Congratulations on your new home!
There’s something satisfying about that moment after you’re finally done carrying boxes, and you are really home. Except… your new house isn’t always going to feel like home. There’s kind of a reason for that.
When it comes to selling houses, many real estate agents rely on depersonalizing a property to make it as generic as possible. This allows potential homebuyers to see themselves in there, but once you’ve actually purchased the place it can make it feel kind of hollow. To break in your new place and make it feel like home, try the following tips people count on.
Eliminate Paint Odors
Oh, take a whiff of that new home smell!
Just kidding– that smell is just paint and it’s better not to breathe it in like that. Not only are VOCs bad for your respiratory system, but also that scent just screams “model home,” not your home. You can get rid of paint smell a few different ways:
- Open the windows and turn on fans to create ventilation to whisk paint smells outside.
- Place bowls of crushed charcoal briquettes in freshly painted rooms overnight to absorb the odors.
- Buy several boxes of refrigerator baking soda with ventilation on each side and place throughout the house. You can also sprinkle baking soda on the carpets for 10 to 15 minutes before vacuuming it up to eliminate odors in the fibers.
- Vinegar is a natural odor eliminator. Set bowls of the smelly stuff in painted rooms for few hours to cut down paint fumes. If you can’t stand the smell of vinegar, buckets of water work, too.
- Burn candles throughout the home to get rid of paint fumes. Better yet, burn sage (also known as smudging) as a way to dismiss negative energy and sanctify your new living space. Oh, and it eliminates paint smells.
Break Out the Decor
Your artwork, accessories and home essentials like curtains express your style and make a house a home. Hanging curtains is a great way to bring life into your new home and make it feel more familiar. If you left your old ones at the house or apartment you left behind, use this opportunity to experiment with everything that window treatments are capable of beyond covering windows.
For instance, depending on where you hang them, curtains can make a room look bigger. You can also try using them as makeshift barriers that sanction special areas in the home or act as a room divider. For instance, if your laundry room is connected to your kitchen, hanging a curtain between the two provides separation without cutting the energy flow between the two. Additionally, curtains are perfect for hiding cluttered storage spaces from view to give a home a cleaner look. They also add a pop of color, texture or pattern, depending on the design of the curtains you choose.
Cook a Meal
Resist ordering a pizza and commit to making a meal in your new home as a way to break it in. The kitchen is often called the heart of the home, so getting to work in there first is a great way to get the blood pumping. Make a meal your family already loves or cook something with spices and ingredients that trigger feelings of nostalgia. The sights and smells of your favorite food will instantly make you feel more at home, even if you still have a mountain of boxes to unpack.
When it comes to moving into a new house, it doesn’t always feel like home right away. Get rid of paint smells by placing odor-absorbing materials throughout the house or by lighting candles or incense that burn away fumes. Start decorating with simple things like curtains. Finally, commit to cooking a meal on your first night there to create a multisensory experience that makes a house feel like home.
Guest Contributor Natalie and her husband, Jason, recently bought their first home. She hopes to make the process of buying a home less scary for first-timers by sharing what she and Jason have learned along the way.