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Tips for Moving In and Making a New House Feel Like Home

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CORT for IZEA Worldwide. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve shared tips on getting your home ready to sell and helpful moving tips and tricks, but today is all about moving in and making a new house feel like home.

front outside view of stone cottage

You’ve decided to make the big move, now what? 

When you move into a new, or temporary home, you want everything to be as normal as possible, as quickly as possible. How do I know this? We’ve moved 11 times during our marriage so I have become somewhat of an expert at creating a cozy and livable space in a new home.

One of the first things I like to do, even before we make the physical move into our new home, is to make a list of things to do and prioritize things that need to get done immediately versus cosmetic updates that can wait.

Set up all of your utilities for the new house

When you have your own house, or apartment, there’s a lot to consider.

Utilities are one of those big things that’s totally necessary. Cable, internet, trash, recycling, water, electric and gas. It’s definitely not the most fun part of moving but totally necessary to help you live comfortably in your new home. 

I usually make a list with all of the names and phone numbers of the utilities for the new house and set that all up before move in day.

Rekey all exterior doors and locks

This is something that we learned pretty early on during our many moves. It makes sense really.

You’ll usually get all the keys at closing but how do you know what’s floating around out there. Rekeying your locks is a great option and much cheaper than buying new (especially if the door knobs you are inheriting are in decent shape).

So, be safe and save a little money. Who doesn’t want to do that with all of the other big expenses that comes with moving.

collage of pictures of new door locks and changing old door locks

Install and inspect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

This is a no-brainer but it’s worth mentioning. You know that you should change the batteries once a year, but did you know that most smoke detectors only last 8-10 years? 

When you move into a “new” house you never know how old the smoke or CO2 detectors are so it’s best to get new ones and brand new batteries.

carbon monoxide and smoke detectors with batteries

Give the kitchen (and bathrooms) a thorough cleaning

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never moved into a house or apartment that had a spotless kitchen.

I always start with a good deep cleaning of the stove, fridge and all of the cabinets before we unpack our boxes. It’s way easier to clean empty cabinets and an empty fridge than it is with stuff all inside. 

I also do the same with the bathrooms. I clean the cabinets, sink and shower, hang a fresh, new shower curtain and install a new toilet seat. Don’t forget to pack your towels in a clearly marked box so that you can get to them as soon as you move in. Trust me when I say that you’ll really want a clean towel after you shower when you’ve had a long day of moving in.

white galley kitchen with subway tile backsplash and granite countertops

Renting (or buying) new furniture

Whether you are in your new house for the long haul, renting or in temporary housing, don’t make major changes in your rooms until you’ve lived in them awhile. That means buying new furniture (have you seen the prices of new sofas?)

You don’t need a house full of furniture when you move in but it is nice to be able to sit at a table to eat dinner or relax on a sofa after a long day of packing.

How about just renting furniture until you decide how you want to use a room? Yes, it’s a thing and it makes setting up your new home so easy.

CORT has everything from beds, bedroom furniture and bedding, to dining rooms and living room furniture. They even have decor pieces and beautiful rugs.

All you have to do is go online, or visit a showroom, pick out the pieces you want, and they will deliver them to your home.

Talk about making a big move easier! 

Make over just one room 

With every move we’ve made over the years, one thing that is always a given is it that I feel overwhelmed with all there is to do.

We’ve always done all of our own work so it takes a while to get our house the way we want (sometimes years).

Knowing that this is a marathon and not a sprint, picking one room in your new house and giving it a quick makeover can make the transition easier.

I usually pick one that needs just a few cosmetic changes and try to get it all set up before we move in (I know that sometimes that’s just not possible).

In our current house it was the master bedroom. We cleaned the room (that always helps), put up new window coverings, painted the walls and installed a ceiling fan. We also made sure to empty all of the moving boxes in the space. Of course there’s more that I want to do with this room…eventually.

These little changes made a huge difference and every time we went to bed at night we felt at home, and less overwhelmed. 

small master bedroom bed with white bedding

Just remember that it will take time to get your home where you really want it. Try to relax and enjoy your new space. 

I’m not sure if we have any other moves in our future but I do know that it’s a huge life change and being just a little bit prepared makes the change easier to deal with.

So…what are your must-do tips  for moving in and making a new house feel like home?

living room sofa and rug in a CORT showroom


  1. Afton Jackson says:

    My sister is finally moving into the new house property she bought a few weeks ago and we want to help her start a new life in the new space she has. It really helped when you suggested picking one room and completely remodeling it when you move in because my sister never really cared for a living room type space in her smaller previous house and now’s the best time to work on one now that she has a bigger space to work with. Once we find a good furniture moving service that can help our sister move, I’ll be sure to tell her about your article so she has some good redesigning ideas for her new place. Thank you!

  2. Hey Kristi, what you have shared is truly incredible and I know how much effort you have invested in sharing this informative piece. I liked your opinion of making a list with all the names and phone numbers of the new utilities. I will definitely do this when I am planning to shift to a new city in the future.

  3. Having just moved recently, you have some amazing ideas for creating a new home so much easier.
    Thanks for your tips and tricks. great list of ideas for any one moving soon. It makes all the difference to be organized and clean.

    1. Thanks so much, Meegan! I’ve learned more than a few hard lessons during some of our moves so I’m happy to pass on our wisdom. 🙂 Congrats on your new place!

  4. Hope you get this one. I have moved many times, I am getting pretty organied now but I really could have used these tips when moved early part of the year to my new home. I needed something to use as a check list! Well done.

    1. Thanks Maria! I appreciate you coming back to comment! 🙂

  5. Love these tips, Kristi! I’ve pinned for future use and for my followers! 😉 Haven this year?

    1. Thanks so much Julie, I appreciate it! I’m sitting this year out. Hope you have a great time!

  6. Deborah Halcomb says:

    Great tips Kristi, I have moved a lot in my adult life. I do pretty much what you do except I clean the bathroom before anything else. Never thought of changing the toilet seat though. This last move the toilets were so nasty I replaced the whole toilet. One thing I learned was to pack my car with Essentials (toilet paper, clean sheets and a shower curtain liner} when moving a distance. Moving trucks break down and have other delays. We arrived at one home at night in the pouring rain with the truck an hour behind us. We were so hot, sweaty and exhausted that all we wanted was a cool shower and clean bed. Everything was packed and hard to find. To exhausted to care we took a shower and fell into bed with one flat sheet thrown across. That is when I learned to bring essentials in the car. Debbie

    1. Great tips, Debbie! Thanks so much for sharing. We do the same with essentials, after learning the hard way. Nothing like wanting to take a shower and you don’t have towels or a shower curtain. That’s a lesson you never forget. 😉

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