The first few days of moving into a new home can be fun. However, it can also be pretty chaotic. For the first few days, your apartment will likely greet you with a mile-high stack of cardboard boxes and list of things to do. Even professional organizers admit it can be tough. By prioritizing these seven tips and tricks, you’ll be able to make your new apartment feel like home in no time.
- Focus on the Most Important Rooms First: Would you classify yourself as independent, or a social butterfly? Those who don’t plan on having guests over might make common spaces a secondary priority, and choose to focus on spaces like their bedroom first. If you plan on having a housewarming party the weekend after you move in, then it’s definitely worth making sure both you and your guests will be able to feel comfortable in shared spaces.
- Focus on the Basics First: What are the most important things to make your apartment feel at home? For most people, this starts with setting up their bed in their bedroom, making sure the refrigerator is connected and running, and making sure the Internet and Wi-Fi are working. From there, you can start arranging the kitchen utensils and pantry so you can cook without too many boxes in the way. Next, you can start bringing out tables and chairs in the main room, and setting up a couch and TV. Since most of these involve furniture or larger items, it’s a good way to empty the bulk of your boxes straight away. Then you can start focusing on the smaller ways to decorate your apartment.
- Add Your Favorite Scent: The human connection to scent is extremely strong, and certain smells have the ability to remind us of certain places or memories. Setting up candles or air fresheners that either remind you of your old place or that you associate with other places you’ve previously been will help your brain—and you—to feel at home. Don’t underestimate the power of scent.
- Hang Up Wall Art: Whether you choose to bring old paintings with you or buy new ones to fit the atmosphere of your new home, wall art is a simple, yet effective way to put your own touch on a new place and make a new apartment feel cozy. Don’t know what to hang? Use it as a chance to embrace your inner painter and head to the art store for some canvas and paint. Some art stores will have painting classes that can guide those who are worried about their ability to express themselves. Or, head to the printing store and have a few of your favorite photographs printed on canvas. Otherwise, a homewares store can be a good source for simple but attractive paintings. Don’t be afraid to embrace wall art even if you’re renting. There are plenty of tried-and-true options for affixing wall art with minimal damage. The best method is to use adhesive or Velcro hangers, as these won’t tear off paint. Most work for items up to 8lbs in weight, such as photos or mirrors. Other choices include tape—try decorative tape such as washi tape for an extra touch of color—or adhesive putty. Don’t forget to test these first as they may remove paint. And if you must hang an item, try a J-shaped monkey hook. These don’t even require a hammer to use, and will leave only a small hole that can be easily filled later with putty. The bonus part is that these hooks can hold up to 50lbs in weight.
- Set Up Stylish Curtains: Whether open or closed, curtains play a large role in setting the atmosphere of each room. While many homeowners opt for the same set in every room, there’s no rule about it and you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with options that match each room individually. After all, it only makes sense that a room like your bedroom would call for a different atmosphere to common spaces such as the living room. Choosing the right curtains is more than just picking the right length and width. It’s important to consider their weight and how much light and ventilation they will let in. You might prefer to hang two layers at once—a heavier set to block light and allow privacy, and a sheer set to let more light in without it being overly bright. It’s also a good idea to consider their style. Curtains are another outlet for exploring colors, texture and pattern, while also bringing some added personality.
- Meet the Neighbors: One of the fastest ways to make your new apartment feel like it’s your home is to meet your neighbors. While this can seem pretty daunting, it doesn’t take a lot to get things started. A good way to start is by talking with people when you see them. You don’t need to go out of your way to find them. If you pass them in the hallways, see them walking their dog, or see them in the elevator, start with a simple “hello”. If your apartment has common space, you can take advantage of this and spend some time there as a way to meet new people.
- Throw a Move In Party: Having a housewarming party is always a fun way to welcome friends to your new apartment. It can also be a nice excuse to meet the neighbors you haven’t met yet. Most people wouldn’t say no to a friendly invitation to a party. If you’re worried about the extra hassle, you don’t need to do anything elaborate or over-the-top for a good party. Simply offering some simple snacks and drinks and playing some music is an easy way to keep people entertained. If you’d prefer, you could host a potluck and ask guests to each bring a dish. Or, if you’re lucky enough to have a beautiful outdoor space and the weather is warm, you can always have a BBQ. It’s never easy to move into a new place, but with a bit of effort, you can help speed up the settling in process and feel at home in your new apartment right away—even if you haven’t finished unpacking.
Chestnut Portland is quiet community of one, two and three bedroom town homes in Portland and Scarborough, Maine that is perfect for anyone looking for easy access to day-to-day life, but also a little fresh air and breathing room.