If you’re in the midst of a move this summer, I get how stressful it is. And, how overwhelming moving into your new can be. I understand wanting to be done…to get your pictures on the walls. So, today I wanted to share some helpful tips for settling into your new home.
Affiliate links are provided where applicable. I may earn commission from purchases made through affiliate links. See our full disclosure policy here.
A Step-by-Step Guide for Settling Into Your New Home
What happens inside the four walls we call home matters, it matters a lot. Which means setting up a home is no small thing. Not only is it a big job, it’s an important one. I just want to encourage with that before we move on. If you keep that in mind as you go along, it will hopefully encourage you as you settle into your new home.
But First, Clean
Whether your home is new construction or older, I recommend cleaning before you start unpacking and organizing. You’d be amazed at what a difference it makes to start with a clean home. You don’t necessarily have to do all the cleaning yourself. A lot of cleaning services offer a professional cleaning before moving in. Or, you can assign different spaces to different family members or friends.
I remember when my parents moved into their current home, over thirty years ago. My Mom really wanted to get rid of all of the carpet stains before moving in. So she, my sister, and I got down on our hands and knees and scrubbed out all the stains…downstairs, on the stairs, and upstairs.
Once that was done, my Mom felt so much better about moving in.
And, when we moved into our first home, the one before this one, I had to tackle the stained toilets and remove stickers from the tub before I could do anything else. Luckily, they looked much better after a good cleaning, and I felt more at ease about our new home.
If you’re going to clean your new home yourself, make the most of your efforts.
- Gather all your cleaning supplies and put them in a caddy or cart so you can easily take them from room to room.
- Dust from top to bottom
- Dust before vacuuming
- Be sure sanitize the refrigerator, bathrooms and other high touch surfaces like door knobs and light switches
Once the house is clean, start by placing the big pieces of furniture where they go; beds in bedrooms, sofas in the living room, tables in kitchens, etc.
When arranging furniture, keep in mind the function of the room as well as where doors, windows and outlets are located.
Tip: Feel free to repurpose furniture or use it in a different space than you did before. Instead of arranging everything like you always have, mix it up. Put bookcases in the dining room or the bench that usually sits at the end of the bed in the mudroom.
Just keep playing with the furniture arrangement until it makes you smile.
It’s totally okay if you new home is has some empty spaces. Take your time collecting and curating pieces that will serve your lifestyle. If you’re furnishing your house on budget, Craig’s List, Facebook Marketplace and Offer Up are great places to get quality furniture at affordable prices.
Unpack and Organize
Unpacking and organizing is probably the most overwhelming part of moving. But, with a few strategies for unpacking after a move, it should be a little easier.
Hopefully, your moving boxes were labeled and placed in the rooms where they belong. If not, search for items you need everyday like plates, cups, silverware, coffee maker, tea pot, snacks, toilet paper and toiletries. The rest you can find as you go.
If you didn’t sort through your things before you moved, do that as you unpack and get rid of anything that is broken, that you don’t love, or that you just don’t use anymore.
Once you’re left with the “keep” pile, you can start organizing and putting things away.
I highly recommend creating a space that is completely clutter free so you can get away from the chaos of moving in. I recommend the master bedroom. Also, be sure to schedule breaks as you unpack and settle into your new home. It will get done.
Tip: It can take years of living in your home to figure out the best place to store things. So, just go with what you know; what you think will work for now. Then, once you’re used to your new surroundings, tweak things according to how you live.
Decorate Your New Home
Now that the bigger pieces of furniture are in place and everything is organized, it’s time to decorate. This is your chance to really personalize your home. I recommended setting all of your home accents in one area, and then “shopping” those items to decorate with.
If you have kids, keep these kid-friendly home decor ideas in mind.
Tips for Hanging Pictures
Hanging art can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.
Use this formula for hanging pictures in rooms where you would be seeing them from a standing position…such as in hallways and foyers.
And, for rooms where the art will primarily be viewed from a sitting position like the living room, dining room, or breakfast room, don’t be afraid to position your art lower on the wall.
If you’re hanging a picture above a table, dresser, couch etc. use the 8 to 12 inches guideline; the bottom of the frame should be no more than 12 inches above the furniture. Since I tend to move art around from room to room, I have come up with a very helpful picture hanging tip.
When we moved into our home, our friend would always ask, “Are the pictures on the walls yet?” To her, pictures on the walls meant you were finally home. And she’s right. At this point your new house will really start to feel like home.
Painting Your New Home
I saved painting for last because, unless the walls are covered in colors that you just cannot live with, or you already know exactly what color you want, it’s a good idea to wait before you paint the walls. Waiting gives you time to see how the light moves through your home, sample colors and finalize your decision.
Once our house was walled in, I was able to see my paint samples in the lighting of each room. So, I had a couple of colors picked out and painted a couple of bedrooms right away. However, I lived with beige for several years before choosing a new common area color.
For more moving tips, pick up my book Home on Purpose: Mindful Living in a Hectic World. It goes into much more depth on cleaning, organizing and decorating. It will also come in handy as you set up household systems and routines.