I know several people who have purchased new homes or are in the midst of purchasing a new home and are eagerly anticipating the move-in. I just love imagining how my furniture will fit in the new space, what decor will resonate with the interior and how gatherings will flow. But moving to a “new to you” home ranks among the top five stressors (right up there with loss of a loved one and divorce). Everyone in the family needs to deal with the disruption and it takes some time to discover your new normal.
What can be done to ease your way into a new home and decrease the stress a bit? Here are five tips to help you in this exciting time of transition:
First, declutter your current home as much as possible. You knew I was going to say that, didn’t you? Think about it, you don’t really want to take the time to pack, move or ship, store and then unpack something you don’t even want to keep, right? That’s an expensive and time consuming way to live your life. Get rid of things early. You’ll need to declutter by at least a third to properly stage your current house for sale anyway, so this is a great time to do it. Unless you have items of particular financial value, I would recommend just donating everything you can to save time.
Second, prepare the house you’re moving into. This would include a good scrub down, possibly installing shelf liner, painting the walls and replacing flooring before boxes and furniture are moved in. If there are safety concerns or child-proofing that needs to be addressed, take care of those tasks before you bring your family in. Give yourself the gift of a fresh and clean blank slate in your new home.
Third, hire help. I just talked about cleaning, painting, flooring and moving. Don’t feel like you need to do all these things by yourself. A good realtor will likely help you on your selling side with a cleaner and stager and maybe a handyman or contractor for particular projects, but why don’t you see if you can line up some of those same people to help you with your move-in? Knowing you have a person to deep clean the bathrooms, kitchen and/or carpet could give you a great deal of peace of mind during your move.
Fourth, prepare a “last-out, first-in” box. This is a box of items you will want and need in both homes and maybe it’s the box you want to carry with you in your car. Your priorities may vary, but my box would have my purse, my phone, keys for the new place, a roll of toilet paper for each bathroom, one roll of paper towels, enough paper plates and plastic cutlery for a few days, the coffee maker, tea kettle, one mug and enough coffee and tea for each person, healthy snacks, basic cleaning supplies and a good kitchen knife. Now you’re ready for anything.
Finally, celebrate your new home. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect to invite people in. Have I shared how, on our first full day in the house, I invited everyone I knew in our new town for a painting party? It says something about the quality of my friends that they all showed up and our house was pretty much painted in a day. Hospitality is a core value of mine. I love opening the door and inviting people over for coffee or lunch, a craft night or to watch a football game. When we share our imperfect spaces, people start to feel less bad about their own shabby carpet, dated light fixtures, old furniture, toddler smudged windows or dog hair under the sofa. Truly, if I waited for a perfect house, nobody would ever come over because perfection is a place I’ll never arrive, at least until I’m called home to Heaven.
If you are facing a move, if setting up your kitchen, designing your office or building your new pantry shelving is overwhelming to you, I can help. I designed Northwest Home Coach to be a place where people can overcome the stress of a move or transition while still maintaining their goals, hopes and dreams. My ultimate goal is for you to be living and working in a space you love to call home.