Making Our New House Feel Like Home

Moving into a new (to us) house is so exciting, because you have a blank canvas to make it your own. Living among towers of boxes while you figure out where to put all the junk you brought with you, on the other hand, can be more dreadful than exciting. We saw, and rented, our new home via pictures before we ever stepped foot inside. It was in the location we wanted, fit our budget, and looked perfect in every way. But still, “seeing” it before we could actually see it was hard to comprehend.

Luckily, it ended up working for the best, and we love it. It’s strange having a new home to decorate when all of the photos, furniture, and decor had their very own, practically personalized spot, back at our old house. The layout of this house is completely opposite of our last house, which brought its own set of challenges, but we’re finding ways around them.

Making this new-to-us house feel like home was/is something I’m anxious to make happen, and I know with a few steps we’ll get there. I wish we could just snap our fingers and have everything where it needs to be, but unless I find a genie in a bottle in the next box I open, I don’t think that’s going to happen. Until then, these are the ways I try to transform and make a house feel like home.

Making a New House Feel Like Home

Start With ONE Room
The rest of the house may have boxes piled everywhere, and you might be completely overwhelmed at where to begin, but take a deep breath; tackle one room first, and go from there. For us, that room is the kitchen, because I start to go batty if the kitchen is in disarray. For you, it may be the bathroom, living room, or your room. Whichever it is: pick a room, and complete it before moving on to another space. The caveat to this is that you can partially set up rooms that you need (i.e. get a bed made up for the kids and yourself, and put some toilet paper, towels, and a shower curtain in the bathroom), but for that one room that you unbox, do it all the way before moving on.

Pictures, Pictures, On The Wall
Nothing screams NEW HOUSE than blank walls. Even if you end up moving them around as time goes by, put some photos up on the wall sooner rather than later. Your eyes (and soul) will thank you.

Making your house into a homeDecorate The Outside
I don’t know about you, but I love having a little bit of our personality shine even before you open the front door. Stepping on a personalized doormat does the trick, and makes me smile every time I come home. A doormat practically says, “Hi, we live here and care enough about our new place, that we want to say hello before you even knock on the door.” Okay, it doesn’t say all of that, but what a difference a fun doormat can make when you have your own place.

We actually created our new doormat from Flagology in just a few clicks, and it makes me happy because it has my love for burlap (there are more than a dozen background options) and a phrase my husband and I say often right there on it. Oh, and we love turquoise, so I’m happy I could make it whatever color I wanted. It also arrived lickety-split, which is a good thing since the movers forgot to pack our old ones—hope the new tenants love our old doormat!

Want your own personalized doormat from Flagology? You’re in luck! Keep reading for your chance to win one. And, the lovely Flagology folks are giving all Jessica Lynn Writes readers a super sweet deal: use this special code JLW20 for a whopping 20% off flags and doormats (Create4me and accessories are not included).

Hang Those Curtains
Truth be told, curtains are usually the last thing people put up…or at least the last thing we put up, because there are so many other obstacles to tackle first. But if you want your new house to feel like home, get those curtains up ASAP! The house we moved into left their curtains, and wow, what a difference. Despite the fact that we haven’t unpacked our room, it already feels more cozy and put together, and I truly think it’s because of the curtains hanging up.

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 3.27.15 PMFreshen up with Flowers
Nothing says, “Welcome home,” like a fresh bouquet of flowers inside your home. Not only are they pretty to look at, but they’ll help bring life into a new place. When you’re out picking up your first load of groceries, make sure to pick up a bunch. (Can’t find a vase yet? Stick them in a regular ol’ drinking glass. As long as they fit and have water, flowers aren’t too picky.)

And last, but not least…relax.
You may have chaos around you, but pick one night and just relax. Light some candles and take a much-needed bath, chill out on the couch with some Netflix and takeout food, or lounge outside. Just enjoy your new space in whatever capacity that is—the unpacking can wait a night while you recharge and get ready for the next round of digging through boxes.

Want to win your own flag or doormat from Flagology? Here’s your chance!

giveaway with Flagology and Jessica Lynn Writes

What are your secrets to making your new house feel like home?

*This post was sponsored by Flagology. All thoughts, opinions, and ideas were my own.





  1. Great tips! I agree with unpacking one room at a time! I also start with the kitchen, because I have the most things for this particular space. The rest is downhill after completing it. I also have one canvas photo and plaque I hang before it feels like home to me, as well as having everything organized.

  2. We’re currently renting a small one bedroom apartment as our condo is being built. I currently struggle with making it feel like home. These are great tips to use in a situation similar to mine as well.

    Love the front door and mat!

  3. I love that welcome mat. It is such a cute way to welcome everyone to your home! Congrats on the new house!

  4. You’re SO right about pictures! That was the last thing we did after moving in, and I feel bad about that. It’s amazing the difference it makes. Also love your idea about starting with one room.

  5. I always get my bathroom done first. It’s the smallest and easiest room to finish, plus as a Crohnie, my bathroom needs to be a sanctuary.

  6. I always get the kids’ room unpacked first. They have the least amount of stuff and it’s the easiest to organize. Then I usually get the bathroom done next. I save the kitchen for last because it always gives me the biggest headache. I can never decided how to arrange everything.

  7. I think the idea of “Even if you end up moving them around as time goes by” applies not just to photos but to furniture and everything. I actually love the fact that a house I’ve lived in for the last three years, has had many iterations, each fitting our life at the time better, and each feeling even more like home. When I first unpack, lots of stuff gets put away without a huge amount of thought, and as time goes on things get moved to better and better places. Unfortunately, it means the house always feels the most put together about 6 months before our next PCS! But that’s the beauty of military life: you can put together the perfect house again and again.

  8. We just barely moved to Texas, and have had to make our new house feel like a home, too. We definitely start with the kitchen/living area. We just have to hang things on the walls in Rhys’s room and get rid of miscellaneous boxes in our bedroom and we are all done!

  9. I must admit having moved home several times within 5 years unpacking boxes is not fun, it takes my breath away lol

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