Tips on Furnishing Your New Home

A friend of mine bought a new house last month.  In the last few months, he has retired,  sold his home in North Carolina, and put his stuff in storage. He came down for a month and started looking at houses all around central Florida. He had done his homework and knew what he wanted. He took his time, saw lots of places, and found a great  one. He then started to make it HIS PERFECT HOME.   

Whether this is your first home or a late-in-life downsize, moving to a new house can easily seem like a chore, with hours upon hours of sorting, packing and labeling to be done. Days are spent searching for the right house to move to, not to mention the strain of trying to find a buyer if you own the one you’re leaving.  Sometimes a move is a choice for a new beginning, like my friend. Other times circumstances require a move, like a new job.  

To create your personal perfect home, you first have to make sure that the house you’re moving to is a perfect blank slate for your creation.  You should clear the new location of any mess or unwanted items as soon as you possibly can before you even move in. You might be moving in with a hodge-podge of random assorted furniture which you might have inherited, bought as a student, or even been given by family and friends.

The question is how do I manage a move into a new home and plan for an improved function and design in my new surroundings?

Make sure that whatever furniture you hope to bring in can fit. There’s nothing worse than purchasing a brand new sofa only to realize it fits poorly along a wall or improperly between corners. At the very least, moving companies can help you shift even strangely-shaped items, but you need to measure and make a drawing of the living area giving dimensions.

Sometimes we become accustomed to living in the midst of too much: furniture, clothes, piles or boxes of stuff we don’t really need, want, or use anymore. When the stress of life overwhelms you, you might not have the mental energy or time to properly organize your home and life. This causes emotional fatigue and background stress to become constant features of our lives.  A move is the perfect opportunity to turn the tables on this negative situation.

Moving Checklist

When moving to a new home, you’ll need to go through your belongings in any case. You’ll have to box them, label them, and drag them between locations.  So, stop that mental fatigue and stress from following you to your new residence. Why not just leave behind everything that doesn’t bring you a sense of joy, and which isn’t useful to you? Useful appliances, family heirlooms, your favorite sweater, and your book collection are all safe. Anything else should get a critical appraisal and can end up being given to a friend or relative, donated to a charity, recycled, or thrown away. When I was young, I had a cardboard box I covered with pretty pink flowered Contact paper. I stored important things in it. Fast forward to 5 years later, I had already moved that box once, and now I was moving again. I had done nothing with the “important” things in that box for 5 years. It was time to clean it out before I moved. See Best Tips For Moving Your Home for more information and tools.

  1. Set up your bathroom. Nothing says “new” like a curtainless shower, so hang one up ASAP. Then stock the bathroom with towels, a bath mat, hand soap, body wash, and toilet paper.
  2. Make your bed with your favorite linen and comforter. Have your necessities on the table beside the bed with your favorite photo.
  3. Set up lamps in each room to create the right mood.
  4. Help your child get settled.  Have the movers move furniture in to that bedroom first.  Personally move a box for each child that includes sheets for the bed and personal items that are important to them. They can help you pack those boxes. While you are working elsewhere, have him/her make their bed and start to set up their collection. Having their favorite dolls, legos, action figures, or collections around them will help them settle and be happy with the move.
  5. Keep your furry family happy. Put out their water/food, and set up their beds. If you have a dog, take them on a walk or to a nearby park so they can get to know your neighborhood too.
  6. Put on some music and fill your home with your favorite scent.  Have a pizza ready to stick in the oven or a pie ready to bake. Comforting smells and eating together will quickly make you feel at home even if you’re sitting on the floor.
  7. Add life to your home with live plants.
Design by Tyler Karu / Photo by Erin Little

When you first looked at this house as a possible home, you probably imagined what it would look like with new paint, your furniture and accessories. The first few months of living there is the perfect time to make that vision a reality. Decorate your home in the manner you imagined so that you love it. You must make your home your own if you want to feel comfortable in it and proud of it.

Decorate with a comforting color palette. Deliberately choosing a color scheme that promotes calm, happiness, and comfort can transform your new residence into a place you call your own.   In your choices for walls, drapes, and accessories, you set the stage for your life.  The way we ornament our homes says a lot to our unconscious minds about the kind of environment we’re in.  You know what makes you happy, warm, and secure. Eliminate the unwanted and add things that make it a haven for your  family and you. If you left a home filled with memories of years of love, bring the memories with you and comfort yourself with the cherished possessions collected through the years. When we’re surrounded by images that make us smile, and mementoes that remind us of good times spent with loved ones, we constantly remind our subconscious minds of happiness, and reaffirm the magic of life to ourselves on an ongoing basis.

Even if you become accustomed to your decorations and don’t spend much time thinking about them day-to-day, you’ll likely find that your mood, outlook, and sense of optimism and positivity in life improves dramatically just by being in the kind of setting that resonates with your interests and values. 

Design by Tyler Karu / Photo by Erin Little

If you need to buy furniture and are on a budget, buy necessities first. Ultimately, it’s the basic needs you have that are most important to account for first. For example, a bed frame is more important than a bed nightstand for now. Moreover, ensuring you have a simple table and set of chairs to eat from is more important than purchasing a lavish dining room table or decking out your breakfast bar. It’s okay if you temporarily opt for a different solution, like trays to use while eating on the couch, but plan out the priority of your purchase and make sure the foundation is covered first.

Consider adding vintage to your new home. I personally like to mix vintage with new in furniture and decorations. First, I don’t want to live in a cookie-cutter environment that looks like a thousand other homes. Second, I love real wood furniture. Unless you have wood working skills or a large budget, buying modern solid wood tables or dressers is often not feasible. I hate the outgassing of new furniture containing MDF. My asthma responds quickly, and my lungs close down. The chemicals released in the air are harmful to your health. (MDF, Medium Density Fiberboard, is an engineered material made by breaking down hardwood or softwood residuals into fine particles, combining it with wax and a resin binder and applying high temperature and pressure.)

Finally, I would suggest you not buy all new furniture at one time. Focus on one room at a time. Find a focal piece for the room, develop a color palette, and make it cozy.

Thank you for visiting, and I hope your day is wonderful!

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I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

8 thoughts to “Tips on Furnishing Your New Home”

    1. thanks Jeanie – I’m already in play with all the review and purging I’ve done. It’s very stressful but necessary. Have a great Saturday!

  1. When we bought our condo in Florida, it came furnished. I liked everything and it was all about 7 years old in a condo that was hardly used. The couple was from Canada and still working. They sold it bc they didn’t have time to use it enough. I really liked their taste and the only thing we purchased was a new bed and mattress and new sheets and comforter.

    1. It’s wonderful to find a 2nd home already furnished to your taste. That makes life so much easier. I remember several posts ago you had photos of the kitchen with your bright bowls. For me, a good mattress is essential. You were very lucky.

  2. Great tips on furnishing a new home! The emphasis on comfort and personal style is spot on, making the process seem much more enjoyable and personalized.

    1. Thanks for sharing Carol. I am not planning a move right now but I feel the NEED to downsize and I will be using some of your tips to do so. Thanks for sharing at #aclwcc. Pinned.

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