It’s exciting to move into a brand-new house, but it can take weeks, sometimes months, before it can feel like home. Your first weeks in your new home can be awkward, especially when most of your belongings are still in boxes. Sometimes that new house doesn’t exactly feel like home until you’ve lived in it for a year, and that’s normal. There’s a lot to get used to – a new layout, neighborhood, commute, and the list goes on. Here are our tips for how to make your new construction feel more like home in the first couple of weeks.

Where do you even start unpacking?

Everyone has their plans and priorities, so really, the decision is totally up to you. Usually, people start with the living room, but we recommend starting with the bedrooms. Good sleep is essential, and you want your bedroom to be the one place that’s relaxing and decluttered so you can unwind after a long day of unpacking. Start with building your bed and getting your comforters and pillows in place. Make your bed as cozy as how it was in your previous home. Then, move on to putting away your clothes in the closet. Trust us, you don’t want to be stressing Sunday night trying to find the right clothes to wear. If you can, leave boxes out of your bedroom, so you have a place to forget about all the unpacking.

After your bedroom is all squared away, start with other house areas that you would typically spend a lot of time in. The kitchen may take a while to organize since you’ll likely have many appliances, pots, and plates to find new homes for. But it’s a space worth tackling early on since you want to be able to have a space to make food and eat together. (Eating on the floor is fun only for so long.)

new construction feel like home

Cook a meal and eat together.

It’s tempting to eat out or order pizza on your first couple of days in your new construction home. But cooking a meal in your new kitchen is going to make your whole house smell delicious and fill it with smells you’re familiar with (while getting rid of the fresh paint and wood smell). You know what Rachel Ray says “Good food and a warm kitchen are what makes a house a home.”

dancing in new construction

Do all of your favorite things.

Moving into a new house is exhausting and stressful. Remember to take a break once in a while and do some of your favorite things. Whether that’s having a dance break with your favorite music or playing a quick board game, or lighting your favorite scented candle, these activities will help you destress and “break in” that new house. Another thing you can do is follow your usual routines. For example, if you have your cup of coffee every morning, you may want to set up your coffee machine right away. Following the same routine you had in your previous home will help you feel more comfortable in your new one.

Customize your house with your tastes.

Your new construction home is a blank slate for you to decorate with your flair. Your walls are probably beige or grey or some other neutral color. If you anticipate changing the color up to fit your tastes, this is the perfect time to do it while your furniture is out of the way. Another quick project you can do is switching out the hardware on kitchen cabinets or swapping out the light fixtures. Once you’ve got some of the DIY projects out of the way, start finding places for those family photos and your favorite art pieces. They’ll bring some familiarity and warmth to your spaces and help your new construction feel not so empty anymore.

Buying a new construction home comes with many benefits – it’s squeaky clean and up to date with the latest styles and technology. But sometimes, those pristine new walls and floors can make the house feel like it lacks character and not so cozy. Your first couple of weeks in a new build may feel awkward no matter how excited you might have been to move in but hang in there! After you start unpacking, cooking, and having friends and family over, it’s going to sink in that you now live in your dream home.