Win $50: How To Make Your Apartment Feel More Like Home

Congratulations to Catt, our lucky winner of the $50 AmEx gift certificate and thanks to all who shared  great tips for making their new apartment into a home!

As we approach September, we hope you’ve been successful in your summer rental search. Knowing what a HUGE month September is for moving, we wanted to share some time-tested tips to help you feel at home – FAST.

To that end, we’ve partnered Apartment Guide as they definitely have the lowdown on how to make your new place cozy as all goodness in no time flat. 

One of the site’s best tips is to avoid packing your most precious items. Imagine your 8-year old self – would she/he have moved ANYWHERE without her/his previous stuffed animal under the arm? Doubtful.  So, remember that and carry your most important items yourself.

For me, my most prized possessions are the art I’ve collected from my travels. I know that as soon as I put them on the wall – my apartment will feel lived in, mine. So, I always label the box and make sure that it’s in my car and not in the moving van. I also make sure I keep my jewelry in my purse so I don’t worry about it getting lost.  It may not be the most practical item to attend to first, but it makes my heart happy.

Also, consider setting up your bathroom and kitchen first.  Until you have these rooms set up, you’ll literally be living out of boxes. This way, you can start cooking and brushing your teeth without having to pull your hair out searching. To me, the bathroom is most important (Zyrtec where are you?! My allergies are devouring me!) but I’d still pull out at least a few plates, cups and silverware.

Finally, try surrounding yourself with comforting smells. This could be the bath spray you use or, even, your favorite perfume. (Dudes: Order some pizza, if you must).  You may be surprised by the power of the scent!

Another idea, that I’ve always liked, is throwing a raging house party. No better way to make your place feel lived in:)

Now, it’s your turn. How do you turn your new apartment into a home? Share your best  tip in the comments below for a chance to win a $50 AMEX gift card, courtesy of Apartment Guide!

We’ll pick our lucky winner randomly from all the comments on September 5.

Check Apartment Guide’s website to learn more about how to turn your new pad feel like home. You can also check out sample floor plans and photos. Be sure to follow them on their social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google +) for real-time tips and updates as well!

Apartment Guide and owner Consumer Source, Inc. partner with bloggers such as me to participate in blogger programs.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any products and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Consumer Source’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Author My First Apartment
Alissa

Posted by

I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at GolinHarris, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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Comments (25)

  1. Gwen S.

    I’m moving in on Saturday, and I know that the first thing my boyfriend and I are going to do is set up the bed and the tv and blast some pandora. We’ll get the big things set up and the bathroom somewhat organized, and then just lay on the futon and watch some M*A*S*H. Probably have some popcorn and just relax together since it’s our first time living completely on our own.
    As the next weeks go by, we’ll hang up our pictures and his Blazers flag and I’ll work to do my best to turn our kitchen-in-a-closet into a working kitchen where I can make some actual meals.

    Reply
  2. Thomas McDermott

    The first thing I do is set up the computer and throw on some tunes. Then I hang posters, maps, even notes my fiancee wrote to me. And the kitchen, as a final touch, gets a nice fresh garlic hung next to the window.

    Reply
  3. Emily

    One of the first things I do is put up pictures of friends and loved ones, set out my favorite candles and hand soaps (with smells that remind me of home), put on my favorite music and make my bed with super comfy sheets. When that’s all done, invite a few friends over for wine and to help unpack everything else :)!

    Reply
  4. Charlie

    I am moving this Friday, unfortunately for myself i have lived in my home for 20 years in the same room, literally the same space… moving is very hard and packing is even worse. but anyways i know that the only way i will be able to make my new home really home is set up my stereo and blast some led zeppelin, then proceed into my new room and hang my guitars posters and my collection of classic albums. this will make me happy and make the first steps of my new life starting on a good note.

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  5. Laura Jacobson

    I always put alot of family pictures up and around the rooms. Always reminds me of family when I walk by!

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  6. New Orleans Housing

    I love pillows around my home. I also brought some from my old room. This made all the new things look also homey as they are combined with my old personal stuff, especially my pillows!

    Reply
  7. Shauna

    I think the one thing that makes your apartment feel like home is some sort of life. Whether you go and get a puppy or kitten, have a betta fish, or even just get a plant that you remember to water once a week, some other form of life living in that apartment besides you makes it a little more homey. Most of us grew up in houses with family, so moving out on your own can get lonely. Add a pet or plant and you start to feel more at home and less on vacation.

