Taking your first step onto the property ladder is one of the most exciting things you can do. It can take a while before your first house feels like your home, but there are a few things you can do when you move in to help speed things up.
1. Make connections
Before you move in, make sure you get all the vitals connected. You’ll want power when you move in, and having Internet in your home when you get there – or very soon afterwards – will also make things a lot more comfortable.
2. Take the essentials
Whether you’ve hired a moving company or you’re doing it yourself, it’s important that you keep your essentials close at hand. Having access to warm clothing, toilet paper and tools like screwdrivers can be a huge help when you’ve got boxes everywhere and you’re not sure what goes where.
3. Help your kids
Moving can be hardest on young children, as their whole world changes and they’re not really sure why. Make the move easier on them by unpacking their rooms first to help them feel at ease. Taking a bag packed with some of their favourite toys can keep them happy and distracted while you get on with other jobs.
4. Install familiar sounds and smells
It may not sound intuitive, but when you surround yourself with the same noises you’re used to, it can help to bring out the feelings of home. If you have a noisy clock, enjoy listening to music or you have a favourite radio show, make sure that you set these up early on. These ambient sounds will help you relax and give the place a more familiar feeling.
Familiar smells can also make a new house feel more like home. If you regularly use scented candles or incense at home, these familiar aromas will help you to feel at ease. Just make sure you never leave open flames unattended.
5. Get comfy
Getting a new home ready can take a lot of work, so you’ll need plenty of rest while you’re doing it. Bring your bed linen, cushions for the lounge and a kettle with all its accessories to help you unwind after a long day of unpacking.
Setting aside a bag or box of items you’ll need for the first few days will help you transition more smoothly. You’ll also want changes of clothes for everyone, some snacks and towels to aid your comfort.
6. Cook your own food
While it’s extremely tempting to order takeaway when you first arrive, that often delays the idea that a house is yours. While having pizza on the first night can be a well-earned treat at the end of a tiring day, it’s good to get into a routine of cooking for yourself as soon as you can. Nothing says home like a home-cooked meal, so pack a few ingredients, some plates and cutlery, and a couple of pans for easy access.
The spices and sauces that you use in your cooking will also add to the familiar smells that make your new place feel more like home.
7. Update your contact information
It’s vital that you change your address details with important institutions – such as your work, bank, insurance and super companies. You should also quickly get on to changing your details with magazine subscriptions, doctors, schools and the electoral roll.
8. Get spare keys cut
In the process of moving house, it’s easy to lose small items. To make sure this doesn’t happen to your new keys, it’s a good idea to get a spare set or two cut. Make sure everyone in the house who needs a set has one, and that they ideally keep it in their pocket until they have a fixed place to put it after the majority of the mess from moving has been cleared. You may also want to have a set cut for a neighbour or friend to look after.
Depending on your state of mind, you might want to change the locks as well. While it’s unlikely that the old owners will come back, who knows who they gave spare keys to? They may not have changed the locks themselves. Who did the prior owners before give their keys to? You’ll feel more settled and secure to have the locks replaced. Also keep these other security tips in mind when moving.
9. Say hello to your neighbours
Knowing the people you’re going to be sharing an apartment block or a residential street with can make you feel like you’re part of a community. Knock on doors to introduce yourself, and if you’re having a house warming party be sure to invite them. Even if they refuse, you can at least give them an explanation for why it might get noisy that weekend.
10. Get the cleaners in
Before you make the trip over to your new house, it’s a good idea to get it cleaned. This is a lot easier when there’s nothing in the way – no big items of furniture or large appliances to block the vacuum. The empty rooms work in your favour, meaning you can get a more thorough clean in a quicker time.
Of course, when you’re moving home you have a million and one things to think about, and giving your new home a thorough clean may be the last thing you want to add to that list. Depending on how far you’re moving, you may not know any cleaners in the area. Rather than hire the first name in the phone book, look on Oneflare for professional cleaners who have been verified and reviewed by other home owners in the area.
Those are the ten most important things to do to help you feel settled when you move into your new home. For couples taking the plunge and moving in together check out our guide to moving in together and staying together.