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Posted in How-to, Moving Tips&Tricks on November 4, 2021
Gemma Collins

Gemma is an NJ local that has explored all the US states, making her the perfect person to write about moving.

How to Make an Apartment Feel Like Home With These 7 Simple Ideas

When we move into another residence, the initial feeling of being a guest is always the most uncomfortable phase. While it may be impossible to avoid, it can be shortened, and all with tips on how to make an apartment feel like a home. The trick is to follow them as soon as you move in, so take a look at some ways you could adjust and live comfortably.

How to Make an Apartment Feel Like Home In a Few Simple Ways

How can I make my home feel like home? This question pops up in everyone’s mind after finding valid reasons to move and even more often after they’ve moved and started unpacking. That initial feeling of living as a house guest can cause mild (and even high) discomfort, so learning what it takes to create a homier environment is crucial.

Finding out what you need to rent a flat is not the same as turning it into a livable space. Even if you sign a six-month lease, that’s not an excuse to live in a bland, empty-walled flat; each day you spend there, you’ll have to learn how to love it more and more. That won’t be possible without adjusting it to your preferences and needs.

No one wants to feel as if they’re living in a hotel while sleeping at their residence. It’s normal to expect time to pass and for you to move out potentially, but this is where you are for now.

a bland, small apartment full of white furniture, without decorations
Leaving the flat to look the same as you've found it could seem as if you're living in a hotel.

#1 Clean it Before Moving In and Establish a Cleaning Schedule

Even before you unpack everything you’ve brought, it’s essential to do some move-in cleaning. There’s undoubtedly a lot of dust and dander in the air and on surfaces, so giving them a sweep will be good for health, too. Wipe down the wardrobe before hanging your clothes to keep them from wrinkling, and definitely clean the bathtub and toilet before using them.

After the initial cleaning, add a reminder for every next time you plan to do it again. It can be on the weekends or a specific day, but it’s important to get back to your routine of cleaning and tidying up, so the flat slowly becomes a homey environment for you.

a woman off-screen cleaning a stovetop
Keeping the residence clean will, in time, become a routine, and routines mean familiarity.

#2 Paint an Accent Wall or Hang up Your Favorite Artwork

If your new landlord allows you to paint walls in the flat, or you relocate for love and need to consult with your significant other about making changes, why not consider painting a wall in an accent color? It’s not just trendy, but it can give a space some impact.

The same goes for wall art and artwork. If you packed or bought some pictures for decoration, forget painting walls – decorate them with your beautiful art. Nothing’s sadder than an empty wall, so adding something to at least one will give the entire room a different ambient.

When you decide where to live, you can surely imagine how the space would look when you move in and start making changes, but sometimes ideas that are theory don’t work out so well in reality. The person in the video below talks about how accent walls work in bedrooms and gives other tips for interior decorating.

YouTube video

#3 Buy Neutral-Colored Furniture

Buying neutral-colored furniture may seem dull and uninspired. We hear you. If your old place had some whacky, bright chairs and you want to use long-distance moving services to transport them to the new flat, that’s alright. However, the point of neutral, chunky furniture is to have the space look bigger and cozier.

Bright colors are good only in small quantities in a room. Your chairs can still come along if they’re paired with more neutral elements to tone them down. Otherwise, the entire space, especially if it’s small, could seem crowded and kind of loud. That’s not exactly homey or the outcome we wish when moving to a new space, is it?

So, to answer how do I make my apartment cozy, buy large neutral-colored pieces, such as the couch and dining table, if you don’t have to move furniture from the old place.

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If You Bring Your Furniture, Get Accents In Different Colors

If you do have your couch, dining table, and other chunky furniture waiting to be hauled by long-distance movers, that’s pretty cool. You’ll save money on buying new things, and be more prepared to move to a big city.

Most people buy black, gray, or beige couches, a timeless and classic choice. If you find it boring and want to switch things up, find an accent color you enjoy. Let’s say you like blue and have a gray couch. Introducing different shades of blue around the room will give the space a domestic vibe. You’ll also get the confidence of a style icon after learning how effective this method is.

We want to emphasize that items in intense accent colors look a bit gimmicky. You can get away with one flashy thing per room. More than that could just have your place looking like a setup. If you want to get rid of any dazzling items, try using storage units from your long-distance moving company before figuring out what to do with them.

Let the Sunshine In the Room With Sheer or Semi-Sheer Curtains

The entire point of having neutral-colored furniture is to let a lot of light inside the room. Having natural sunlight in small apartments is bound to create a feeling of width and comfort. That’s why some sheer or semi-sheer curtains should be on your new flat checklist.

White or off-white window coverings will be enough to keep the peeping neighbors out of your business but still allow enough sunlight to pass through and illuminate the place. There’s something about a room that feels cozy and comfy when it’s hit by rays of sunshine.

