Moving can be difficult. It’s not just the organization, planning, or physical traveling. Often, you leave behind a familiar location in favor of a new, unknown living situation. Adjusting to a new house in a new place often proves stressful or even scary as well.
Below, we’ve listed five ways you can make your house, townhome, or apartment feel safe and homey.
1. Be Active
You may feel tempted to isolate yourself after a move. After all, you have things to unpack and a job to get to. But resist the urge.
Staying active-physically, socially, and communally-triggers important mental processes that create the sense of home. Cover the following bases:
Exercise. Take time to exercise between unpacking, work, and your family responsibilities. You don’t have to do a full workout-even a walk around the block after dinner each evening will help. Physical activity produces endorphins that will help keep you happy and healthy.
Join local communities. Whether it’s church, the PTA, or a work book club, social communities help forge connections and create positive associations with your surroundings.
Shop locally. Chat with staff and fellow shoppers. Getting to know locals can help you feel like you belong.
Don’t let yourself fall into a rut-actively participate in your new neighborhood so you can feel like part of it.
2. Cultivate Living Things
You may find yourself grieving after you leave a cherished home. Some people even experience depression after a move. One of the best ways to combat these negative feelings is to invest your time in cultivating living things. Try these methods:
Grow a garden. Even if you live in an apartment without land, placing some herbs in your kitchen window can help you feel purpose and belonging.
Spend time with children. Engaging with your own children can help you feel connected and gauge their feelings about the move. If you don’t have children, volunteering at a library, hospital, or daycare can help you feel part of a community.
Take care of your pets. Spend constructive time with your pets playing, training, or just cuddling. The unconditional affection of a pet can help you assimilate to unfamiliar surroundings.
If none of these options work for you, look into local soup kitchens, animal shelters, and other charitable organizations where you can help out to help yourself feel more at ease.
3. Decorate in a Comforting Color Palette
No matter your design aesthetic, there’s no denying the power of the right colors. Deliberately choosing a color scheme that promotes calm, happiness, and comfort can transform your new accommodations into a place you call your own. Consider the following color options:
Earth Tones: Earth tones like rich reds, varying browns, and darker golds create a welcoming, comfortable atmosphere.
This happens because these colors are easy on your eyes and stimulate feelings of stability, reassurance, and ease.
Pastels: Light colors, ocean tones, and pastels like robin egg blue and pale pink build a feeling of tranquility. Blues, in particular, produce feelings of peacefulness, calm, and cleanliness.
Warm Colors: Like earth tones, warm colors encourage comfort. Brighter colors like orange, yellow, and red invigorate the mind and can increase your family’s energy levels, which makes them ideal for gathering areas.
Use color to engineer an environment where you can happily spend time.
4. Surround Yourself with the Familiar
There’s nothing like familiar accouterments to push things into falling into place. Even before you settle in entirely, you can make your control your circumstances in the following ways:
Celebrate holidays with long-standing traditions (and maybe some new ones too)
Cook your family’s favorite meals; they’ll fill your new house with the smells you love
Light scented candles to mimic an aroma you’re used to
Play your favorite music
Don’t fight the setup of your new home to try and get it to look or feel exactly like your new one. Instead, balance the change with familiar accents to help you adjust.
Think about what makes you feel at home so you can deliberately create the circumstances you’ll feel most comfortable in.
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to take your belongings out of their boxes and begin to set up your home.
You may feel tempted to live out of storage while you adjust, especially if your current living arrangement is temporary, but this actually keeps you from adjusting.
Decorating and arranging your furniture creates a feeling of control in your new surroundings. It also helps you get to know the house. It’s much easier to feel at home once you know the doors each key opens, where to find each tripping hazard, and how each cupboard and closet opens.
If you find yourself struggling to adjust to your situation after you move in, reach out. Your friends, family, and neighbors can offer support and advice specific to your circumstances.
Use these tips to help you and your family make your new house a home.