What are the necessary steps to make a house a “home” after you’ve moved in? Is there such a thing as settling in too quickly? What role should your children have in the process?
Anyone who’s ever moved into a new home knows it can be an exciting but daunting experience, especially if children are involved. A bit of professional guidance can go a long way toward making the right decisions during this transitional period.
Boston-area realtor, former educator, children’s book author, and parent, Julie Etter has some valuable advice for families to navigate through the process of settling into their new home.
The house hunting is done, the boxes are all in, and you are in your new home! All is perfect, right? It will be, but may not be just yet! In reality, the next chapter has just begun, and you want to write it carefully. Settling into your new house can be an exciting experience, but don’t overlook the necessary steps to make it “HOME.” Here are a few quick steps to making that house a home to ensure everyone is on board with setting up the space to best accommodate your family.
- Let the children have a say in some décor—perhaps it’s a paint color for their room, or input on the wall where the couch will be positioned. Your children’s involvement will add a delightful personal touch. It’s now HOME.
- Offer some consistency. Yes, it’s a new house and fresh start, but did you have a staple painting in the last eating area? Was the snack cabinet set up a certain way? You will find there are natural things you do for your set-up (e.g., glasses go in the cabinet above the dishwasher), but don’t overlook the chance to create consistency in areas that are seemingly insignificant to you because they offer familiarity to the children.
- Be efficient and get settled as soon as possible. This is easier said than done. You are exhausted from the move. Oh, and you still have jobs and a family to take care of. However, the sooner the house is settled (you know, the “main” stuff . . . your box of high school trophies that has followed you for years can stay unpacked), the sooner the kids will acclimate. Children are resilient; the sooner they can depend on stability in their surroundings, the sooner they can get comfortable.
- Have a party! Big or small. Celebrate the new home. Regardless of why you moved and if this home is bigger, smaller, better or worse, it’s yours! Celebrate new beginnings. Also, make a specific point of paying attention to the things your kids point out to guests—you will find they will be very open while giving a tour. Take note of the positives you can further accentuate or the “negatives” you could improve based on their perception.
Finally, and most importantly, give yourself a pat on the back. You are on the other end of the move and despite the late nights, details, and boxes, you are in. Your kids know how hard you worked; time to enjoy with them . . . after you give yourself another cup of coffee!!
Julie Etter is a professional, national award-winning realtor and former middle-school teacher based in Wrentham, MA. She is the author of Lily and Andrew Are Moving For more information, visit www.treehousebuddies.com