November 04, 2021 at 9:40am | Ann Nguyen

For the last 6 months, we’ve watched as our new home build was brought to life from the ground up. Seeing the floor plan and all our design choices come together was such a fun part of the process! As the house crept closer to completion, we packed and prepped for our big move.


The week before closing day, we met with the builder and walked the home looking for any items that needed to be fixed, drywall that needed patching, ensuring appliances worked, etc. On the day of closing, we walked the house again to make sure all the things we found were fixed and take note of any items that still needed to be addressed (for example, our shower glass was delayed). Finally, we signed the papers and this long-awaited new home build was all ours! Now that we’re moving in, here are the 5 tips I’m practicing as we start settling into living in our new home. 


Expect Controlled Chaos on Moving Day and While Unpacking

I find no matter how well you mark the boxes and have a plan for moving in, the process can still be overwhelming. This is especially true for a new home build. In my head, I already had an idea of where I wanted things to go and how I wanted things to function. But, once we started moving our stuff in, I realized that while we gained space in a lot of areas, we actually lost a few key things we were used to in our prior home, like a junk drawer. But it was ok! I came up with a creative solution simply by moving the junk drawer to another location. 


Keep a Punch List

With a new home build, you may have a few follow-up meetings with your builder to review things you find that are either broken, not working as they should, are missing, etc. We opted for a 2-week meeting, 30-day meeting, and 11-month final meeting.


Until those meetings happen, keep a list of anything that you find that needs attention. For example, we found a missing piece of shoe molding in the girl's bathroom, our outdoor floodlight isn’t working correctly, and our kitchen range is acting sort of funky. Keeping this list will ensure we don’t forget anything in those key meetings. 


Unpack One Room at a Time

I know this kind of goes hand and hand with the first tip, but it’s definitely worth mentioning. Your first instinct might be to unpack a little here and there in each room, but that can actually be more stressful because it makes it harder to achieve that motivating satisfaction of completed space.


We chose to unpack the kitchen first since it’s the hub of our home. Seeing all the boxes everywhere made my head spin, but I found that if I focused on one room at a time, it kept me from spiraling and getting overwhelmed. We then unpacked the girls' rooms because it was super important that they get settled in and start feeling like they’re home. Everything else next fell into place. 


Save Decor for Last

I designated a non-bedroom closet to hold all our pictures and decor items so I could focus on getting the furniture and other major items in their place. Once all that’s done, it makes it so much easier to start decorating because nothing will have to be moved again. The visual clutter can be overwhelming, but by keeping the decor items out of the way it allowed my brain to realize I didn’t need to keep looking at those stressful boxes. Plus, it was an incentive to get unpacked so I could get to the fun part of moving! 


Give Yourself Grace

Thankfully, we have a bit more space where we need it in this home compared to the home we moved from. However, we opted not to have the wire closet systems installed in the bedrooms and instead purchased a closet system that will function more efficiently. Unfortunately, there’s a shipping delay which means the closets will take a lot longer to unpack.


Bottom line: life happens, and it’s much easier to just roll with the punches. Moving into your new home build is exciting, but it doesn’t have to be unpacked in a day. We’re taking our time and thinking through how we really want the house to function, which will hopefully eliminate needing to redo anything in the future. This closet pause is temporary and a year from now won’t even matter. 


Without clear expectations, moving can certainly be frustrating. But remember, everything will eventually find a place to live in the new home. We’ll establish a natural function and flow as we continue to live in our home. And in the meantime, we’ll get to watch this house turn into the home we envisioned in our minds on a piece of paper so many months ago!


Advice For Your New Home Build!

If you’re considering a new home build, check out’s “How to Build” guide, a comprehensive look at what goes into new builds. From financing to finishing touches, it’s your one-stop resource for all your home-building questions!

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