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How to Feel at Home After Moving to a New Apartment

Monday, May 22, 2023

Your current home feels like a well-loved, comfortable pair of shoes. It fits you perfectly. You have arranged it the way you like it, you can find your way around it with closed eyes, and it holds many fond memories. Your favorite coffee shop is around the corner, the park you often stroll through is within walking distance, and your friends are nearby.

But for one reason or another, you have decided to declutter and move to a new apartment now that you’re retired. Some people are excited and eager to explore new opportunities after retirement. Others are sad because they are leaving behind familiar surroundings. Most of us are both excited and sad. Don’t be surprised if you experience contradictory feelings about relocating, every move affects us emotionally.

This blog post will offer practical and actionable tips for making your new apartment feel like home. From unpacking boxes strategically and adding personal touches to exploring the local community and establishing routines, discover effective ways to settle in and feel comfortable in your new space.

A retired couple after moving to a new unfurnished apartment, happy to have a new home

1. Things to Do Before Moving to a New Apartment

Start preparing for the move well in advance. You already know the size and the layout of your new home. Decide what will fit into it and what to buy when moving into a new apartment. 

Your moving checklist will probably be quite long. Here are just a few important points: 

  • Sell, donate, or put into storage the things you won’t need or things that don’t fit into your new home.
  • Consider what type of moving company to hire. While DIY moves are the cheapest, hiring a professional mover will save you time and effort. 
  • Contact USPS to change your address
  • Set up the utilities such as gas, electricity, internet, and cable.
  • Start packing about two weeks before the move.
  • Clean your current place of residence.

2. What to Clean When Moving Into a New Apartment

Just like you cleaned your old home, the people who lived in the soon-to-be-yours apartment will have left the place nice and clean. Still, go over everything once again. By thoroughly cleaning your new home, you can start fresh and make it truly your own. Especially be sure to:

  • Sanitize the bathroom tub, shower, sink, and toilet.
  • Clean the bathroom exhaust fan.
  • Disinfect door handles and light switches.
  • Switch on the garbage disposal and flush it a few times.
  • Pull out shelves from kitchen cabinets and built-in wardrobes and wipe everything with a mild cleanser.
  • Wipe light fixtures and ceiling fans.
  • Clean the appliances installed in your new home, such as a stove.  
  • Deep-clean wall-to-wall carpets.

3. How to Unpack After Moving to a New Apartment

If you can clean your new home before your belongings arrive, clean first and then unpack. Place boxes into the corresponding rooms to make unpacking easier. Proceed to unpack what you need first.

After moving into a new apartment, focus on one room at a time instead of pottering all over the apartment. If you have plenty of time, start with the kitchen. However, the bathroom and bedroom become a priority if the evening is approaching. You will want to shower before crawling between the sheets.  

To make life easier, you may hire a full-service moving company. Or you may engage the services of a company that specializes in packing and unpacking. Just tell the workers where to put your belongings, they will do the rest. 

House plants, colorful cushions and a pet will make any room feel inviting or feel like a home

4. How to Make Your New Apartment a Home

Now that you have moved to a new apartment and have cleaned everything and arranged the furniture to your liking, it is time to start making your new place a home. Here’s how to go about it:

Copy your old house

While your new home will probably be smaller and differently proportioned than the old one, it is still possible to organize it similarly. For example, put your cutlery, plates, pots, and condiments in the same place you used to have them in the old kitchen.

Display artwork and photos

Surround yourself with familiar and loved things to make you feel at home. Besides the pleasure of looking at them, decorating the walls with artwork and photos gives your new home the stamp of your personality.

Go for soft and cozy

Cushions and cuddly blankets will make any space more comfortable and inviting. Take care to coordinate colors well. If you want to buy new soft furnishings, try picking one of the colors from a painting you hung on your wall.

Throw in some curves

A room with straight lines (rectangular coffee table, rectangular TV screen, rectangular shelves - you get the picture) can feel restrictive. Be sure to include curved elements, for example, a round lampshade, an oval side table, or a big cone-shaped decorative vase.

Add a plant or two

Bringing nature into a room is one of the best ways to make it more welcoming. There are many low-maintenance house plants, but if you cannot deal with them, get artificial plants.

