Moving into a new home is typically a very exciting process, filled with anticipation and nerves. You’ve put in all of the work while house hunting, comparing prices, and finding the right loan provider. You might even have already spent a good chunk of time waiting on that funding, as it takes an average of 60 days from filling out the application to closing the loan when you work with a bank. After all of this work and waiting, you want your new house to feel like your perfect home the moment you move in.
Unfortunately, the reality of your first few weeks in a new home is often far from perfect. The new house will likely feel foreign and strange while you sort out what goes where, which can add to your family’s stress. Although it might be impossible to get everything in your house settled and situated right away, you can make it feel like home more immediately by focusing on tasks that appeal to your five senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste.
Sight: Display Familiar Items
There’s nothing that can make a space feel like home more than the objects that give you the most comfort. When thinking about which of your belongings make you the happiest and most at peace, think about what you own that reminds you of your childhood home. This could be a piece of furniture, certain wall hangings, or even old board games. Whatever gives you that homey feeling should be one of the first things you display in your new home. While you’re picking out your items, encourage your kids to do the same so that they can also find comfort immediately in the foreign space.
Sound: Recreate Comforting Noises
Objects that create familiar sounds can also make a new space feel more like home. Maybe you own a cuckoo clock that sat in your parents’ home or you have a music box from your childhood. If you have a record that always seems to calm you, play that as you set up your new home. Familiar sounds can be just as comforting as familiar sights when you’ve just moved into a new house.
Smell: Fill The Space With Nice Scents
We’ve talked about how comforting sights and sounds can make your new house feel like home, but using pleasant scents can be equally effective. How you make your home smell nice will depend on what scents bring you and your family comfort. It could be as easy as lighting a few of your favorite scented candles. If you and the kids love the smell of baking, whip up a box of brownies to quickly fill your new house with that comforting smell. If you feel more at home when a house smells fresh and clean, run the washer for the first time to get the smell of freshly-done laundry circulating throughout the house.
Touch: Create Coziness
To please your sense of touch, prioritize making your home comfortable. Of course, you won’t be able to make every room perfectly comfortable with boxes strewn everywhere. However, you can make the most important spaces as cozy as can be. When you finish moving everything into your new house, have everyone unpack their clean bedding and make their beds. There are few things more comforting than sleeping in your familiar, comfy bed with your favorite blankets and pillows. Try to give this same cozy attention to your living room by setting up the couch with your usual throw pillows and blankets right away.
Taste: Cook a Homemade Meal
It’s incredibly tempting to just order a pizza on the first night in your new home. However, a homemade meal is just what the taste buds need to feel at home. You can use a simple recipe for this meal that doesn’t require too many ingredients or kitchen accessories. Alternatively, you could cook a casserole or other dish that is easy to reheat before the move-in day. Then, all you have to do is pop it in the oven on your first night. Even if your family ends up eating on the floor surrounded by boxes, you’ll have a delicious, familiar meal to welcome you to your new home.
Your senses shape your perception of the world around you, including your experience in a new home. By doing little things to appeal to all of your senses on your first day in a new environment, you can create positive memories and associations with the new space.