Clean Slate: How to Give New Life to a House upon Moving In

It can be exciting to move into a new house, and make preparations that will help it feel like a home. However, a new home can often be a stark reflection of the previous owner—even after they have moved all of their stuff out. It can be tough to make a home feel like a reflection of your personality and preferences when it feels like someone else’s property. While it will take a little work, you can transform your new house into your own special abode by implementing a few simple techniques. Here are a few tips that will aid you in the quest to make your new home truly yours:


Claim the Space for Yourself

Remember that you need not use your house’s many spaces in exactly the same ways as your predecessors did. You should repurpose each room as you see fit, adding your own personal touches. Just because the previous owner set up the living room with the TV in the corner and the couch against the window, doesn’t mean that you have to. Just because they used the extra room for crafts, doesn’t mean that you can’t turn it into a laundry room. Once you’ve seen the house with someone else’s stuff inside, it can be tough to imagine a different setup, but with a little creativity and artistic freedom, you can set up the house exactly as you like.

Develop a Theme or Color Scheme


If you really want to infuse your style into the home, choosing themes or color schemes can help you accomplish this goal. An earthy, organic theme could include rooms with brown, green and beige paint and décor. A nautical theme could include several different shades of navy and lighter blues, as well as nautical imagery and accouterments. Not all home owners like to have a strict theme for their homes, so if you prefer a more subtle approach, a custom home builder in Barrie suggests that you choose a color scheme for each room that reflects your preferences.

Alter the Décor

If you saw areas of the house that you thought needed some redecorating before your purchased it, now is the time to make good on any mental plans you made. Stain those cabinets in the kitchen or bathrooms, replace that awful wallpaper or carpet, put down some area rugs, get rid of those old appliances—the list goes on and on. If the previous owner lived there for several years, or even decades, there might be areas of the home that are run down. By replacing and improving these areas, you’ll not only infuse your own personality into the home, but you’ll give it a brand new look.

Finish the Basement

A basement can be more than just a place to store your excess belongings. Instead, you can transform it into an open living space with carpeting, a bar, comfortable furniture, electronics and workout equipment. Alternatively, you could add a desk, some bookshelves and a computer, turning it into a home office. If the previous owner left the basement as dusty storage space, you can create a brand new hangout spot for you and your family when you utilize your own furniture, décor, and ideas.

Plant a Garden and Alter the Outdoor Landscape


Do not limit yourself to leaving your own touch on the inside portions of your property—the outside can always use some attention, too. Mulching and planting flowers will provide an aesthetic boost, and adding fruits or vegetables to the mix will give you healthy, inexpensive meal and snack options. Not only does planting a garden allow you to grow cheap produce, but it is almost completely customizable—the more temperate your climate, the better. On the opposite end, if the previous owner had a green thumb and planted a garden you just can’t maintain, it may be best to remove plants in some areas so that the yard isn’t overgrown and out of control.

No matter what alterations you make, implementing your own color schemes, décor, updates, and preferences will turn a stranger’s home into one that reflects your personality. If you want to start with a clean slate, painting, re-carpeting, staining, and other DIY projects can help you quickly turn the space into your own.



Erin Emanuel