Confession: I had no idea what my new home looked like until the day my family and I moved in. As I unloaded boxes into what would be my new room, I felt a fierce pang of disappointment rushing over me. While my childhood home was modest and quaint, our new home is smaller and older. So in addition to coping with the turmoil of relocation, I was also met with an unexpected influx of rust, dust, and outdated fixtures.
In the eight weeks since our move, we haven’t gotten around to making any major updates to the house but nonetheless, I have still managed to grow more comfortable in my new setting and truly feel at home.
With this being my first move, I didn’t know what to expect after the U-Haul pulled away but I’ve found that these steps have been essential to falling in love with my new home:
1) Unpack as soon as you can
In the weeks immediately following the move, I still found myself overcome with the anxiety and sadness that plagued me throughout the moving process. No matter how many days passed, I still felt like I was staying at a bad motel.
The abundance of boxes kept me in a high-stress moving mindset and sifting through them day after day was time consuming. A friend sensed my frustration and recommended that I unpack as soon as possible for the sake of convenience and comfort.
Now that my room is free of boxes, it finally feels like the space is mine.
2) Display your style
Decorating my space with candles, plants, and pictures quickly helped me feel at home after I unpacked. Whether you have a small or large budget for decorating, it makes a huge impact; infusing your space with decorative elements that reflect your personality and interests will surely incite feelings of comfort and make the house feel more like your own.
3) Explore your neighbourhood
To be honest, I spent the month following my move devising an escape plan. Will the family that moved into my old house mind if I slept on their couch for a while? Would it be feasible to stay in an Airbnb for the next year?
My scheming came to a halt when I took the time to explore my neighbourhood. While my area isn’t the most central, it’s much easier to get downtown from my new home than my old house in the suburbs. Furthermore, I’m steps away from the 501 Queen route, which takes me on a scenic tour around the city, through Roncesvalles, Parkdale, Queen West, and into the downtown core.
Once I took the time to get acquainted with my new stomping grounds, I discovered how much easier I could get to all of the places that I love and that convenience helped me fall in love with my neighbourhood.
4) Celebrate with friends and family
If you thrive under deadlines, try hosting a housewarming party. This will provide you with a distinct purpose for getting your new home ready and clear deadline to finish. While it’s a good idea to provide yourself with ample time to prepare your home post-move, a looming deadline will surely kill any possibilities of procrastination.
Being only two months past my move-in date, everything is still very new (even though the house is super old). But each day, I’m learning to love and accept what the house has to offer, feeling more at-ease and more at-home.
If you’re planning on buying a new home in Toronto or anywhere else, I hope these tips help you fall in love with it right away!