If you just bought a home, you are about to experience that exciting moment when you close on the house, get the keys and start to make it feel like your own. At this time of year, making your new abode feel homey and comfortable quickly is extra important to many new buyers. Thanksgiving and the winter holidays that soon follow are about memories and spending time with family and friends, and moving in the middle of it all can make you feel a little unmoored.
There are a few things you can do before and soon after moving to make that phrase “home for the holidays” feel genuine, warm and cozy – even in a totally new living space.
- Make sure all utilities are scheduled to be turned on before you move in. Nothing makes a house feel more strange and unfamiliar than not being able to flip a switch and have the basic comforts you are used to readily available.
- Unpack and arrange your living room and bedrooms first – make them feel warm and familiar. For example, unpack and put that cozy throw on the back of the sofa, put your favorite books or reading device next to your favorite chair, and make the beds with your favorite soft sheets and blankets. You can unpack the rest of the house afterwards, but having these personal living spaces ready so you can curl up at the end of the day establishes a warm, homey feeling.
- Once you have unpacked, throw a housewarming party and invite family and old friends, and include a few new neighbors. Entertaining in your new house can be exciting, creates great memories, and will help you get to know people who live on your street.
- If you normally decorate for the holidays, don’t skip this tradition. Even if you have just unpacked and it would be easier to skip some of the sparkle this year, don’t change your normal holiday routine. Having familiar decorations, celebrations, and elements of the holiday season within this new home will make it feel cozy and comfortable.
- Add new touches you couldn’t (or simply didn’t indulge in) at your previous house or apartment. You don’t have to spend a lot to add a few new touches to a home that make it feel extra special. Maybe it’s a new seasonal welcome mat and a few plants, or fancy seasonal-scented candles and beautiful wine glasses, or extra luxurious bath towels that make your new bathroom feel like a spa. If the budget allows, adding these types of things can make you (and holiday guests if you have them) feel welcomed and warm in your new living space.
- Make dinner and eat it together. Sounds simple enough, but nothing makes a place feel more lived-in than cooking up a few special dinners to enjoy around the table together. When you first move in, it is tempting to just eat on the run. After all, it is faster and easier. But taking the time for a true family sit-down meal a few times per week establishes the new house as your home and brings familiarity to it.
New homeownership is something to celebrate, and making your new abode feel like home for the holidays will help you build memories that trigger those feelings of comfort and joy. Good food, friends, family and familiar objects are a great place to start.