You just closed on your new house — congratulations! Now comes the fun (and sometimes stressful) part of moving in and getting settled. It may feel overwhelming, but don’t worry! All it takes is a few key maintenance tasks, some touches of home, and everything else will fall into place.


Start with Security and Safety

Before diving into decorating, one of the first things to do is check security and safety features. Have a locksmith change all outdoor locks, and don’t forget to change the garage door code and other security passwords too. If your home has a security system, get to know how to use it. Check all safety devices too, making sure all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have batteries and are functional.

Stay Organized While Unpacking

It’s tempting to start tearing into every single box, but try to be organized about how you unpack. Start by getting all boxes in the right room, and tackle one room at a time. You should have an essentials box, or a few must-haves that you packed last and got into the house first. Essentials are obviously where you want to start so you have access to everyday necessities. Then, work on unpacking the rooms that are most important to your family. For many people, that’s the kitchen because it’s often the hub of the household. Plus, you will feel more at home in your new place as soon as you can prepare a home-cooked meal.

Create Familiarity Without Rushing Decorating

You want to start making your house feel like home without rushing into bigger decorating decisions. Good Housekeeping recommends recreating familiar sights and sounds. Unpacking a favorite accessory or family photos will go a long way toward making your new space feel like you belong there. If you have a favorite candle, get it out and let the scent fill your home. After you’ve taken care of the basics, start decorating with an inexpensive and quick project to put your own creative stamp on the house.
Once you are settled and ready to design your dream space, take a little time to avoid common decorating mistakes. Your new home is a blank slate, so this is the perfect opportunity to decorate exactly how you want. You may be anxious to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, but you’re better off choosing any other new items first, such as any new furniture, curtains, art, and other accessories. Then, choose a paint color to coordinate with those, rather than the other way around.

Money Saving Maintenance

Getting settled isn’t all about decorating. Spend a little time now on essential maintenance projects that will help ensure you stay comfortable in your new home and save you money down the line. Go ahead and check your heating, venting, and air conditioning (HVAC) system to make sure everything is working properly. You should also clean out gutters and downspouts, and check throughout your home for air and water leaks. Doing these simple tasks now will help you avoid unpleasant surprises such as costly repairs from bigger problems.

Give Your Yard a Little Love

The bulk of your focus will naturally be on setting up your home inside, but don’t ignore the outdoors. The Simple Dollar recommends planting shade trees near your house. Deciduous trees help lower heating and cooling costs by providing shade in the summer and letting in sunlight for warmth in winter when they lose their leaves. If you move in the spring or summer, you can also add some instant life to your home by planting some flowers. If it’s fall, plant some bulbs now so you can enjoy blossoms in the spring.
Settling into your new home won’t happen all at once, but doing these things now will make it feel more homey right away. Whether you already know exactly how you want to decorate or you’re overwhelmed by everything on your to-do list, don’t rush the big-picture decisions. Focus on the small stuff to settle in quickly and happily as you adjust to life in your new home.


This is a guest article written by Natalie Jones of


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