Curtains are also a great way to introduce clever clutter into a space since the walls won’t seem empty. If you still don’t have any art to put up, window coverings are a nice step in the right direction for decorating an apartment.

a gray couch with blue and white accents, lights and curtains on the windows, and a small coffee table in a living room
Neutral-colored furniture works well with bright accents, and the room is brighter with sheer curtains on the windows

#4 Stock up the Kitchen and Bathroom

An empty, bleak, towelless bathroom isn’t even a thing in hotels, so why should it be in your new place? Learning how to make an apartment homey can come from many creative storage ideas, but it can also be as simple as stocking up the two most important rooms – the kitchen and the bathroom.

Unpacking your favorite hygiene products, towels, and all the electronics that go in there (the trimmer, hairdryer, curling iron, whatever you have) will help waking up after the first night feel as if you’ve been there for a while.

Don’t skip unpacking the kitchen, either. The moment you’re out of the bathroom, you’ll drag your non-morning self to the coffeemaker and brew a nice pot of java. That’s unless you didn’t unpack the machine yet. Nothing will feel more alien than not having that bittersweet nectar first thing in the morning.

If you live with small children or babies, take time to babyproof everything, especially the kitchen and bathroom, which are riddled with hazardous areas and items. When the kiddos feel free to roam around, it’ll be a home for sure.

When the Kitchen’s Full, Throw a Move-In Dinner Party

If you’re moving alone and don’t need to babyproof every inch of the place, that’ll leave more time to learn how to live on your own. If making coffee and breakfast as soon as you wake up is a routine, don’t break it. Write down everything you usually do and remind yourself to follow that schedule. Act normal, as they say.

You can also settle in by attempting to meet friends in a new city. That could entail throwing a move-in dinner party for the neighbors and colleagues at the new job. It will fast-forward your chances of fitting in and give you more ways to get acquainted with the space; cooking in the new kitchen is a great way to start loving it more.

a modern black kitchen with red accents, like dishes, cooking items, and cutlery
A kitchen feels homier when all the small appliances and dishes are arranged in the way you enjoy them.

#5 Add Memorabilia and Personal Items Everywhere

A small but very effective solution on how to make your apartment feel like home is to put up your family portraits, pictures with friends, or any other big or small thing that helps you stay positive by simply being around. These memories are great ways to personalize the area and remind you that a house becomes a home when it’s filled with happy memories.

Play Your Favorite Music for A Feeling of Snugness

Everything might be cozier if you move to a small town. Places like that give away a certain feeling of snugness and comfort that big cities don’t always tend to provide. If you came from a small town to a big city, it’d be perfectly normal to get lost among the crowds of people and views of skyscrapers. So, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, put on your favorite song, no matter where you are.

Since you’re looking for ways to make a flat livable and domestic, your favorite music could put you in a good mood while you’re trying to get used to its every wall, nook, and cranny. Soon, your brain will associate the living area with your favorite tunes and each day spent there will be more and more relaxing.

Organizing Important Documents Will Be a Shortcut to Settling In

Did you know that packing services provided by cross-country movers typically don’t entail packing important documents? A professional cross-country moving company wouldn’t handle your paperwork or load it into the moving truck. This is something you have to do.

That’s why it would be wise to organize important documents as soon as you move in. Having such vital parts of your life sorted and organized could encourage you to work on other tasks around the flat, too. Not only that but having a designated place for essential documents will help you in settling in and feeling as if things are coming together fast.

a shelf with a bunch of decor and file organizers
Dedicating a particular storage area to your essential documents will provide a feeling of groundedness and calm.

#6 Unpack Your Books and Buy a Houseplant or Two

Some people don’t realize that planning a move to another city means having to leave things behind. Houseplants are one example. Typically, they have to be taken care of throughout the cross-country journey, so many movers recommend leaving them. If you have a few small ones that can handle the trouble of traveling, bring them. That way, when you move from a house to an apartment, putting a small plant on the table will be the first step to comfort.

Books are a special story, though. You know when you start looking for decor inspiration online, and most of the time, a book wall pops up as an idea? That’s because it is a great idea. A full book shelf will show anyone who visits that you’ve settled in. Arrange them however you prefer; if you didn’t have a system before, find one now – have fun with your literary collection. The arranging process will help ease the anxiety, too.

a white, semi-full bookshelf next to a dining table with a plant on
Arrange your books on the shelves and add an accent plant to give the area a homey vibe.

#7 Spend as Much Time Possible at Your Humble Abode

Instead of taking advantage of car shipping services from long-distance movers near me and driving around town, why not try to stay inside as one of the things to do after moving? This isn’t just advice for anyone moving during coronavirus, but also for making an apartment a home today a little more than it was yesterday.

Think of it as wearing freshly bought boots. They feel tight on the feet at first, but the more you wear them, the better they fit. It’s similar to your residence. It’s impossible to settle in and get cozy if you’re not living in it and taking in every detail.

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