You’ve found a new home after your divorce and now it’s time to settle in. It may take some time to adjust as the empty cupboards and bare walls do nothing to make it easier after saying goodbye to your old home. With a bit of effort, you can make your new location a place of family fun and cherished memories faster than you think. Here are 17 tips to make a new house feel like home.
Get Professional Inspections
You’ll want to make sure that your new home is safe before you move in. Have an inspector check out your roof and basement for leaks and make sure your electrical wiring is up to code. You may need a fire alarm inspection performed as well if you have those installed in your new home. Figure out where the main water valve and the circuit breaker are so you know how to get to them in an emergency. Figure out what repairs may need to get done so you can make a plan that fits your budget.
Before you move in, you may want to renovate certain rooms to adapt them to your unique way of living. The most common major projects people tackle after buying a new home is a kitchen or bathroom renovation. For certain tasks like electrical or plumbing, you may want to hire a professional plumber or emergency electrician to get the job done. There may be some things you can wait to do after you move in. Prioritize your projects and take care of anything that would interfere with your day to day living first.
While you’re renovating, you may want to think about some additional home improvements to make your life more comfortable in your new home. If your budget allows, consider having an outdoor pool installed or have a new whirlpool tub for your bathroom. Perhaps your kitchen could use some new appliances. Does your home need more outlets for you to plug things in? This is the time you want to think about any improvements or upgrades for your unique living situation before you officially settle in to make your new place truly feel like home.
Unpack Your Stuff
Unpacking can be a daunting project, especially after you’re already exhausted from packing everything up and hauling it to your new place. Before you unpack, you may want to give your house a thorough cleaning. Then focus on the absolute essentials first. The kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms should be the highest priority.
Get the beds set up and make sure there are toilet paper and towels in the bathroom. Unpack the plates, utensils, and cookware for the kitchen. Get your furniture and electronics set up and the Internet and cable working so you can have some family fun while you’re settling in. Your focus should be on unpacking those items most necessary to survive. Then you can work on the rest of your boxes over time.
Clear Your Clutter
Once you have your absolute essentials in place, create a spot in your home where the rest of the packing boxes will go. This loading zone will be for those boxes you simply don’t have time to take care of right away. Organize the area by sorting the boxes based on the room they belong in. By doing this, you won’t have to worry about stumbling over a bunch of packing boxes every day. Your new home will also look cleaner and more organized.
As you unpack a box, get rid of the packing material as soon as it’s empty. By removing the packing boxes from your visual sightline, you help yourself feel less frazzled during the moving process. And if you clean as you go, you won’t have to worry about tackling a huge mess later on.
Create Designated Spaces
While you’re getting settled, you’ll want to establish some designated spaces for your new home to help make moving in less stressful. Have space where family members can kick off their shoes when coming home from school or work. Establish a specific place to hang coats, bags, and keys. Find a spot for your incoming mail and important documents so you don’t accidentally lose them. Establishing these designated spaces will help eliminate some of the chaos of trying to find your essentials when you’re surrounded by packing boxes.
Add Your Personal Touch
Decorating can help make your new house feel like home. Freshen up the walls with your favorite colors of paint and hang your favorite family photos. Have some family fun by creating an art wall with pictures your children created at school. Set out some houseplants and light a few candles. Get your curtains in place and add things that reflect your personality. Having sentimental items and beautiful things to look at will make your new location feel more like a home and a cozy getaway from the everyday stress of life.
When you’re decorating, consider if you want the same look of your old home or you want to try something new. With your fresh start, you may want to let your new place have its own vibe. Try switching things up and adding some new furniture or decorations. Place items in different spots then you are normally used to and give your kids some say in the process. It never hurts to try new things and may inspire more excitement and attachment to your new place.
Light Up Your Rooms
You can make your new home more inviting by upgrading the lighting in each of your rooms. Build your lighting in layers in order to get the right balance. Use overhead lighting as well as wall lights and floor lamps to create a warm glow. It’s also a good idea to have dimmers installed so you can control the amount of lighting as you desire. Lighting can help make your place feel more like home by giving it a soft warm glow.
