After all the work you put into moving, those first days in your new home can feel kind of weird. There’s nothing wrong with the house, per se. It’s just not home yet. Some of this feeling will just take time. You have to make memories with family and friends before a house finds its place in your heart. However, you can help speed up the process by adding a few personal touches that make your house feel like home.
Start with the Kids
If you have children, nothing will make your house feel like home quicker than getting them settled in. Once your children have their bed, clothes, books and toys in their rooms, they can start filling the house with laughter. If your children are older, let them have a say in how to decorate their rooms. Start out with a few ideas you think they may like (and that you don’t mind, either), and narrow them down until you have a theme. Adding new touches can happen over time, but get the project rolling now.
Improve the Air
When you move into a new place, the air can be dry and dusty, triggering allergy symptoms and coughs. You may want to consider getting a couple of pieces of equipment: an air purifier that removes allergens from the air and a humidifier. Air purifiers with HEPA filters are essential for allergy sufferers, so think about getting one for the living room and additional ones for the bedrooms of any allergy sufferers. Humidifiers add moisture to the air, which will help ease asthma and other respiratory problems, as well as prevent dry and itchy skin.
Another way to improve your new home’s air quality is by investing in house plants. If you transferred plants from your old home, find their new spots, dust off their leaves and give them a good watering. You may even want to put them outside to soak up some sun if the weather is mild. Adding plants is another great way to make this new house feel like home. If you have a spare moment, explore a local nursery and bring home a new leafy friend or two.
Replace Ugly Venetian Blinds
Venetian blinds are white plastic abominations that scream “generic.” If the previous owners left behind ugly Venetian blinds, replace them with something that adheres to your own personal style. When it comes to replacements, think outside the box. There’s nothing wrong with removing blinds altogether and letting the natural light shine through. Try putting shelves in front of large window displays to add storage to a small room. In the kitchen, hang metal rods across corner windows and hang pots and pans there. If you want a little privacy, use glass frosting spray to block the view while still letting light through. Or, look for a vintage roll-up map to add a touch of whimsy to an office or common room. The only limit to your options is your imagination!
Use the Power of Smell
The sense of smell is closely related to our memories and the warm and fuzzy feelings that they can create. By making your new house smell familiar, you will automatically feel more at home. Clean your new place with your favorite products that smell good to you. You’d be surprised how much they contribute to your house’s overall scent profile. If you have candles, reed diffusers or other air-freshening products, go ahead and use them.
Of course, not everyone loves those artificial scents. For those people, it may help to work in familiar smells of the season. If it’s warm out, break out the charcoal grill and cook up some burgers for the family. If it’s getting close to the holidays, light a fire in the fireplace and bake a batch of cookies. Or, even simply put on a pot of coffee -- you know what smells like home to you best.
It takes time to truly break in a new house, but you can help speed the process along by adding personal touches. Set up the kids’ rooms and let them help unpack and decorate. Improve musty old air with air purifiers, humidifiers and houseplants. Remove generic Venetian blinds and customize your windows. Finally, trick your brain by using the power of smell to create a sense of home.
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