Settling Into Happiness: Tips for Turning a House Into a Home

So you have just moved into a brand-new house, but as much as you were looking forward to this moment, you’re feeling a little sad because of all the memories you left behind in your old house. Never fear — with a little work, you can make your new house start to feel like home in no time. Here are a few ideas on how to get started.

Play It Again, Sam

What makes your house feel like your home isn’t just the four walls around you — it’s the things inside those walls. So recreate the things you love best — get your favorite pieces unpacked (hello, comfy couch) and bring out the sounds and smells of home with your favorite music and candles. Nothing says you can’t have a good atmosphere while you’re unpacking. An easy decorating tip: unwrap all your art and start to think about where you want it to in the house, but don’t hang pieces on the wall yet. Lean them again the walls and/or furniture so you can enjoy them and get a feel for how they look in a new space. Once they feel right, you can hang them.

Where to Start?

Opinions vary on what areas of the home to unpack first to bring out that familiar feeling. You could start with the closet so that you’ll feel better if you know where your clothes are. Others start with the kitchen so they can cook themselves a good meal that makes them feel at home. Another option is the kids’ rooms; if you get their rooms unpacked, they can play happily for hours while you work on the rest of the house. Or, you could start by getting your beds put together and your clean, familiar bedsheets and comforters put on so that when it comes time to lay down your weary head, you’ll be comforted by the familiarity of your own bed. There’s really no wrong way to do it as long as you feel good about what you’re working on.


Getting settled in your home is not all about decorating and unpacking. There are a few simple maintenance tasks you can tackle right off the bat that will save you money down the line. You have presumably had a home inspection, so you shouldn’t have any major surprises, but these small things can add up if you don’t take care of them. For example, have your HVAC system serviced soon after you move in. Even if the inspection showed it was in good shape, you don’t know how well it has been maintained, and a good servicing will help it run more efficiently.

You should also clean out your gutters and downspouts, especially if they are overflowing. Keeping the water flowing correctly will prevent moisture problems around your basement or crawl space. Also, check for air and water leaks in your home — look under sinks, behind the washer and around toilets to make sure everything is shipshape. If you do find a leak, your quick inspection can saved you time and money. It’s also a good idea to find your water cutoff valve for the house and your circuit breaker so you’re not in the dark the first time a fuse blows.

There’s no rule about how long it should take a house to feel like home, but following these tips will give you a good start. Before you know it, you’ll feel comfortable and relaxed, and you’ll be making many new memories as you explore your home and neighborhood.

Photo from Unsplash

Author: Natalie Jones of homeownerbliss.info

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