Southern Living

How to expedite the never-easy process of settling in:

Aside from the bittersweet sentiments of leaving any place for a new one, moving also comes with its fair share of physical and logistical challenges (read: nightmares). While it’s exciting to scheme up interesting designs for a new floor plan and space, getting everything in place is no small task. Here’s what to do to whip any new place into shape:

 

1. Don’t rush to buy stuff.

Yes, be patient. While this feels counterintuitive, it’s key for the long-game. Rushing to fill a space with new and new-to-you pieces will only result in impulse purchases. And a regretted purchase isn’t exactly what makes a space feel like home. Instead, go ahead and set up what you already have and love. Evaluate what you need and what may need replacing, and slowly fill in as you find gotta-have-it, speaks-to-your-soul pieces. Real friends will understand why they have to sit in camping chairs in your living room for a few days, weeks, or months.

 

2. Avoid the matchy-matchy.

If you’re shopping for hardware for cabinets, doors, lights, etc., don’t be afraid to buy different finishes. A varieties of metals will help achieve a gathered-over-time look, even if you really did pick it all out at once. Apply this approach to furniture styles and color palettes as well.

 

3. Light it up.

Say it three times fast: ambiance, ambiance, ambiance. Nothing changes the atmosphere of a room quicker than the lighting. It doesn’t have to be mood lighting, but please, add in some different levels of lighting. Set up lamps so you don’t always feel like you’re under a spotlight in an interrogation room.

 

4. Set up routines.

While you’re digging out the lamps, go ahead and grab that coffee pot and makeup mirror. Having a few ‘routine stations’ in place will make this feel like your personal space, and not just four walls you get dressed in. So, whether it’s making coffee just the way you like it in the morning or taking care of your nightly skincare routine, get those items organized and in place.

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5. Set up entertainment.


Whatever your device of choice is—record player, apple tv, radio—set it up early. For one, you can have it on while you unpack, and two, now the elements that make for a cozy night in are in place.

 

6. Think about scents.

Scents are powerful. Just think of your grandmother’s signature perfume or the way your mother's house smells. Even if it’s not your home’s signature scent, a warm candle smells a whole lot better than musty-house-that-sat-empty-while-on-the-market.

 

7. Host a housewarming.

The most important thing that makes a house a home are the people (okay, and pets!) inside it. Get out the cheese board, throw together a few drinks, and have friends over. Memories are the quickest way to make a house feel home.