A question readers continually ask me is, “How do you make a house feel like home right from the start?” Well, I’m hardly an expert, but my many moving adventures have provided plenty of on the job training. 😉 I’m more than happy to share my thoughts with y’all!
We moved into our sixth house…….in a brand new city, hello Charleston!, just 11 months ago. Here’s how she looked on move-in day.
Here’s how she’s looking now.
There’s no doubt that creating a home takes time. Insta-home isn’t really a thing……no matter how the pretty images on instagram lead you to think otherwise. Moving is stressful and it takes some time to really get settled in a new place. Whether you just finished building your dream home, are planning to renovate a fixer upper or signed a contract for a new apartment, making your new place feel like home will probably take some time. So give yourself some grace. Take a deep breath. With a little time and possibly some sweat equity, your new place will surely start to feel home.
However, while it may take time to hang window treatments, fill your walls with art and put your personal decor stamp on your new place, there are a few simple things you can do right from the day you move in to help make your new to you house feel like a cozy, happy home. You can even do these things while your still unpacking boxes!
1. Bring In Fresh Flowers
I know to some of you it may seem silly to bring in fresh flowers when your up to your eyeballs in boxes, but fresh flowers can do absolute wonders for your outlook. And they’re so easy to grab on a quick grocery store run. They can lighten the mood and instantly make your new place feel happy and welcoming. Just having them around makes whatever task your faced with feel less like a chore…..at least that’s the affect they have on me. I’ve been buying fresh flowers once a week for years now as I truly believe that flowers were meant to be enjoyed every day. In fact whenever the checkout clerk asks me, “What’s the occasion?” I always respond, “Life…..life’s the occasion.” And I really do believe that!
2. Invite Friends and Family Over
(corks collected from bottles shared with friends)
Nothing and I mean nothing makes a house feel more like home than when it’s filled to the brim with people laughing and breaking bread together. Homes are where memories are made and relationships built. So as soon as you move in, get to work on that! Who cares if your home isn’t “perfect”? Who cares if you’re not entirely unpacked? No one worth your time is going to care one bit if you’re serving them take out pizza on paper plates and wine in red solo cups. And those that do, aren’t the kind of people you want to be making memories with anyway. I’ve never let house projects or the idea of perfection stop me from inviting friends over to hang with us.
3. Put a Wreath on Your Door
Curb appeal goes a long way in welcoming you home. No matter if you’re in love with your home’s exterior or you’re hoping to someday make some changes, get a wreath on your door ASAP. It’s amazing how much a wreath can change the entire look of a house. Really. It’s crazy. While you’re at it, go ahead and grab a front door mat and pick up a planter pot of flowers. One inexpensive trip to the hardware store and you’ll have instantly given your new place an update in the curb appeal department.
4. Get What’s Important to You Done First
One thing I think is really important in terms of feeling at home in your new place is taking care of your own creature habits first. For my husband that means getting the television set up right. away. Heaven forbid we live without a television for a few days! 😉 For me that means getting my pantry and kitchen things organized.
I feel completely out of sorts when I can’t find things or when my pantry is disheveled. For you that might mean getting your desk set up or getting your clothing closet organized.
Whatever is the most important to you, work on that one thing first. So before you move in to your new place think long and hard about your creature comfort priorities and be sure to take care those things first. It will go a long way in making you feel more comfortable in your new environment.
5. Take Time to Relax and Unwind
Look, moving is exhausting.
Packing, in and of itself, is right up there with doing the laundry for me. It’s definitely not on my list of fun things to do. Unpacking at least brings the promise of hopefully putting your things away in a relatively neat and organized fashion. There is something about unpacking that signals a fresh start and an opportunity to start off on the right foot. However, being surrounded by cardboard boxes can be overwhelming! You can easily burn out if you try to force yourself to tackle it all in a short time frame. My suggestion is to set time limits and make sure to give yourself ample time each night to relax and unwind. Your home is meant to be a cozy place to rest, so start using it as such from the very first day you move in.
Creating a home isn’t a race; it’s a marathon. Every day just put one foot in front of the other and eventually you’ll get to the “finish” line. Which for me has always ended up being right around the time we move to a new place. 😉