Introduce Familiar Sights And Sounds
When you think about home, many of your favorite memories revolve around your senses. Introducing familiar sights and sounds into unfamiliar territory can help us recreate all the heartwarming memories and cozy feeling of our old home. Some ways you can do this are to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies or plug in an aromatherapy diffuser with your favorite smells. Surround yourself with flowers and play your favorite music.
Have A Housewarming Party
Start creating new memories by throwing a housewarming party with all of your family and friends. The family fun of a party will give your new space the warmth and coziness it needs. You don’t have to wait until you’re fully unpacked because your friends will understand your situation and may even give you some good ideas on how to make your place feel like home. Order takeout and talk about your lives and memories. Celebrating your fresh start with the people you love will help you feel more at home.
There are certain responsibilities that come with moving that involve tasks outside your home that will need to be immediately addressed. By getting these items out of the way, you can focus more on making your new house feel like a home. You’ll need to change your address, set up utilities, and meet with school staff to enroll your children.
Your driver’s license and vehicle may need to be registered if you’ve moved from another state. You’ll also need to get homeowner’s insurance as well. You may even want to consider rekeying your locks and installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your new home.
One of the best ways to help make your new house feel like home is to find time to simply hang out and relax in each room. Plop down on the couch and watch some TV or have some family fun playing board games with the kids. Create your favorite dishes in the kitchen and take a long relaxing bubble bath or shower in the bathroom. Play with your kids in their bedrooms. Light some candles in your bedroom and lay down on your bed and listen to your favorite music.
Make Some Home Cooked Meals
Head to the grocery store and get all the ingredients you’ll need to make your favorite meals. Cooking in the kitchen will help make your house smell like home and improve your mood after filling your belly. Get the kids involved and have some family fun in the process. You’ll be able to share some laughs and create some wonderful memories in your new home.
Now that the inside of your home is starting to take shape, you may want to make some changes to the outside of it as well. Think about how you’d like your front yard to look as you come home from work each day. You may want to add a garden or some flower beds or have a patio deck installed so you can sit and enjoy the view. You may even have to hire someone to tackle some tree pruning in the backyard.
Figure out ways to incorporate some family fun in the backyard. Is there a tree in the backyard with a steady branch you can put a tire swing on? Is there space to put in a pool? Get outside and make some memories with your family by having a barbecue and having a picnic on the lawn. You could even install a fire pit where you can make smores at night and relax around the fire together. Consider the ways you can make your landscaping family friendly to make it feel more like home.
Have A Game Night
Nothing says home like having some family fun together. Make a plan to have a game night each week, even if you can only do it on the weekends due to custody arrangements. Family game night is not only a great way to spend time with your children, but it can also help them develop critical thinking skills as well. Break out those old board games such as Monopoly or Clue or fire up the Playstation for some multiplayer video games. Grab some of your favorite snacks and drinks and bond together while sharing a few laughs.
Meet The Neighbors
Try to introduce yourself to as many of the neighbors as you can. Take a walk around your neighborhood and explore all the sights and sounds. Figure out where all the amenities are such as the grocery store, bank, and local private schools. Find out where the best spots are to have some family fun. You may be able to make some new friends, especially if you’ve moved to another state and don’t know anyone in the area.
Take Time To Relax
There is so much to do when moving into a new home that it can be overwhelming. Take your time and avoid trying to get everything done at once. Give yourself plenty of time to simply relax and unwind every day. Moving is like a marathon and you need to pace yourself or you’ll burn out quickly. Everything will get done over time but it’s not worth costing you your health by trying to get everything done at once.
Adopt A Pet
Nothing feels more like home then having a furry friend to give you a warm welcome at the end of the day. Pets can provide a lot of comforts as well as some family fun. If you’re allergic to cats and dogs, you can consider getting a hamster, bird, turtle, or goldfish instead. However, consider getting a pet when you’re fully settled in so you don’t make it stressful for your new furry friend and you can give it the proper love and attention it needs.
By taking your time and following these tips, you’ll be able to transform your new place into a cozy home filled with cherished memories and family fun in no time. Explore your new place and get to know every nook and cranny. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling like there’s no place like home.