When moving into a new property, it can feel like an Airbnb for the first few weeks. It's nice, and you chose it, so you obviously like the property, but it's just not yours yet. It takes a little time before it really feels like 'home'.
On occasion, someone will buy a property for renovation to put their own stamp on it. But for the majority of home movers, a complete refurbishment is not on the cards.
And what if you are a tenant? You can't renovate a rental property so that you feel more at home.
So, how can you settle in quickly and make a new property feel like yours without breaking the bank?
Clean. It is said that over 90% of people deep clean property as soon as they get the keys. Even if it was spotless when they arrived. Even if they know it has been cleaned by a professional. It makes sense, really, though, doesn't it? You want to ensure that you are not living in someone else's mess. One of the biggest causes of complaints in the hotel industry is cleanliness. You don't want to be sitting there looking at someone else's fluff and muck. As soon as you have deep cleaned everywhere, you have seen every inch of the house, every nook and cranny, you are well acquainted, allowing you to settle in properly.
Photographs and personal items. Put your photos and personal items up straight away. Don't leave them in a box in the garage until you find the time. If you feel like an imposter in your new place, hanging your everyday items and family photographs will make it feel like you belong.
Curtains and soft furnishings. Hang your own curtains as soon as you can. You will usually find curtains left in the property by the previous occupant. Although, we have all had to try to stick a bed sheet up at the window with drawing pins just to get you through the first few days in a new place. Hanging curtains you have chosen for the property or brought from your previous property (if they fit) will instantly put your own stamp on the rooms. A window usually dominates at least one wall in every room, so curtains can make a big difference to a home, and it takes no time at all.
Ornaments. Definitely not what you would consider a priority box to unpack, but ornaments and decorations often have sentimental value and can spark fond memories. Although not essential for living, perhaps you won't feel so lost if your memories are all around you.
Scent. Emotions can be triggered by all 5 of the senses. Sometimes a place just doesn't smell right. Try lighting scented candles or air fresheners that you used in your previous property to spark familiar feelings.
I know some of this sounds a little 'woo woo’. But moving house is stressful, and it is easy to overlook the work involved once you have moved in because the legal process is so final. Everything rests on the completion of the legal transaction. You tell yourself that everything will be fine once you have completed the sale. And then you move in. But rather than feeling overjoyed or relieved that you are finally moved, you spend a few weeks effectively living in someone else's house.
If you can feel settled quickly, you can start to enjoy the new home that you have been working towards for the last few months!
I have often heard of people who moved just before Christmas, and the only real thing they unpacked was the tree. They were surrounded by boxes but had their tree up and decorated because it felt like home!
Feeling at home is so emotional. It is way more than just bricks and mortar. But it can take time to get that cosy feeling when you are in a new space. The sooner you can feel at home, the sooner you can enjoy your new property.