First-week tips for your new home

Meadowside show home

Moving into a new house is an exciting event in anyone’s life, especially if it’s your first experience of a new home. The handover tour, bundle of pristine instruction manuals and smell of fresh paint all reflect your purchase of a blank canvas – untouched by other people, and suitable for all manner of personalisation.

Even so, the first few days in a new property can be surprisingly restrictive. By its very nature, a blank canvas lacks homely touches like window dressings and wall decorations. Some of these absences will quickly become acute, especially the absence of curtains and blinds when you turn a bedroom light on. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to add practicality and character to your home once the removal lorry drives away and the process of unpacking your belongings begins…

A first day box

Our first tip is to pack a box of items you’re likely to need as soon as you’re in the new house. Key elements might include hand soap and small towels, a kettle and mugs, bin bags and phone chargers. Think about your priorities once the furniture is in situ and work backwards – if you need to build a new bed, set aside the tools listed on the instruction sheet. You’ll be amazed how valuable tissues and toilet rolls will be and it’s generally a good idea to schedule a supermarket home delivery order for your first full day in the property, stocking up on store cupboard ingredients and cleaning products.


Unless you’re comfortable undressing in front of passers-by (and your new neighbours), window coverings are a top priority. You could install curtail rails on your first day, though the plasterboard is still drying out and creating clouds of dust isn’t ideal amid the race to unpack and settle in. A better solution is temporary blinds, which are made of reinforced paper and can be stuck together to fill any size of window. They glue onto the underside of the window recess, with pegs holding them up and gravity pulling them down. They’re an ideal stopgap while you wait for fitted blinds – ideally ordered within days of moving in once your chosen company is able to access the property and precisely measure every window.


Even if your new home is pre-cabled with fibre broadband, there can be unforeseen delays getting online. In today’s always-on culture, that’s a major obstacle, and smartphone connections will only get you so far. However, these networks do support MiFi dongles – miniature WiFi routers capable of powering several devices via one of the UK’s big four mobile networks. Data is expensive and limited, but a MiFi dongle will keep computers and tablets online for those chaotic first days when accessing emails and entertaining the kids is especially important.


Speaking of younger family members, children’s bedrooms should be a top priority in terms of organising. Unpack their boxes before yours, build their new furniture before items elsewhere in the home, and try to liven up their walls with pictures, transfers or other decorative accoutrements. Children may feel insecure and even homesick in a new bedroom, but surrounding them with familiar things will help them to settle in. To that end, bring their existing bedding instead of putting brand-new quilt covers and pillowcases on, and try to lay out their furniture similarly to their old bedroom where possible.

Most importantly, you’re going to be busy for a while in your lovely new home, getting it just the way you want it, so remember to take some me time amongst all the hard work. You deserve it!

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