How long do you have to live in a new place before it really starts to feel like home? It can be hard to start over in a new house or apartment. Your new home can feel cold and unfamiliar at first. Surely, there are tons of ways to make your house a home using lighting, belongings, color and decorations. But, today, I’d like to focus more on what you can do for the low cost of … free.
After the third full month of living in my apartment, I wasn’t feeling at home yet and, naturally, I blamed my lack of artwork. So, I spent a lot of time finding frames, pictures and photographs to display on the walls. Several days, and countless measurements later, my apartment was finally decorated and I was sure I would feel more at home.
But something was still missing. The apartment looked like a home, but didn’t feel like my home. As I thought about what made me comfortable in my last home, I realized that it really had nothing to do with décor. Here’s what really turns a house into a home:
Use it. I know this sounds like a given, but it’s not. Ever since I moved into my new place, I’ve treated it like nothing more than storage facility to hold my things and myself. The apartment was for eating, watching TV and sleeping. I was obsessed with keeping it organized and perfectly neat, because it was new. But, the thing is, you don’t make memories that way. And memories are the number one way to make a house a home. I was much more comfortable sitting in the mess I created while cutting, arranging and rearranging the photos during my decorating process than I had been during any of the evenings I spent watching TV on my couch – even with its perfectly fluffed pillows. So my number one piece of advice is to use your space. Make something, try a new recipe, dance around and just have some fun with it.
Entertain. Depending on how far you move, it may be easy for your friends and family to come and visit. Lucky for me, I have friends who live fairly close by. Oddly, I was hesitant for a while to invite any of them over because I wasn’t proud of how the apartment looked. There was always a reason – it wasn’t decorated enough, I hadn’t vacuumed that day, I needed to touch up some paint, etc. The reality, however, is that your friends and family don’t care about that stuff. Enjoy your space, and your company will too. Even if you are inviting new friends or neighbors over, heed this advice. Remember, if someone is going to freak out over an empty wall in your new apartment, they’re probably not going to be great friends anyway.
Think positive. You will never truly feel at home in a place that you are constantly saying negative things about. Your new home may not be perfect, but was your old one? Try not to compare places. If you are always thinking and saying negative things about your home, it will be hard to make positive memories. Your attitude plays a huge role in creating your environment.
Are you feeling down in your new home? Just try one or two of these tips and I promise you’ll feel better. And, by all means, decorate. Furniture, color schemes and décor does make a difference because you’ll be surrounded by things you love. But, there’s nothing spending quality time enjoying your new space – and welcoming others into it as well. It’s the memories that make a home, not the material items.
Do you have any tips? Please share them below.