After months of planning, crunching numbers, home-shopping, and seemingly endless waiting, you finally have closed the deal on your new home. The release of stress should feel amazing, but now as you start to unpack you realize the entire family is trying to regain that feeling of being “at home” in their new house.
No matter how perfect the house, that feeling of being “at home” takes time to happen. It is an emotional response and it’s created by the people who live there. This means it is important to invite “the familiar” into your unfamiliar surroundings.
How do you do this? Take time to locate and unpack personal comfort items that your family is used to and find a way to make them a part of the new living environment
Here are a few ideas to help you feel at home in your new house:
- Thinking about getting a new sofa for the living room? Don’t do it just yet. If that old sofa is where the family used to sit and watch countless movies together, keeping it for a few months after you settle in can spark memories or feelings of contentment. This makes the living space it sits in feel a bit more familiar.
- Pillows, throws and stuffed animals are all cozy contentment items. Unpack them as soon as you can and place them where they are easily seen, used or found by family members.
- Hold a house warming party. Invite old neighbors and friends as well as new ones. Bridge the past with the present in terms of personal relationships.
- Let your kids invite a friend from their old school over for a visit. Let them see that there can still be a connection even though you moved.
- Get to know your new neighborhood and community. Help your children learn their way around and learn the new street names. Explore new museums, the library, and shopping malls. Go see a movie as a family in the closest movie theater. Start creating new memories.
- Let your kids decide how to decorate their room, allowing them to decide what they want and where to place things – which makes them feel in control of something and more at home.
- Take pictures as you settle in and get prints to create an album. Happy moments get documented. Taking pictures now, even if your house is a mess with boxes and clutter, shows the entire family that making this new house your home is a happy occasion.
Finally, allow everyone the freedom to feel a little nostalgic about some of the changes as well as happy about the new house. Moving is a big moment in everyone’s life – so give everyone time to adjust.