Here are five ways to feel more settled, sooner. Whether you scored a new job across the country or finally found a place in that neighborhood you’ve been eyeing, moving is equal parts exciting and overwhelming. Making your new house feel like a home is a gradual process, but it’s worth the effort.
1. First Things First: Insure Yourself
Paperwork is part of moving and when it’s your own place, there’s even more of it. Whether you’ve got a lease or mortgage, one thing is for sure: you have new obligations. Planning for unforeseen circumstances is part of being an adult, so you’ll want insurance.
First up: Make sure you get a homeowners or renters insurance policy. Next up, you’ll want life insurance, which can help provide financial security for your loved ones and give you the comfort of knowing they’ll be taken care of if something happens to you. “Nothing can replace you and the role you play in a relationship, but protecting your loved ones with life insurance can help ease that loss,” says David Quinn, Assistant Vice President of Marketing at State Farm. State Farm has more than 19,000 agents across the country that work closely with customers to ensure their unique insurance needs are met. The best place to start is with a conversation, he says. “You have needs, you have risks — we might have the solutions to help mitigate that.”
2. Upgrade Your Furniture
One of the joys of getting your own place is being able to enjoy nice things that you’re not sharing with a rotating cast of roommates. Well-made furniture lasts a lifetime if you take care of it. Some pieces can even appreciate in value over time if you go the designer route.
Of course, the real benefit of investing in furniture comes from the enjoyment of using it every day––whether it’s a comfortable sofa to sink into after a long day or a hardwood dinner table to start making memories around. If you’re on a budget, check out your local consignment or antique store — you’ll find unique, time-tested pieces that you won’t see at your friends’ places, who all seem to own the same couch from a certain Swedish retailer.
3. Invest in What’s on Your Walls
If you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes, you can tell even more about them by what’s on the walls of their home. This is the place to really make a space your own.
Whether it’s a bookshelf filled with your favorite reads and tchotchkes, or framed art and photographs––it’s worth taking the time to consider these objects carefully. A piece of art can change the mood of a room. Personal photographs that are professionally printed and framed can take on a new life, while also bringing your loved ones into your new space.
4. Bring Some Life In. Literally.
You don’t need master gardening skills to care for a few houseplants. Plants are a quick and easy way to brighten any space. While their reputation as air purifiers is up for debate, research shows houseplants are mood boosters. There’s even evidence that the act of taking care of a plant can reduce stress levels. Start out with low maintenance succulents and work your way up to a kitchen window herb garden.
5. Optimize your Space, Optimize Your Life
Whether you’re in a Manhattan studio or a sprawling country estate, organizing your space pays off. Clutter can increase stress and anxiety while lowering productivity, according to a 2016 DePaul University study. Moving into a new space is an opportunity to create good habits for reducing clutter.
Dedicate some time to creating a storage system you can stick to. If you’re having trouble finding room for all of your stuff, it might be due for an audit. One study found that participants actually enjoyed the act of giving their items away after they experienced the benefits of reduced clutter. With more room in your new place, you can dedicate some footage to self-improvement, whether it’s a home gym or a worktable.