The second you move into a new house with boxes scattered everywhere and completely bare white walls, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the thought of "how can I actually make this place feel like mine?" Add pets, kids, or significant others to the mix, and getting settled feels even more essential.
To get the expert scoop on boosting the homey vibes, we looked to Tuft & Needle to identify all the cozy pieces to make it happen — and asked Caroline Slason, associate interior designer at Megan Hopp Design, for some hacks.
Her first tip: "Whenever I've moved, my house becomes a home as soon as I hang pieces of art, framed photos or styled shelves on my walls," she says. "Not only does this start to tie together the design of a space, but it's a quick and easy (yet super high impact) way to let your personality shine through."
Grab a magnet and tack a photo to the fridge — or create the focal point in your bedroom with a framed picture — and you'll have instant decor that feels just like you. Keep scrolling for more expert tips on how to make your new house feel like a home, starting with the most essential spot (the bedroom, duh).
1. Set up a cozy bedroom
You may be thinking: Who in the world has the energy to make their bed after schlepping a bunch of boxes around? After a long day of unpacking and chaos, though, it makes a world of difference to step into a space that feels calm and comfy, Slason says: "Don't underestimate how much you'll appreciate having a soft rug, an organized nightstand and a fully made up bed at this time."
Get your bed feeling extra cozy for that post-move slumber with a Tuft & Needle Mint Mattress, which conveniently comes in a box so you can order pre-move and your packing is already done. The top layer is three inches of Tuft & Needle Adaptive® Foam, which provides that all-over "ahh" relief you want sliding into bed with all the stress-melting-but-still-supportive oomph.
Slason says texture is super important when it comes to creating a soothing space. Opt for natural linen sheets (which instantly elevate and hygge-ify your room) as well as a white-noise machine to make your bedroom a snooze-only zone. Finish the look by layering a comfy quilt on the bed, and adding a foam pillow (or two), to make it feel like you're sleeping on a cloud … with much better neck and back support. Bedroom? Complete and ready for some post-unpacking zzz's.
2. Don't sleep on the accents
Now it's time to bring on the — wait for it — accent pieces. "Accent pieces might not seem like a priority, but you'll be grateful if you're able to arrange some pillows and throw blankets right off the bat," Slason says. "Moving is, above all, exhausting, so if you can create a space to relax (and even nap!), it's the biggest gift you can give yourself as you navigate the process."
Snag a few knit throw blankets for lightweight-yet-snuggly accent pieces that will also yield solid zzz's during nap time. Round out your chill-out essentials with a Tuft & Needle Meditation Cushion, really leaning into the calming vibes.
3. Make clearing out your boxes fun
If you're moving with kids (or very impatient adults), make unboxing your belongings a race to see who can unpack the most the quickest. Whoever wins gets a prize — which you can make up based on the level of fatigue and grumpiness in the room.
The most important thing, says Slason, is clearing out the cardboard. "You don't need to be terribly concerned about how efficient you are storing everything just yet," she says. "Sometimes, and certainly in this case, done is better than perfect." (Our new moving motto.)
4. Create convo space
Of course you're not inviting anyone over the day you move in, but nosy (we mean, kind!) neighbors, family and friends just can't help themselves with new digs. "Whether it's a living room or a dining area, set up a space where you can comfortably have a few friends or family members over," Slason says. "You're always going to have people who are dying to see your new space, and even if you don't have everything set up just yet, hosting is a great way to turn your space into a home." Pizza on the floor? That's called making memories.
5. Light up your space
Getting the lighting just right can take your home from stuffy showroom vibes to homey and lived-here-for-years. "Setting up floor, table and overhead lighting is a functional task, but also one that'll make your space feel warmer and more lived-in," Slason adds. Now, with just a bit of effort, you can transform your new space into your full-blown home (featuring all the cozy essentials) on move-in day.
Ready to get settled? Find even more cozy finds from Tuft & Needle.