Whether you’re planning a one-time move to a new apartment in the near future, or you’re a peripatetic professional whose job requires relocating every 18 months or so, acclimating to a new place can take time. But there are measures you can take to shorten the adjustment period and start feeling at home in your new digs.
Some of us adapt to change more easily than others. Consider the adjustment process an opportunity to jump in and make your new apartment feel like home in short order.
Here are some tips to get you there:
Before you unpack anything, do a “cleanse”
Regardless of how clean your new place appears when you first arrive, do a once-over cleansing throughout to ensure it’s clean to your standards. Even if the apartment was immaculate when you arrived, doing your own cleanse will help make the space seem more familiar.
Now unpack everything
Few people enjoy unpacking after a move. However, no matter how tempted you are to unpack only the essentials at first and everything else whenever, motivate yourself to unpack everything right away.
Get those boxes off the floor and out to the dumpster before you have a chance to realize how exhausted you are. The longer they sit in your apartment, the longer it will take to acclimate to your new home.
The process of finding places for all your things can be very satisfying. You’re off to a fresh start instead of living in moving box chaos.
Get rid of anything the previous tenant left behind
Reminders of the previous tenant can inhibit acclimation to your new apartment. You’ll want to toss all items left behind by your predecessor but first, check with the landlord to see if anything belongs in the apartment. Once the landlord determines which items should stay, stash them away in a cabinet or closet where they will be out of sight, out of mind. Then toss out all the previous tenant’s jetsam. Clearing the space of unfamiliar clutter will bring you another step closer to feeling at home.
Buy something new that speaks to your aesthetic happy place
To make the space feel even more homey, splurge on a piece of furniture or art that resonates with you. Look for something uniquely you that will make you smile every time it catches your attention. The item you choose can be anything--surround sound speakers to enjoy ambient music wafting throughout the apartment, for example, or an antique vase that reminds you of grandma.
Change it up
Discard the existing shower curtain and replace it with a new one in a color or pattern that appeals to you. Accessorize the bathroom with bath salts, candles, a rug, and other items that appeal to you. Add favorite items to the kitchen like new sponges, detergents, hand towels, and kitchen rug. Stash away items furnished by the landlord such as canisters, dishes and the like and replace them with items of your own choosing.
Personalize the space
Incorporate familiar items that make you feel comfortable. Some people hang on to a favorite throw pillow or book collection. Framed photos of friends and family are perfect for personalizing an apartment and making it your own. Regardless of what familiar items best define you, adding them to the space is another way to make it feel like home.
Host a party and invite your closest friends and family members. Invite your book club to gather at your apartment on a rotating basis. Have your niece or nephew over to dye Easter eggs. Go old-school and host an occasional pot luck supper every few months. Give each a cuisine theme such as Japanese or Italian and have each guest bring a themed dish. If your apartment overlooks a park, have friends over to watch the fireworks from your balcony on the Fourth of July. Creating memories in a new apartment will fast-track the transition from stranger in a strange place to home sweet home in no time.
Adapting to your new digs won’t happen overnight. It’s a process that requires a bit of time and effort on your part. But try these tips and see if adapting you your new living space doesn’t go more smoothly and more quickly than you’d expected.
The secret is to create a space that makes you happy to be home.
RentVest Property Management offers customer-centric property management services to property owners in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Hawaii, Houston, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, Tucson, Reno, San Antonio, and Vancouver. To learn more about our full-service property management benefits, visit the RentVest Property management website.