One of the things that makes moving so difficult is trying to settle into a new house and make it feel as lived-in as your previous home. If you’re working on the transition from turning your new house into your family’s home, these ideas will help you figure out the best way to help you settle in.
Use Previous Owner’s Pictures
If you’re part of the 44% of home buyers that looked online for properties, you probably saw some pictures of your home online before you bought it. Sometimes these pictures are of the empty house, but sometimes the pictures show the house as residents have been using it. You can use those pictures as a reference point for ideas of how to place furniture in the space and make it feel homey.
Add Art and Photos
Empty walls are a clear sign that a house isn’t as lived-in as it could be. If you’re trying to make a house feel like a home, incorporating family photos, your childrens’ art, or art that you love looking at. You can choose to display larger pictures or paintings as a centerpiece for a wall or you can go for a gallery wall approach. Gallery walls are a great way to add a lot of visual interest and also display a number of photos or pieces of art. You can also have a few frames dedicated to your child’s latest art that you switch out as your little artist creates something new. You can always put pictures on the fridge, but if you like a more orderly look, frames are a great way to go.
Display Nostalgic Items
Certain items can hold a lot of nostalgic value, and unpacking them as soon as you get moved into your new home is helpful when you’re trying to make things feel like home. If there are certain pictures, knick-knacks, or pieces of furniture that make you think of the feeling of being home, make sure to prioritize unpacking and assembling those things first. For example, if you have a bookshelf that you’ve had in your homes for the past ten years, assembling it and putting all of the books and display items that you had on it in the past can be very helpful in making your house feel homier. For your kids, you can set up their play area in a similar way it was in your last home so that they feel a sense of familiarity when it’s play time.
Make Sure Things Are Comfortable
If you aren’t physically comfortable in your home, it’s hard to feel settled in. That’s why it’s important to check on things like your furnace, air conditioner, and other heating and cooling systems in your home. Furnaces are meant to last between 15 and 20 years, so if your home is older than that, there’s a chance it will need to be replaced. Once you have your heating and cooling system figured out, you know that you’ll be a little more comfortable than you would be otherwise.
Use Scent Memory
Our memory is most closely related to our sense of smell, so making your new house smell like something you and your family associate with being at home will help you feel settled in. That’s why open houses will sometimes have fresh baked cookies available — that fresh smell of cookies triggers a memory of other times you’ve been at home with fresh-baked cookies. If baking isn’t your forte, you can still use a multitude of scent-creating products to make your house smell like home. You can burn candles with familiar scents, but if you don’t want an open flame around you still have options. You can get a wax melter, an essential oil diffuser, or a reed diffuser to scent your home. The smells that you associate with being at home may be different from the smells that someone else does, so try to smell a handful of things to try to figure out what sparks that sense of home.
Add Some Greenery
Living plants are an easy way to add something with a big impact to your space. It’s obvious that a home is being lived in if there are thriving plants throughout your home and the pots that you keep your plants in can add a lot to the decor. House plants like pothos and philodendrons are often good for new plant parents because they don’t require a ton of attention or care and are aesthetically pleasing. If you can, buy your plants from a dedicated greenhouse or nursery instead of a general home improvement store because although the price may be a little higher, the plants are usually better cared for and therefore you won’t be trying to save a plant that you don’t even know is dying.
If you know there’s no way that you’re going to be able to keep a house plant alive, you can always keep vases of fresh flowers in your home. If you purchase in-season flowers, they tend to be on the less expensive side and you’re also making it so that your home is more seasonally appropriate as well.
Make Your Outdoor Space Habitable
Depending on the season, you may want to spend a lot of time outside enjoying the fresh air and good weather. If your house is a newer construction or the yard wasn’t looked after, you may not have a great yard when you first move in. Make sure that your family has someplace to play together outdoors by planting grass seeds as soon as you move in. If you want grass quickly, hydroseeding is a popular option — you’ll see grown within seven days, and after a month you’ll have a substantial lawn. Add a small sitting area and an umbrella or overhang for shade, and you’ll be enjoying your outdoor space in no time.
Making a house feel like a home can be a difficult task, but by making an effort you’re already on the right path. Using your family’s past memories of what a home feels like can help speed up the process of settling into a new place nicely.