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New Home? How to Settle In Faster

Just rented or bought a new home? Congratulations! Now to settle in — oh, if only that were as easy as it sounds. Are you surrounded by boxes and anxious about when your new home will actually be livable? Take a deep breath and use this guide to work your way through unpacking quickly, settling in, and making your new house a home.

First Steps First: Kitchen and Bathrooms

What areas of your home do you spend the most amount of time in — besides the time spent sleeping in your bed? Easy answer: your kitchen and your bathrooms. Instead of ripping open boxes and shoving away belongings with empty promises of organizing later, start with a more cohesive plan.

  1. Evaluate your storage space and make a simple diagram of what you want to place where. Obviously, keep your most-used items easily at hand — or attractively displayed on countertops of open shelves.
  2. Take a hard look at what you don’t need. Often, your belongings will overflow the space you actually have to fill. Do you have items you’ve drug along on move after move that you really don’t need close at hand any longer? It may be time to say good bye, or to “save and store” instead of stumbling over them every day on your way to more important products.
  3. Organize by type. This is a great time for your inner organizing demon to come out. Take advantage of counters that may never again be empty and organize all of your kitchen and bathroom belongs before neatly filing away in drawers and cabinets.

Second Up: Closets

Closets are a great storage opportunity that are often abused as places to simply hide stuff away. Think about that for a second — what are you likely to hide in closets? Are those items you’d be better off storing away in a more permanent manner, purging, or giving away, or that you’re feeling just too hassled to feel like dealing with right now? If it’s the latter, there really is no time like the present. Use a spare bed or perhaps a couch and lay out all of those items you’d normally hide away in a closet and make careful decisions right now about where they actually need to go.

Now that that’s out of the way, you can organize your actual closet gear. How nice is it to open the closets in your home and not have to stumble past hidden “treasures” just to find the clothes, jackets, or linens you actually need? Now, whatever is left of your normal closet stash can either be placed in an appropriate closet or put away where it actually needs to go.

Last Up: Electronics

How many times have you been interrupted while trying to settle in to a new place by the lure of electronics? Between detangling wires, setting up stereos, catching up on shows, linking offices, and on, and on, and on, electronics can pose a major time suck in a new home. So, leave that until last. While you absolutely need access to many of these items, unpacking the rest of your home will go quicker if you simply make this the last step on your list.

There, now that you’ve taken a deep breath, written a plan, and sorted priorities, you’ll be able to settle in quicker and start loving your new home.

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