After we moved in, Patti would ask “are the pictures on the walls yet?” every time we saw her. To her, pictures on the walls meant you were finally home.
“Not yet,” I answered more times than I wanted.
That was nearly eleven years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.
So, to those of you who are in the midst of a move this summer, I get it. I get how stressful it is. And, how overwhelming all the ‘new’ can be. I understand wanting to be done…to get your pictures on the walls.
So, I wanted to share some helpful tips for settling into a new home.
Tips for Settling Into Your New Home
You’d be amazed at what a difference it makes to start with a clean home.
I remember when my parents moved into their current home, nearly thirty years ago. My Mom really wanted to get rid of all of the carpet stains before moving in. So she, my sister, and I got down on our hands and knees and scrubbed out all the stains…downstairs, on the stairs, and upstairs.
Once that was done, my Mom felt so much better about moving in.
And, when we moved into our first home, the one before this one, I had to tackle the stained toilets and remove stickers from the tub before I could do anything else. Luckily, they looked much better after a good cleaning, and I felt more at ease about our new home.
Once the house is clean, you can place the big pieces of furniture in the room…beds in bedrooms, sofas in the living room, tables in kitchens, etc. When arranging furniture, keep in mind the function of the room as well as where doors, windows and outlets are located.
Tip: Instead of arranging everything like you always have, mix it up. Put bookcases in the dining room or the bench that usually sits at the end of the bed in the mudroom.
Just keep playing with the furniture arrangement until it makes you smile.
If you didn’t sort through your things before you moved, do that as you unpack and get rid of anything that is broken, that you don’t love, or that you just don’t use anymore.
Once you’re left with the “keep” pile, you can start organizing and putting things away.
Tip: It can take years of living in your home to figure out the best place to store things. So, just go with what you know; what you think will work for now. Then, once you’re used to your new surroundings, tweak things according to how you live.
If you need help getting started, you might want to try some of these home organization ideas.
Now that the furniture is in place and everything is organized, it’s time to decorate. This is your chance to really personalize your home. I recommended setting all of your home accents in one area, and then “shopping” those items to decorate with.
Hanging art can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.
Use this formula for hanging pictures in rooms where you would be seeing them from a standing position…such as in hallways and foyers.
And, for rooms where the art will primarily be viewed from a sitting position like the living room, dining room, or breakfast room, don’t be afraid to position your art lower on the wall.
If you’re hanging a picture above a table, dresser, couch etc. use the 8 to 12 inches guideline; the bottom of the frame should be no more than 12 inches above the furniture. Since I tend to move art around from room to room, I have come up with a very helpful picture hanging tip.
I saved painting for last because, unless the walls are covered in colors that you just cannot live with, or you already know exactly what color you want, it’s a good idea to wait before you paint the walls. Waiting gives you time to see how the light moves through your home, sample colors and finalize your decision.
Once our house was walled in, I was able to see my paint samples in the lighting of each room. So, I had a couple of colors picked out and painted a couple of bedrooms right away. However, I lived with beige for several years before choosing a new common area color.
Create a space that is done so you can get away from the chaos of moving in. I recommend the master bedroom. Also, be sure to schedule breaks as you unpack and settle into your new home. It will get done. And before you know it, the pictures will be on the walls.
See you in class,
p.s. If you’re local to the Houston area and would like help settling into your new home, I would LOVE to help you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free phone consultation.