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Moving into a new home can take some time, especially if you have a family or work long hours. It’s hard to complete the physical move and then jump right into unpacking, decorating, and designing the rooms the way you want them to be; most homeowners are exhausted, and are just trying to keep up with the daily demands of work and caring for the kids during this process. Having boxes lying around and leaving the walls bare, however, can lead to anxiety or stress for everyone in the house, and it will take that much longer for you to feel comfortable or relaxed in your new place.

It’s important to remember that decorating isn’t the only way you can make a home feel like your own. There are plenty of simple things you can do to turn a new house into a calm, relaxing home, such as making small repairs or updates, cleaning the rooms, and paying close attention to the exterior of the home, especially the yard and landscaping. With a good plan, you and your family will feel settled in no time.

Keep reading to find out how.

Create an unpacking plan

Creating a plan for how you’ll unpack your home is important, since leaving boxes lying around and being unable to find all your belongings can cause stress and anxiety. Start in one room and work your way out; if your home is very large, you might plan to do one complete room per day until it’s all finished. Try not to do it halfway; get all the boxes unpacked, things put away, and the room cleaned before moving on. Start with the most-used rooms, such as the kitchen and bathrooms, and do the kids’ rooms to help them feel at home.

Make small repairs

Even if your home is brand-new, there may be some small repairs or changes you’ll want to make, especially if anything got damaged in the move. Walls can become dirty or the paint can be dinged no matter how careful you are while moving furniture, so look around to make sure nothing needs your attention.

Do some preventative maintenance right away

Take a trip around both the interior and exterior of your home and look for spots that need to be taken care of before they become a problem, such as air leaks around doors and windows, HVAC systems or vents that need to be cleaned, and gutters that are loose or full of debris. Taking care of these things now will ensure that you don’t have to worry about them down the road, and many of them can even save you money. Go here for some great tips on how to take care of small tasks now to make things easier on yourself in the future.

Keep some familiar items

Though you may be tempted to buy all new things for your home, it’s best to hold on to some familiar items at first in order to make the transition easier. This is especially true for kids, who may have a harder time with getting used to a new layout and sleeping in a different place. If you have pets, you may want to try to place their food and water bowls, toys, and bedding in similar spots to where they were at your old house.

Moving in and getting settled doesn’t have to be a drawn-out, stressful experience. Think about the best ways to make your family feel at home quickly and create a plan–complete with a timeline and goals–to make it happen. With a little preparation, you and your loved ones will feel like you’ve lived in your new home for years.