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How to make a house feel like a home

By Addy Whitburn

Moving into a new home is meant to feel refreshing but when you’re surrounded by boxes, eating takeout on the floor and making your bed at midnight, ‘fresh’ isn’t exactly the word you’ll have in mind.

According to professional declutterer and founder of The Organising Platform, Chelsea Smith, moving day doesn’t have to be all bad. In fact, by ensuring modern day’s basic necessities are in place — think fresh food, working lights and fast internet — she says the first day in the new place can be the special moment we all imagine it could be.

Here, Smith shares five simple things to do on Day Dot that’ll make your new house feel like home right away.

1. Set up your gas and electricity

Smith recommends setting up your gas and electricity before you leave your original dwelling. Whether you’re transferring with the same provider or starting anew, this can be done fairly quickly, but to guarantee the lights will be on when you move, the more notice you can give them, the better.

“While a candle lit dinner may sound romantic, it’s certainly not ideal on the first night in your new home,” she says.

2. Get your fridge and/or appliances working

Chances are, you won’t want to cook on the first night in your new home, but having a working fridge and toaster can make a world of difference. It’ll allow for some food to be stored (*cough* celebratory champagne, anyone?) to prevent hangry behaviour on moving day, and has you covered for breakfast in the morning. Not to mention, you can save your takeaway dinner leftovers for lunch on Day Two.

“You will no doubt be wanting to end the day with a glass of cold bubbles or a hot cup of tea to celebrate the next chapter – this will not be possible should you not be able to switch on any of your appliances!” says Smith.

3. And high-speed internet running

When you’ve spent all day lifting boxes up stairs like a pack mule, there’s only one thing you’re going to feel like doing come 6pm: Watch Netflix. And as Smith says, “no one wants to unnecessarily chew through their internet data allowances just days after moving house.”

But anyone who’s ever moved knows that securing an internet connection on Day Dot is one of the most testing tasks, so it’s important to get on top of it before you move.

First things first, it can pay to shop around for a good deal. If you’re renting and on a bit of a budget, Belong offer fast broadband with unlimited data (read: unlimited Netflix) at a low price. Plus, they make moving easy.

If you’re already connected with Belong, you can arrange your broadband move quickly online. As soon as you know your move-in date, simply sign in to your account to notify them and they’ll arrange the disconnection and reconnection while you’re still rearranging furniture. Just make sure you leave any nbn equipment at your old place and bring your modem with you.

If you’re not a Belong customer but want to take advantage of high-speed broadband with unlimited data for only $65 per month, it’s easy to sign up, too. Get on top of it before you move and if no technician is required, Belong will have you set up within the week.

4. Have a ‘Day One’ box

Ensuring a successful move starts well before moving day, with strategic packing. Smith recommends organising a ‘Day One’ box or overnight suitcase that includes everything you’ll need quick access to within the first 24 hours — think bedding, toiletries, pyjamas, a laptop and a change of clothes. This will prevent you from tearing through boxes in search of a toothbrush or going to bed with the oral remnants of Thai takeaway.

Plus, you’ll be able to shower in the morning, ready and raring for Day Two.

5. Assemble and make your bed

Fact: after college, sleeping on the floor is less grungy as it is grimy. So, once you’re in, assemble your bed and actually make it. You’ll be surprised what a difference a soft pillow after a hard day can make. You’ll be well-rested, ready to tackle the boxes creating the Great Wall of China in your lounge room.

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