When you have moved into a new home you will more than likely be ready for a little downtime, a pause if you like, before you get down to the business of deciding what goes where and then starting on decorating the place in the way you like.

There is one flaw in this plan and it could be a fairly big one – are all of your pieces of furniture going to actually fit and even if they do, how are you going to be able decorate around everything?

Worry not, here are a few tips to help you.


If you didn’t get the chance to declutter, or you thought that all your stuff would fit into the new home and now it doesn’t, here’s what you should do.

Start with the most little-used items first, things like books, magazine collections from years ago, and old children’s toys. If you’re keeping the kids toys out of sentimentality ask yourself this – do the kids even know their toys are still there, taking up space? Same with the books and magazine collections, dvds, computer games, never used appliances; anything that hasn’t been used for over a year should go either in the trash or donated to charity. You can sell online or have a yard sale to make some money.

Move onto the kitchen. You’ll be amazed at how many out-of-date cans, half empty packets, and jars of food have been hiding in the back of your kitchen cabinets. Throw them out! Then organize what’s left into storage containers for countertops or place inside cabinets.

Then move onto your closets and sort out clothes, shoes, etc. that have laid unworn for ages,  gathering dust.

Once you’ve sorted out the small things, decide which items of furniture just don’t fit in the new home and add them to the trash, donate or sell pile. Don’t forget to clear out the garage of all those broken gardening tools, old bikes and sports gear while you’re at it – you stand a better chance of actually being able to park the car in the garage then! Whatever is left in there can be hung neatly on the wall for easier access.

If you decide to buy new furniture for the new home or if your old furniture was just too big, you can always look for pieces which are of a classic design that are less likely to be out-dated.


Make room for decorating

The whole point behind all this decluttering is to not only give you more room to move around your new home but also to allow you to get a clearer picture of how you want the place to look — and it frees up space so you can get around to decorate more easily. Try to get the unpacking done asap or if you can’t then put all your unpacked boxes in a spare room.

So how to decorate? Some people when they move to a new home like to decorate the place in exactly the same style with the same colors as their old home and that’s fine. Some prefer to go for a completely new look and that’s fine too. But whatever you decide to do, start right away while the excitement is still fresh. If you don’t, then chances are you will never get around to it.

If major improvements are needed

Any really big jobs like remodeling kitchens, bathrooms or structural improvements should be finished before you move in if possible but smaller, but no less important jobs, like upgrading the lighting or laying new flooring can be done right after you move — but before you decorate.


Choose your colors carefully

Take a little time to decide how you want your décor to look. If you’re looking to completely change the whole house from top to bottom, this is something that shouldn’t be rushed. If you love bold colors but are not sure how lighting will be a factor in your new home then try experimenting with small paint samples on an inconspicous part of the wall. Or choose just one focal wall and contrast the rest of the room in a neutral color.

If cool neutrals are your thing then this is in theory the easiest route to redecorating but it could still be advisable to try color samples first. Then when you have chosen the shades you want it’s easy to accessorize with bolder colors or patterns for your soft furnishings or floor coverings.

Before you start repainting or wallpapering the walls make sure you prepare first. This means filling in any holes and sanding down surfaces. And if you’re painting around plug sockets and wall switches remember to mask around them. This will ensure a professional looking finish.

Imagine you’re selling the house

Real estate agents know all about staging a home for sale and you may have been impressed by the way yours was readied for sale by the stager so why not steal a few ideas from them?

Whenever possible, a stager will always clear out un-needed items from a room to focus on the architectural style of the room; for instance accentuate a great view out the windows. They then create a pallette of neutral colors and subtle accessories to avoid distraction from the home’s main selling points.

Keep this in mind before you begin splashing the paint around. Aim for that ‘model home’ look and vow to keep it looking brand new for as long as you possibly can. You never know – you could even come to love the minimalist look.


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