There are so many different emotions that go into moving into a new house. You may feel incredibly excited, and look forward to a new change and a fresh start. You may feel this alongside worries that you’ll be homesick for you old home. And both of these things will likely be felt along with a good old helping of apprehension. Will the moving van turn up? Will the old tenants have left our new place in good condition? Will everything go okay!?

Of course, you’ll also know that these feelings are totally normal. But that doesn’t make experiencing them any easier. However, one thing that you needn’t worry about at all is whether or not you’ll be able to make your new house feel like a home.

When you first move in, the house is more like an empty shell, a blank canvas if you will. Aside from any particularly brilliant architecture and layout? It is unlikely to have much of your personality inside it whatsoever. However, there are a number of steps you can take that will make all the difference.

In this article, we’ll take a look at what these steps are. We’ll also put them in a manageable order, as well as looking at how you can make each run smoothly. Read on to find out how to manage your first week in a new house, and how you can make it feel like a home.

If your new home was sourced at Bridgfords, or another professional and reputable estate agents, keep in touch before you move in. Your estate agent should be on your side, and willing to help you out in any way that you can. Here is a great example of getting in with the estate agent can massively help you out. Let’s say there is a period of time between the last tenants moving out and your move in date. This could be for a rental property or a property you’re buying. It could be that it is a brand new home, and is empty in the days and weeks before you move in. If this is the case, speak to your estate agent about whether or not you can get in early to start decorating. This doesn’t have to be anything complex. It could simply be a case of re-painting the hallway white, instead of its current shade of fuschia, for example. Or, if you’re hiring a professional painter, ask whether or not they can get started before you move in. Of course, tasks like painting are so much more manageable if you aren’t surrounded by boxes and furniture. An ideal time to get a task like this done is while the house is still empty. There is no harm in asking, after all!

Another task you should do before you move is to pack your boxes based on rooms. Not the rooms they are currently in, but the rooms they will be going into. For some, like the kitchen, this will match up. But it could be that you are moving from a home with one living area to two. If so, you may have to split some of your items, like artwork and framed photographs. Save yourself a big job once you’ve moved in by organising these items before the move happens. On arrival day, be sure you’ve written clearly on each box which room it should be placed in. Once you arrive, show your removal men and women around the house. This allows them to see where each room is, and correlate it to the words on your boxes. This ensures a quick and simple transition of boxes from the van or truck into the home.

When it comes to moving your items into the house, this will likely be done in the order that your removal men want. However, think in advance about protecting the floors and carpets. Many people walking in and out from the street could damage your carpets in the first floors. One option is to take some plastic sheeting with you, and put it down as soon you as you arrive. Alternatively, pack your rugs and mats at the back of the removal van. That way, they will be the first item to go into the house, and can be put down straight away.

It could be that at this stage, you have hired an unpacking team to the do the next bit for you. However, if you’d prefer to do it yourself, or even enjoy this stage? Once the removal van and team have left, it will be just you, your family and your new home! Once the door closes behind you and you’re surrounded by boxes piled high, it can feel very undaunting. The first thing to do is… take a breath! Make yourself a drink with whatever kettle or bottle of wine you can find! Then go about the next task calmly and with careful consideration. There is no point rushing the unpacking stage. Items may get broken, and you might even end up putting things in the wrong room or place.

What you need to do to make the unpacking bearable is to go room by room. If you try to unpack little bits in each room, and flit between rooms? You will feel like no single room ever gets done, and it all goes on forever. Instead, unpack (or get the pros to unpack) room by room.

Before you moved, hopefully, you made a ‘First Items’ box. This is also sometimes called an ‘Essentials Box’. This is a big box that you can easily lay your hands on as soon as you move in. Inside it should be the items you are going to want within the first few minutes of moving in. So, for the bathroom, pack some toilet roll, some soap and a towel. For the kitchen, pack the kettle, a couple of mugs, a couple of glasses and some juice and milk.

Once you’ve unpacked the items from that box, you can get started on specific rooms. The order in which most people will tackle these rooms may vary. But the first three rooms you should unpack are the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. The bedroom because the day will run away with you and it will be time for bed before you know it. The bathroom because unpacking can be a demanding job on the body, and you’ll crave a shower soon enough. You might even want to treat yourself to your first bath in the new home. And the kitchen because you’ll need a top-up of tea (or wine!) before you know it. On your first morning in the new house, it will also be really nice to have a kitchen prepared for you to make yourself breakfast.

Once these three rooms have been tackled, move onto the living room. Of course, this is not a necessary room in the house and more one for socialising and relaxing. However, moving house can be a stressful time. It is demanding on the body, mind and emotions. Surely, then, there has never been a more important time to have a space dedicated to relaxing. When you need a break, you’ll be glad to have your sofas out to flop down on. You don’t have to do all of the finishing touches at this stage, mind. Just put any floor coverings, sofas and chairs and your TV out. A coffee table will be handy for any meals you want to eat here, or tools you need to put down while you take a quick nap.

At this stage, a huge proportion of the hard work is done! You can now slow the pace a little, and move onto the rooms that may not need to be used urgently. This might include other bedrooms, like a guest room, and any other bathrooms. You can set up things like your study and garage at this stage too. Do your hallway and garden last. It is likely the hallway will be filled with boxes both full and empty right up until this point anyway.

Once the bulk of the unpacking is done, the house will begin to feel like your own. Your own items or furniture and furnishings will begin that task. At this stage, now that the massive job of unpacking is over, you can slow the pace right down. Take your time to start putting on display your items and belongings that reflect your personality. So, this is things like your artwork, your cushions, your books. Make photograph wall and put out your favourite scented candles and homely lampshades. In adding these finishing touches, the house will slowly transform into your home. Once you’re all done, take a night off! You’ve deserved it. Enjoy dinner in your new dining room, or read a paperback in your new sitting room. Take some time to enjoy your surroundings and new home. Don’t panic if it doesn’t feel quite right, or quite like ‘yours’ straight away. It will do in time- that is a promise.

Once that’s done? It’s time to arrange a housewarming party of course!