Moving into a new home, while exciting, is also stressful and can easily feel overwhelming. Help your clients settle in faster with these easy tips to make a new house feel like home.
1. Connect the utilities and Internet. Since so much of what you’ll need to do—from vacuuming to looking up the closest grocery stores—will depend on your access to electricity and the Internet, be sure to call the utility companies before moving day to get everything set up.
2. Do a deep cleaning. You’ll have more peace of mind knowing that you’re starting with a clean slate, so plan a walls-to-floors cleaning. Hiring a professional cleaner is the best bet, not only because they often do a better job than we do ourselves, but also because they’ll help you free up time to focus on tasks like unpacking.
Don’t forget to run an empty, hot-water load in the dishwasher and washing machine to sanitize them.
3. Separate moving boxes into the rooms where their contents will live. Unpacking isn’t the type of job anyone looks forward to, but you can streamline it considerably by making sure everything is in conveniently located when you’re ready to tackle each room. As you unpack, move empty boxes to one single room, or break them down for easy recycling.
4. Change the locks. This is a quick job that one member of your household can work on while you focus on another, and will give you an immediate sense of security.
5. Unpack and organize the bedrooms first. Having a sanctuary to retreat to after a long day of setting up house is key to keeping stress levels in check and allowing you to bond with your new home. Give yourself something to look forward to by making your bed, hanging curtains, taking out your coziest pillows and blankets, and setting out your pajamas and slippers.
6. Focus on the kitchen next. Knowing where to find your dinnerware, pots and pans, utensils, and groceries—whether or not you plan to cook anything for the first couple of days—will allow you to decompress with a cup of tea in your favorite mug or grab a quick snack, plus allow you to start a grocery list of items you’re running low on.
7. Make sure pets have what they need to feel settled. Change can upset the most easygoing of pets, so plan to put out their favorite beds, blankets, and toys, to help them feel more at home in an unfamiliar place. Because animals are much more in tune with scents, including an old T-shirt of yours will also give them the sense of security.
Check on your pets frequently, ensure they have access to food and water, and pay them lots of attention. If you seem happy and relaxed, they’ll be able to settle in faster.
8. Burn a candle or incense, or diffuse a relaxing aroma that reminds you of home. Scent is one of the most powerful senses, and often influences mood and stimulates memories. Try a scent you regularly used in your previous home, or even a fragrance that takes you back to a happy childhood moment or memory from a favorite trip.
9. Put out a couple favorite pieces of art or décor. Even if you don’t know exactly where you want to put them yet, taking out a few favorite photographs or paintings and propping them against a wall, or arranging a grouping of collectibles on a table or counter will allow you to create positive associations with your new space.
10. Add some live plants or fresh flowers. Bringing the outdoors in creates a sense of invitation and ease in a home. And who doesn’t love seeing a beautiful bouquet of colorful flowers on the kitchen counter, on a table in the living room or hallway, or in the bedroom?
11. Take a walk and get to know the neighborhood. Make mental notes on where to find the shops and services you’ll need, as well as places for winding down after a long day, such as the local park, coffee shops, restaurants, or movie theaters.
Also take some time to introduce yourself and your family to your neighbors, especially the ones closest to your home. Not only will this help you feel more welcome in your new community, but you’ll also have a resource for questions about the area, as well as potential helpers for checking in on your house or pets, if you’re unexpectedly called out of town.
12. Plan a first-week anniversary celebration. You’ve worked hard; now it’s time to kick back and enjoy your new home. Make a date for a homemade dinner—the recipes don’t have to be complicated, as long as you love them—with real plates and utensils instead of paper/plastic. Then set the table, light some candles, and enjoy a long, leisurely meal together.
Share these tips in your next e-mail or print newsletter!