When you’re living in a new place and the world outside feels unfamiliar, the value of having a comforting haven to come home to is more important than ever.
Here are 5 tricks to help you feel the comforts of “home” even when you’re living in a new place.
These tips refer to your physical dwelling- for more on the psychological aspects of adjusting to a new location, see How to Feel at Home in your New Place.
- Reminders of home. Make sure to put up photos of your family and loved ones- this helps us feel connected even when we’re far away. If you’re preparing for a move, put a couple framed photos in your suitcase or air shipment so you can make your new dwelling feel like it’s yours from the start. Also, items that reflect your culture, the place you come from, and your favorite hobbies contribute to personalizing your home and helping you feel comfortable in your new space.
- Your favorite foods. One significant aspect of adjusting to a new place is getting used to the local cuisine and having access to different foods and ingredients than you’re used to. Try to stock your kitchen with your favorite items and cook a few of your favorite meals from home. Enjoying the tastes and smells of a favorite dish can be a wonderfully comforting way to recover from the stresses of navigating a new culture, language, and place.
- Prioritize comfort. Make sure your home is inviting and allows you to relax in the ways you like. That might mean a comfortable couch with a warm throw blanket, your favorite tea cups and mugs for tea and coffee, or a nicely set kitchen table. Little touches can make a big difference too. Andrea Puck, Feng Shui & Wellbeing consultant, offers “two tips that immediately lift up the energy of your space no matter how small or spacious your home is: a fresh bouquet of local flowers and candlelight for daily dinners. It always works.”
- Tidy up. Though it can take time for all the boxes to be unpacked and every picture to be hung, make sure you have a few areas that are free from clutter with boxes out of sight. A tidy space helps our minds to feel calmer and allows us to relax rather than be constantly reminded of all that you still have to do.
Once you’re settled in, it’s a good habit to regularly declutter so you can keep your space feeling good. I’m always motivated by the fact that decluttering now will make my job easier when it comes time for the next move!
- Make new memories. Nothing makes a house feel like a home more than filling it with people, laughter, and great memories. Continue (or create) family traditions like pizza night, playing games together, celebrating holidays, and consider getting a pet. Invite new friends over even if you don’t feel your house is perfectly set up yet- whether it’s having your kids’ friends for playdates, hosting your local mother’s group or book club, having a neighbor over for tea or new friends for dinner. Be bold and offer to host even when you’re the one who’s new in town… you’ll make friends faster and your new home will start to feel like a happier place.
What tips do you have to make your house feel like a comfortable and happy haven? Join the discussion on Facebook.
Shannon Jones, founder of Thriving Relocation, works with relocating partners around the world to build thriving lives in new places. Originally from California, she has relocated with her partner and family to four different countries over the past twelve years, and is currently thriving in London. She’s a certified life coach, relocation expert, and member of Families in Global Transition.