Your goal should always be to say “Home Sweet Home,” and really mean it. But now that you’ve just moved, you’re not quite there yet. We get it. You’re in that awkward transitional phase, when you are still living out of boxes and feeling like a guest in your own place. It’s time to settle in (Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as moving).
Here’s what to do:
1. Unpack your stuff. What makes a house a home is your personal touch. You’re never going to feel at home in an empty room. Having mementos from your journeys and family photos around will perk you up. So, start unpacking. Get rid of all those boxes that are constantly mocking you. And put your dancing Hawaiian girl lamp next to a photo of grandma on the end table in your living room. Bet you feel more at home already.
2. Send out change-of-address cards. Getting someone else’s mail at your house and none of your own is a surefire way to feel out of place. If you haven’t alerted the U.S. Postal Service of your move, do so now. Also, send cute postcards or e-cards to tell your friends about your new pad. Maybe someone will send you a card or, better still, come visit.
3. Transfer your utilities. If you haven’t already, call the gas, electric and water companies to change your billing address and make sure everything is in working order. Few things will make you feel more homesick (even if you’re inside your house) than having no water or electricity.
4. Set up internet and TV services. Nowadays, you don’t necessarily need cable or satellite to enjoy good television, but you have to get it installed if that is your preference. If you plan on streaming your favorite shows, you will need at least an internet connection, if not also a smart TV. Get on this quickly because the faster you do it, the
faster you’ll be in your recliner, binge-watching Orange Is the New Black… how much more comfortable could you be?
5. Change the locks. The old homeowners may have given out key copies to friends and family. Make sure to change the locks, get your own keys, and give copies to your people (or not).
6. Fix the place up. Even if you bought or rented a move-in-ready house, you still might find something is broken or just not your taste. While you probably don’t want to break the bank redoing the joint (and you might have to abide by association or lease rules if you’re a renter), you can probably still make small changes, such as painting, fixing a broken pipe, or manicuring the front lawn. Once you roll up your sleeves to get a place in shape, you can’t help but feel like it’s yours.
7. Meet the neighbors. Find out about upcoming block parties, and knock on your neighbor’s door with a pie in hand. Not a baker? No problem, just buy one at the store. If you’re lucky, you won’t even have to do this because the neighbors will beat you to it. If you’re living on a military base, it’s practically guaranteed. Nothing says “cozy at home” like pie — lots and lots of pie.
8. Sign up your kids for school and activities. If you have kids of school age, and you are planning to send them to public school, then you need to enroll them. Even if they are going to private school, you might still check out the activities offered to resident kids. Many towns have soccer, ballet, music, arts and crafts, and Little League programs. Some offer more sophisticated extra-curriculars, such as cooking, pottery, or martial arts. Helping your kids feel at home in a new town will help you find your way too.
9. Find what’s available for the adults. Kids aren’t the only ones who want to have fun. Grown ups do, too. Many neighborhoods have adult courses and events. Book and cooking clubs are popular ones. There might also be wine tastings, ski trips, or opportunities for charity work. Of course, there’s always the P.T.A. or Neighborhood Watch if you’re interested and eligible. Usually, you can get more information from the local churches, town hall or recreation center.
10. Throw a housewarming party. The reason people cry when they sell a house and move out or even move on from an apartment they were renting is the memories they have made within. So, invite all your friends and family, and serve up a feast. Honestly, take-out pizza would suffice. It’a about relaxing and having fun with the people you love. Start making memories, and you’ll find yourself already at home.
Looking for more ways to make your new house home? Explore our other renter-friendly decor and organizing articles.
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Meet Your Contributor:
Francesca Di Meglio is a full-time freelance writer and editor who’s no stranger to moving. She’s joined forces with the moving insiders at HireAHelper.com to spread her knowledge across the web, and is a major contributor to their Moving 101 – A Guide to all your Moving Options.