How to Furnish Your New Home When You Move
Whenever you move to a new home, the process is work-intensive. Perhaps the biggest difference between staging and prepping your old home for sale vs. staging your NEW home is the excitement your new home generates…
Staging your old home for sale, in a word, is a chore. But staging your NEW home is a glamorous way to get ready for your big move.
Still, a move IS a lot of work, and many homeowners swear they’ll NEVER move again after a big haul. Staging and decorating your new home, however, can be a bigger payoff than you even realize. Not only does it get you excited about your new space, it also gives you an opportunity to refresh your furnishings and even reinvent the way you live.
Planning furniture arrangements and design selections is hard enough when you’re buying everything for your first ever home. Here, I get into the even harder task of making a move with an existing “houseful” of furniture.
The Cardinal Sin!
Avoid this cardinal sin when moving existing stuff into a new home:
You do NOT need to make every piece of furniture fit into your new space!
And by “fit,” I mean in dimensions as much as in design. There’s no rule saying you have to fit everything you own into the new space…
Even if you don’t have enough furniture for your new home, if something does “fit,” donate or sell it now. And another thing…do NOT use oversized furniture just to fill a space. Streamlined furniture will make for a more attractive layout and flow.
Bonus tip: if you are interested in a more streamlined look, be sure to avoid dark-colored furniture. For a long time, this was considered the more “family-friendly” option since it takes longer to show stains…but if you get one of today’s performance fabrics, you really don’t need to worry about that.
To be extra sure existing furniture deserves a place in your new home, look at traffic and focal points. Think of where the doors and windows are. Does any room have an awkward area or nook? Where do you want the focal point in each space to be? Is there a natural focal point already with a fireplace or similar?
Plan in ADVANCE
Think about your arrangement of furniture and any major pieces of decoration BEFORE you move. And I mean well before…this will make arrangement go more smoothly the week of your move. It also gives you time to sell or donate the pieces you won’t be using.
If a couch doesn’t “belong” in your new space, for example, you’ll only be obligated to lug it to the new house in your move…it’s better to ditch it now.
You’ll want to skillfully assess each new space, too. This is more than just drawing doodle floorplans on napkins…you need to take measurements and carefully evaluate each room.
This is also the time to determine how each room will be used. Rooms should be functional as well as beautiful…for example, will your living room be for entertainment only? Or will it be primarily for family use? These questions tell you what each space calls for in furniture and in design style.
Price Is Only an Issue in the Absence of Value…
When you’ve just bought a new home, you’re definitely not looking to spend more money than you have to…at the same time, you REALLY don’t want a new home purchase to be in vain!
This means investing in the right furniture additions and upgrades plus the design selections you really want. This is what we call a “return on enjoyment.”
There is a HUGE performance difference between cheap furniture and the nice stuff, mind you…just take a look at these 12 design finds I shared recently to get an idea. You’ll see that not every selection has to cost an arm and a leg, but you really, really do have to keep quality top-of-mind if you want to assess which purchases are “worth it…”
Determine your budget for new furniture and décor now, too Check prices online to see what ranges you find for those items you KNOW you’ll need…then in a few paint jobs, new wallpaper, and anything else on your list.
This tip is pretty specific to the state of the market now…but who knows how long it will last?
When you make any home purchase today—from raw materials to trending window treatments—plan for a longer lead time. This is largely due to the high demand for home products today.
Extended lead times might affect your decision-making process, too. If you’re kind of waffling between two products, and then discover that one would arrive in half the time the other would…that might be the deciding factor on which you choose.
Paint and Decorate Right Away…
Paint and decorate right after your move…or it’s not going to happen! Once a room is staged with its furniture and new hangings and décor, do you really think you’ll want to call in the painters?!
Even getting your decorations up right away is a “must,” or it will feel like your move drags on…and I don’t think you want that!
Let’s be honest…striking while the iron is HOT is the only way to settle into your new daily routine.
Similarly, if you have home maintenance or handyman to-dos you need completed, like replacing the flooring, or upgrading lighting, or widening a window…get those messy projects done in advance. You’ll be amazed how much better you feel!
Tips to Get Started!
Just like the anticipation before you take a trip, the planning you do BEFORE a move will stir excitement…you can easily get started today, just keep these tips in mind:
- Focus on traffic flow
- Leave room for doors, windows and drawers to open, too
- Stage furniture before hanging anything on the walls
- Start with the big furniture, then work your way to the smaller pieces
- Ensure you have enough lighting and know how it can be adjusted
- Use our REVAMPED remodel planner to prioritize and “discover” more projects
If you’ve moved recently or are about to, I would LOVE to hear what you came up against…maybe you have some tips of your own?! Or maybe you still need some tips to make your new space even more “yours.”