How To Make Your New House Feel Like Home
- Posted on
November 16, 2015
Moving into a new home is a big transition for everyone. Here are some of the best ways you can make it smoother for the whole family—including pets.
- Make a list. Write out a to-do list and keep it somewhere visible. You don’t want important tasks slipping through the cracks.
- Get to know the house. Find out how to work the main systems, where the circuit breakers are, how to shut off the water, and so on.
- Decorate. Do as much decorating as you can right away. After all, bare walls and empty space don’t exactly help a house feel like home. But don’t rush to completely fill the space, either. Take the time to see what fits and what doesn’t, and be sure you’re creating spaces you and your family really love.
- Unpack, unpack, unpack. Hopefully your boxes are marked so you know what room they go in and what’s inside. It will help you prioritize and keep everything organized as much as possible. If you have kids, you should unpack their rooms first to make the transition easier.
- Make it theirs. Make sure their favorite things are out and visible as soon as possible, especially their own bedding. Having familiar, well-loved objects will comfort them and help them feel anchored in their new space.
- Let them make decisions. Being moved to a new place can make them feel like their life is out of their control, so if you’re going to repaint or need new furniture for their room, they need to have a big say.
- Get them started socially. Finding new friends makes all the difference in helping kids feel at home in a new place. Head to the park and see who you can meet, and make sure to meet the neighbors. If school is in session, get them started as soon as possible to get them used to their new routine.
- Plan adventures. Plan outings that you and your kids to look forward to, especially if the school transition is rough. A trip to a nearby national park, museum, restaurant, or mall may help them get through those first days or weeks.
- Dogs: Just like for kids, dogs should have familiar things around them to help them feel home and settled. Their own toys and even familiar smells will help. Take time to play and talk with them, and take them for walks to familiarize them with the neighborhood. Let them explore as much as possible.
- Cats: Bring the cat into the house once movers are gone and the house is quiet. Choose a room to be the cat’s room for a few days, and put all their things there. Sit in the room with them at first while they acclimate. If your cat is used to being outside, stay with them as they explore for a while each day. After a few weeks, when they seem attached to their new home, you can let them wander alone.