Written By Jim McKinley, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine
We all want our living space to be organized, functional, and to feel like home. Buying a new house gives you a fresh start, a chance to create the ultimate space that works for everyday life, and reflects your style. That thought may be overwhelming or it may be exciting, but most likely, you’re feeling a little bit of both. Don’t worry! Creating your ideal home won’t happen all at once, but these tips will help you settle into your new house quickly and happily so it feels like home.
Start with These Maintenance Tasks
Before unpacking and decorating, doing a few easy maintenance projects will help make your new home both safe and comfortable.
- Change locks – You never know who has keys to the home from the previous owners, so have all exterior locks changed and get a new set of keys.
- Check safety devices – Make sure all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors work, and replace the batteries in them. If the home already has fire extinguishers, check to make sure they aren’t expired. If not, install a fire extinguisher in any room where there is a risk of fire, such as the kitchen.
- HVAC and electrical tune-ups - Familiarize yourself with your home’s main systems, including the HVAC system, and change the air filter right away to help it run effectively. It can’t hurt to go ahead and have your system checked professionally. This can go a long way toward helping the air quality in your home. U.S. News also recommends cleaning your dryer vent to prevent fire. You should also locate the electrical panel and water shut-off valves.
- Minor improvement projects – Unless you are absolutely sure of what you want, it’s best to put off big home improvement projects until you have lived in the home. But some projects like painting are simple enough and actually easier to do before you have unpacked everything. Plus, fresh paint on the walls is a quick and easy way to start putting your design touches on the house and make it start to feel like home.
Unpack, Organize, and Decorate!
When it comes to this part, you may not know where to start because there is so much to do. Remember that you can’t do it all at once, so start with what will make the biggest difference. Come up with a plan for how to arrange furniture, and think about how you will use each room and how you want it to flow. Getting furniture in place is the perfect start because it serves as a springboard for the rest of your unpacking and decorating.
Next, work on unpacking one room at a time with a plan for organizing. You can always organize later, but it’s much easier to do it now so that clutter doesn’t become a problem in the first place. Some things may change as you get used to living in the home, such as realizing where you actually end up doing meal prep in the kitchen, which could mean swapping some plates or utensils around. But making these simple swaps is easier in a space that is already organized.
To get started with home decor, pick a few easy projects that will make a big impact quickly. For example, curtains are a great way to bring life to your new home. Depending on where you hang them, curtains can be used to make a room look bigger, or they can be used to create special areas or function as room dividers. They can even be used to hide storage space. HGTV has great suggestions for other decorating upgrades that are inexpensive and high-impact, such as adding a headboard or bringing flower arrangements into your home.
Moving can certainly be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Start with a plan of action with these tasks at the top of your list. Don’t forget that things don’t always go according to plan, so stay flexible, go with the flow, and enjoy the process of creating your perfect space.
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