Making a house a home involves more than just clicking your heels three times (and waking up from a head injury).

When you move, you’re walking into unfamiliar surroundings and, as much as owning a new house is exciting, it can be unnerving.

Here are a few tips on how to make your mark and get cozy and comfortable in a matter of days. No witch or wizard required.

Handle security issues

The safety of your home is perhaps the most important point to consider. Make sure your new house is equipped with features that make you and your family feel safe. You should also change the locks before you move in, make sure exterior lights are in working order and remove any potential hiding spots such as overgrown shrubs. Buzzfeed offers more DIY tricks to deter burglars.

Explore the neighborhood

Feeling at home should mean feeling comfortable in your new neighborhood, too. Take the kids (and the dog) for a walk down the yellow brick road that is your new street. This will give you the opportunity to scope out neighbors who might also have children and pets. Don’t be afraid to walk up to people who are already outside, as long as they aren’t rushing to the car. If you’re not sure what to say, you can always ask about local services, such as the track pick up. Ideally, you’ll meet everyone on the street eventually, but start with those on either side and across from you first.

Color combinations that help you relax

You probably have a favorite color. Color has been shown to improve mood and can even have an impact on our behavior. The New York Times reports that many hospitals even change the color of their walls to promote calmness. While you might not need calming, the color of your interior can have an impact on how “homey” your new home feels. Paint your bedroom, kitchen and living areas to suit your tastes. Behr notes that color can enhance your living space. (Check out Behr’s 2018 color trends to see which colors promote mindfulness and optimism.)

Breathe in, breathe out

Color can change the atmosphere of your home, but air quality has an even greater impact on your home’s environment. Allergies, asthma and sensitivity to airborne particles can make your dream home a nightmare. Before moving in, clean all surfaces, shampoo the carpet and have the air ducts cleaned. Once this is done, consider purchasing an air purifier, which will remove allergens including bacteria, dust mites, pollen, and mold from the air. This is a priority if you have children with allergies or asthma.

Something old in your something new

Just because you’ve got new walls doesn’t mean they can’t be used to display treasured artwork from your former residence – or even your childhood home. Family portraits, pictures drawn by the kids, or Auntie Em’s heirloom art will all wrap you in familiarity. If you’ve avoided the temptation to replace all of your furniture, make sure to unload your favorite pieces first. You will also settle in more quickly if you outfit your bathroom with all the necessities…after all, getting stranded with no way to wipe won’t make you feel any better about moving.

Getting settled into your new home doesn’t have to take months. Take the time to tackle home security, get to know the neighbors, and make improvements that will enhance your quality of life both immediately and in the long-term. Lastly, you have to unpack eventually, so get that out of the way as soon as possible. Boxes in the corner will only serve as a reminder that you have unfinished business and won’t help you relax.

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