Making Your Home Feel Like Home

A living room with a credenza, a wicker chair, and a laptop sitting on the floor

How do you make your new home feel more like home?

While moving into a new home is incredibly exciting and full of promise, it’s also a big life change that can put you off balance. Whether it’s the stark emptiness of a brand new apartment or the cardboard boxes cluttering your floors, it can be hard for a new home to feel like a haven. 

The typical advice is to start hanging up paintings on the walls to create a sense of familiarity in your new home. But let’s face it, the last thing you want to do after a big move is to break out the hammer and measuring tape and do even more work. 

So what are some simple things you can do to make your new home feel more familiar? 

Get the right vibes for your new home

First, it will help to figure out what kind of environment you would like to have in your new home. Do you want your home to be calm and tranquil? Or bright and cheerful? Determine the right vibe and you’ll be able to decorate appropriately to make you feel more settled in. 

Calm. As soon as you step through the front door you want to enter a peaceful oasis. Living with packing boxes is a far cry from calm, so the first thing you should do is tidy and organize your home. Put away or recycle empty cardboard boxes. Wipe down your kitchen counters. And clean your windows. Your new home will soon be on its way to becoming a tranquil oasis. 

Bright. You never shy away from color and you love fun and cheeky decor. The first thing you’ll want to do is open up the windows and let the light pour in. Add cheerful decorative elements like bright pillows on the couch or a big bouquet of flowers on the dining room table. 

Cozy. You love all things hygge and could stay indoors all year long. To create a cozy vibe for your new place, you’ll want to break out your soft blankets and candles to immediately turn your home into a cozy haven.

Creating comfort and peace in your home

Now that you have a better idea of what home feels like to you, here are small things you can do this week to make your home more comforting. 

Open up the windows. With freshly painted walls or newly installed carpeting, a new home can have a strong, chemical smell. So open up those windows and let some fresh air in. There’s nothing like a nice breeze to get the air circulating and make your new home feel fresh and inviting. 

Include your everyday items. A new home is terra incognita. Everything from the layout to the views to the smells and sounds will take some getting used to. Help yourself get acclimated by adding your favorite everyday items to your space. Arrange your favorite magazines and newspapers on your coffee table. Display pretty notebooks and pens on your office desk. Place a calendar on the wall. Or stock your kitchen pantry with your go-to snacks. With your daily essentials by your side, you’ll ease into a familiar rhythm and routine in no time. 

Create a special nook just for you. It could take several months just to decorate a large space like a bedroom or living room. But you don’t have to wait until then to create a sense of belonging in your new home. Designate a small space that’s just for you. Maybe it’s your nightstand. Or the top of your dresser. Or a shelf on your bookcase. Add little mementos that make you smile. A collection of seashells from your trips to the beach. Your favorite candle or bottle of perfume. Your vision board. Or a framed inspirational quote. A little nook creates a personalized space in your new home. 

Have a comforting beverage. On your first night in your new home, wind down with a cup of tea in your favorite mug. Or on your first morning, have a cup of coffee while reading your favorite book. The idea is to do a familiar ritual that will help ground you in your new space. 

Adorn your fridge door. You don’t have to hang paintings on the walls to create a big visual impact. Something as simple as decorating your fridge door can transform your space and make it feel more lived in. Tip: Before you move, set aside your fridge decor (magnets, postcards, photos, etc.) in a small bag or manila envelope, and toss this in your tote bag or somewhere easily accessible. This way, you don’t have to ransack your packing boxes to find your fridge accessories. Then, on your first day, start adorning your fridge with those familiar magnets and save-the-date postcards. You’ll instantly feel more at home. 

Incorporate familiar scents. A familiar scent is incredibly powerful. Light a pleasant smelling candle or use your favorite cleaning supplies to summon positive associations and turn a foreign space into one that is comforting and safe. You could even spritz on some perfume or wash your hair with your beloved products to evoke a sense of home. 

Add framed photos. Framed photos are a great way to decorate entry ways, room dividers, book shelves, and more. Not only will you be reminded of happy memories, but seeing your friends and loved ones will make your new home feel more welcoming.

Add some green. An array of small potted plants on the windowsill or a large, leafy plant in the corner of the living room can add some vibrancy and life to your space.

Set up the cable and WiFi. We know that we should be spending less time on our devices, but when it’s your first night in a new place, you’ve definitely earned yourself some screen time. So curl up on the couch with your favorite shows and let yourself relax.

As you can see, you don’t have to decorate your entire home right away to make it more homey and personal. Sometimes, it’s the little flourishes that can make your new home feel like it's yours.

Written by JiJi Lee

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