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Ways to Make a New House Feel Like Home

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

moving dayContributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

You’ve signed the papers (oh, so many papers!), handed over the checks and finally you have the keys in your hand. The movers have come and gone and now it’s really yours. Congratulations on your new house!

But even with everything you own in the house, it still doesn’t quite feel like yours…yet. You could wait for a few months to settle in. Or you could try these ten simple ways to make a new house feel like home.

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10. Plant something

man planting trees

When you’re renting or living in someone else’s place, you have to ask before you start planting things. Not any more. This is your house and your yard now. Claim your space by planting something that will grow for years to come. A fruit tree, shade tree or a climbing rose bush are all thing people plant for the long run. Or start a vegetable garden, planning for the harvest seasons to come. Plant it. It’s yours now.

9. Replace a light

chandelier in empty bedroom

Oh the awful light fixtures you’ve had to put up with in dorms, apartments or rental houses. But this is your house. And that means you can install any lights you want. So go ahead and buy a chandelier for your bedroom. Or one of those Edison bulb fixtures so popular in decorating magazines. Toss the old ugly fixtures in the trash or donate them to a thrift shop.

The best part? Every time you flip on your light switch, you’ll be reminded that this house is your home.

8. Paint a wall

painting a wall in a bedroom

It really doesn’t matter if it’s the color you’ll end up using in the room. Or just a test run. Grab a can of paint, put on your favorite music and paint at least one wall.

7. Invite people over

friends at a party

It doesn’t matter if most of your boxes are still unpacked. Or if you’ll have to use paper plate and plastic cups because you forgot to mark which box contains the dishes. Get on the phone or send out an e-mail and invite some of your besties over for pizza and a tour of the new place. Just having familiar faces around will start to make it all feel like home.

6. Hang pictures

framed photos of kids

Even if you haven’t unpacked the family photos yet, you can make a new house feel like home by hanging up some framed photos of special people and places. Just pick a handful of digital shots from your computer or phone that remind you of treasured times, send them over to the local drug store for printing and then get them framed.

Seeing the people and places you love on your new walls will make them feel more like your very own space.

5. Remove something

pulling up carpet

Sometimes what makes a place feel like your very own home isn’t adding something. Or even changing it. It’s ripping something out and getting rid of it. It might be that awful carpet. Or a bathroom cabinet you can’t stand. Or it could be as simple as removing the old, stained shelf liner from the kitchen cabinets.

It’s your house now, so go ahead. Stuffing that not-your-style stuff in the trash might be the first step to feeling really at home.

4. Cook dinner

couple cooking

When you’re in the middle of moving in, it might seem like take out food or microwave meals are the only option. But the act of cooking a meal, a real meal, in your new house can help you feel like it’s yours. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, but do use the stove or the oven. Chop something. Mix something. Serve it on a real plate (even if you have to go buy a couple until the boxes are unpacked.)

3. Make your bed

white bedroom

Yes, you can just crash on top of a pile of covers for a few days. Or put a sleeping bag on the couch. But if you want to make a new house feel like it’s your home, a completely made bed is a quick and simple way to start claiming your space.

If you’re planning a new look for your bed, this is the perfect time to buy a new comfortor, some new pillows or a brand new set of sheets. Oh how good that bed is going to feel!

2. Add something personalized


Adding something with your family name is a great way to make a new place feel more home-ish (yup, making up words here!) A personalized address plaque, some custom stepping stones for the garden or a personalized set of “Family Rules” hung on the wall all say “This is our home now.”

1. Plan for the next holiday


It really doesn’t matter whether it’s Christmas or the Fourth of July. What ever holiday is next on the calendar can be the key to feeling at home sooner. Start planning how you’re going to decorate the living room. Imagine what to put above the fireplace or what you’ll be hanging on the door. Plan out the menu. Make a guest list for a holiday party.

Imagining yourself celebrating a holiday in this new space can instantly transform “all too new” into “our home.”

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It can be hard to believe that this new place will ever feel like home. But if you try these simple ideas, that “Home Sweet Home” feeling could be a lot closer than you think.


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