold and start to create new memories that center around your new space.
You may go through a period where you’re excited and grateful to work with a blank canvas that is your new dwelling, but also have the nagging feeling that it’s not quite home—yet. Here are five ways to make your new house feel like a proper home right off the bat:
Keep the Old, but Freshen Up
Some people fiercely hold onto old furnishings, appliances, and traditions like old friends. Others are overly eager to distinguish their new life from their old life and update everything at once. The Guardian suggests the healthiest way to make your home feel familiar yet novel is to mix old possessions with new ones. If possible, keep your investment sofa that has that perfect groove for napping. Bring along art, knickknacks, and furniture from your old home instead of rushing to the nearest home décor store and adopting a totally new look. The act of mixing will keep you grounded while still allowing you room to experiment and grow into your new digs.
Change Locks and Codes
In both a symbolic act of ownership and a savvy measure of safety, you should change locks and codes that allow entrance to your house. It’s practical, as realtors, previous owners, and others might still hold keys to your place. But it also puts you in charge. Whether you call a locksmith straight away or decide to handle the installation yourself, it will provide a positive sense of control. If the garage has a keypad, don’t forget to reprogram it to a code that’s unique to your family.
Take Full Ownership
Part of achieving a sense of possession is taking care of the legal and financial details to a T. Moving from one place to another is a highly transitional time, and it’s the best opportunity to check homeowners insurance rates and the level of coverage you actually need in your new area. Finding the right policy and speaking candidly with your carrier helps you rest assured that if something unexpected occurs, you’re covered. It will also help you get into a groove with paying bills on your new residence.
Stock Up on the Essentials
Nothing screams “I just moved in” like an empty refrigerator, bare-bones cabinets, and vacant closets. One Buzzfeed contributor reminds everyone to pick up the staples that you need to establish your routine, like milk, peanut butter, condiments, and more. The same goes for basic toiletries, cleaning supplies, and tools. If you brought them along from your previous place, make sure to unpack them as soon as possible to restore some normalcy and give you easy access. If you are starting fresh, then a trip to your favorite store with a checklist in hand might be in order.
Give It a Deep Clean
This one is self-explanatory. You can’t be sure how in-depth the previous residents went in cleaning, and it’s doubtful that your space will feel comforting until you’re confident it’s neat and orderly. Be prepared to conduct a deep clean before unpacking all your belongings. You can hire a cleaning service for a professional-grade scrub down, or round up your trusty supplies and spend a few hours going over surfaces, paying special attention to the kitchen and bathrooms.
You look forward to the day when your new house becomes your true home. Taking these five measures before, during, and right after your move can help expedite that process.