Lighting matters

Bright overhead lighting, particularly fluorescent, is a mood killer. Rather have several light sources to keep the place pleasantly lit. Go for the relaxing warm shades of white or yellow lighting. Dimmers are also a good option for adjusting the strength of the light. 

Make it fragrant

Strange odors, even if not unpleasant, can spoil your mood and the enjoyment of your new home. Open all windows to air the place, then use natural air fresheners like essential oils or candles made from natural waxes. Simmering cinnamon sticks and cloves in a pot of water also works well.

5. After Moving Home, Meet Your Neighbors

After having settled in, get to know the neighbors. The simplest and most effective way is to introduce yourself. When you see someone, say hello and start a conversation. Let them know you are new to the area and looking forward to getting to know the place and the people.

You may also host a housewarming party and invite your neighbors over.

6. Explore Your Surroundings in a New Place 

Your new neighbors will probably be happy to point out where to find what in your new surroundings, from the best grocery store to the most relaxing walk. 

Drive and stroll around the neighborhood to get the feeling of it. You will get to know your surroundings better and feel more comfortable in them. 

7. Make New Friends

The chances are that you will meet a like-minded soul among your neighbors with whom you will be able to connect. Other ways to make new friends include getting involved in groups such as a gardening club, a book club, a sports team, or a volunteer organization. You may also attend local events like concerts and fairs or take classes in a community college or adult education center.

Don’t forget your old friends either. Keep in touch with phone calls, emails, or social media.

8. Establish New Routines

As the excitement of moving wears off, you may find you have too much time on your hands. Create a schedule that includes your favorite activities and structure your day into clearly defined segments. Remember to set 7 to 9 hours for sleep and at least half an hour for moderate exercise like walking. Then stick to your routine.

However, remain open to new experiences. Be flexible and ready to change plans if something interesting comes your way.     

A group of new neighbors over 50 bonding while jogging together on a sunny day

Have a Supreme Moving Experience With Shyft

While you focus on starting a new chapter of your life, you can enjoy peace of mind with Shyft organizing your relocation and helping you move to a new apartment.

Shyft is committed to providing customers with a better moving experience through technological innovation. With its network of vetted professional moving companies, Shyft can connect you digitally with the right mover that fits your needs and budget.

Whichever company handles your move, Shyft oversees the entire process from start to finish and acts as your advocate, ensuring your belongings arrive safely at their destination. You will be able to plan your budget because Shyft provides transparent pricing. There are no hidden fees or costs to surprise you in the end. 

AARP members can take advantage of Shyft’s seamless, simple, and efficient relocation experience on the platform created especially for them, called AARP® Moving Services powered by Shyft. On top of that, AARP members have an exclusive discount of up to $250 every time they move, no matter where and how many times they move. 

Call Shyft at 1-888-838-5981 or fill in a short form at AARP Moving Services powered by Shyft. While you are online, be sure to download the handy moving checklist

After you reach out to Shyft, a Shyft representative will ask you to download the Shyft Next app for your iPhone or Android device and schedule a video call with the Shyft representative

This video call replaces a house visit that allows prospective movers to survey your belongings. During the call, you will meet your dedicated Move Coach, the Shyft representative who will organize and oversee your whole move. 

Your Move Coach will note your entire moving inventory via the 30-minute video call. You will simply walk around your current house and point the camera on your device at the items you want to move to your new home. You can talk with your Move Coach about preferred services and approximate costs.

Half an hour after the video call, you’ll receive your inventory list, which is typically 95% accurate. Go through it carefully and make changes as you see fit. 

When you approve the inventory list, Shyft will calculate the weight and volume of your shipment and start sourcing moving quotes for you. The quotes are generated on Shyft’s secure bidding platform where verified, licensed, and experienced moving companies bid on moving projects. The companies that offer the best prices get a chance to handle your move.

Only the details pertinent to your shipment go to the bidding platform. Shyft does not share your personal information with anyone. 

Shyft will collect several quotes from different companies. When you select the one that suits you best, it becomes binding. The quoted price may change if you add or remove items or services or fail to book your move before the quote expires.

Your Move Coach will oversee the move door-to-door. Shyft is available to you 24/7 should you have any concerns or questions. 

Book your stress-free move with Shyft now and claim your exclusive discount of up to $250.

Get Free Moving Quotes