    Reply
  8. K Easler

    Honestly, speaking as one who is moving TOMORROW to a new city, as soon as everything is settled in and I’m all alone, I plan on jumping on my bed a bit. As well as being a bit of a stress reliever (which you need after a time like that!) just doing something fun and (just a bit) out of the ordinary helps to establish your new place as YOUR place to be who you are. It’s a chance to start fresh and to start enjoying life.

    Reply
  9. Olivia J

    As a girl, my clothes are essential. Having all my clothes unpacked and hanging in the closet is on my list of top priorities. That way, I feel like I’m already settled in when I don’t have to search through luggage or boxes to get dressed in the morning. Oh yeah, and you can’t forget the bed!

    Reply
  10. Megan

    It’s not a home without a fridge! I moved the fridge the very first day I could move in along with all my clothes and a futon. As I enjoy cooking, a fridge is an absolute must, and that made it my home that first night. Then, I discovered that I didn’t have any plastic or flatware!

    This is my first time living outside of my parents’ house, as I lived at home all through college and graduate school. It’s only been two months, and I’ve settled in quickly: putting up decorations (i.e. photo books), taking down things (those pesky vertical blinds), and a housewarming party.

    Also, take your time in unpacking. It’s okay to still have boxes packed; paying rent is a constant, you can save up to that furniture item.

    Reply
  11. Gerardo Moreno

    What I did to make my new first apartment (January), I had all the stuff that reminded me of times when I used to live with my parents, first. I had my baseball cards, pennants, autographed pictures put up first simply because it reminded me of all the times I watched baseball with my younger brother and dad (in front of dad’s tv). I put up some of my art b/c it reminds me of times in college with my art buddies living carelessly. Lastly I had a picture of my family next to my bed to remind me how much I will truly miss sleeping under the same roof with them. Times will never be the same and I may never get to see them everyday like I used to, but it will definitely make us closer and make me appreciate the good old times and future ones even more. That’s a home.

    Reply
  12. Sammy

    Putting up pictures, postcards, whatever will remind you of your loved ones! Also having a dinner party as soon as the place is presentable helps it really feel like it’s your home.

    Reply
  13. Caroline

    For me, making sure my couch was moved in was essential. Until the living room was filled in, I didn’t feel like my apartment was complete and “ready.”

    Reply
  14. ang

    I moved out in mid august into my first apartment. Im still trying to get settled in. My tip to making an apartment feel more like home are the pictures. I will invest in some more frames and pans for some home cooked meals for a housewarming party.

    Reply
  15. Courtney Harris

    The best way to start making it feel like home is to put up pictures of yourself and loved ones!

    Reply
  16. Tracy Robertson

    I am comforted by my side tables that are easily moved so I can put my purse and the mail on one by day, and move it in front of the couch to have a snack on it at night.

    Reply
  17. Danielle

    I think the best thing to do is to paint right away. Nothing is less cozy than living in an apartment with all white walls. Plus it’s easier to paint before all of your stuff is moved in and the pictures and shelves are hung.

    Reply
  18. Kirsten

    My jewelry/perfume bottles/vanity is one of the first things I like to set up. I don’t let my jewelry go anywhere buy in the car with me when moving. Several pieces are inherited from family and seeing them laid out on my vanity along with everything else on my vanity is the first step towards feeling at home for me.

    Reply
  19. Mami2jcn

    I’ve lived in a lot of apartments in my life and I think hanging pictures is the first step to make things feel homey. Also, accent pillows and nice window treatments help.

    Reply
  20. Jessie C.

    One of my tips is to pick up an area rug and a dining set. For me, these make a warm first step.

    Reply
  21. Linda

    My tip is set up your kitchen first and cook a home cooked meal. I moved in at the begonning of August and just cooked my first real meal. Now I feel right at home!

    Reply
  22. Whitney C

    My tips on how to make my home feel more like home are:
    1. Pictures. I am a very visual person and I found a bunch of great deals on Groupon and Livingsocial for Canvases. I uploaded pictures of friends and family and made a canvas collage of them.
    Also, I purchase a few inespnesive frames from Walmart and printed pictures of my family and cat

    2. I gave every room a color theme…Although it’s a studio and my bedroom/livingroom are one big happy color celebration

    3. Finally, Michaels and other Arts store sell letter stickers and I’ve posted a few inspiration quotes and bible phrases on my wall (I had to get the ok from my landlord before I stuck them on the wall)

    Reply
  23. Catt

    I moved out of my parents’ house last year. I decided to live by myself, which can be lonely at times. Here is my tip based on my experience:

    I believe the best way to make your new apartment feel like home is putting up a photo of your loved one(s) in a place where you pass by often. This way, when you’re heading in or out of a room (or from your studio’s living room to the bathroom!) you always get a reminder that there is someone who loves you.

    Reply