​8 Ways to Feel More at Home in a New House

​8 Ways to Feel More at Home in a New House

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Moving is exciting—and stressful. Here are ways to make your new space feel more “you.”

Congrats! You’ve signed the lease or mortgage documents and gotten the key to your new place. But after the moving truck pulls away, there you are, surrounded by boxes and feeling a bit forlorn. It can take a while for a new environment to feel less disorienting. Here are eight ways to make a space feel more like home. As for the boxes still stacked in the garage? Those are all on you, my friend.

Prioritize Spaces

Good Housekeeping recommends focusing on the master closet and kids’ rooms. The rest of the house may be in shambles, but you’ll be able to get dressed for the day—with underwear even! And kids need a sense of routine, stability, and spatial ownership even more than most adults do, so get them settled in quickly. Another high priority: If you have pets, make sure the pet has favorite toys and designated spots for meals and resting.

Fluff Up Your Nest

Another top priority is getting the bed cozy, so pull out your best sheets. If you are using the move as an excuse to redo the bedding, invest in some new pillows, high thread count sheets (aim for 300 or more) and a mattress topper. There is nothing better than a fluffy, dreamy feel to help you sleep easy in an unfamiliar place.

Warm lighting

Replace older incandescent bulbs with warm white bulbs. Warm-colored bulbs in lower wattages make a room feel cozy.

Pick a Centerpiece

There are a million design decisions to make—should we put this dresser over here or there? Should we wallpaper this bathroom? Can we hang this picture over the mantle? So, while the bigger issues get hashed out, express your personal aesthetic in the easiest way possible: Make the dining table feel familiar with a small piece of sculpture or your favorite vase.

Aural Environment

If you’re used to a bustling city, moving to a quieter place can be disconcerting—and vice versa. A sound machine whirring white noise or ocean surf can either mask noisier neighborhoods, or provide a little comforting background if things feel too still.

If moving has made you edgy, go with natural sounds, like the babbling of a brook or the sound of wind in the trees, suggest researchers from Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Their research found that natural sounds relax both the body’s flight-or-fight and rest-digest systems.


Whether it’s lighting a jasmine-scented soy candle, setting up the essential oil diffuser to puff eucalyptus into the air, or giving a quick spritz of lavender-vanilla linen spray, having a familiar scent can positively affect emotions. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the olfactory system is directly linked to the brain’s emotional center. Having a scent that brings back a pleasant memory and feels familiar helps your body release feel-good chemicals, the foundation reports.

Make Love

Well, there’s that… But also, “make love” to the home by cleaning it. You’ll feel more familiar with it, more intimate, once you’ve run a vacuum over the carpet, mopped a floor, and polished a mirror. Spend time in each room as you settle, too, by reading in one spot, having a family game night in the living room, sipping a coffee on the porch. Physically inhabit the space and soon it will feel just like home.

Decorate Your Door

Is it strictly necessary to replace that welcome mat with your own new one? No, but it’s a way to instantly claim personality rights. Maybe you’re a “Come Back with a Warrant” type of mat guy. Perhaps you want your initial, or a fancy scripted Hello. Swapping out the doormat with a clean mat in your own style means your home will greet you every time you walk in.

Want more? Check out our 60 Affirmations to Support You Through Meaningful Life Changes.

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