Clean all the things: If a professional cleaner was not hired before you moved in, you'll probably want to give everything in the house a deep clean. If you can, you might want to hire a professional yourself. No matter how nice everything looked on the walkthrough, you're sure to find random corner dust, water spots, what did they do to the toilet, and soap scum as you settle in. Until your predecessors' dirt is gone, you'll feel their presence haunting the house. Get rid of it.
Get a New Toilet Seat: If I could rip the whole toilet out of the wall and replace it, I would. But I'm renting, so I'm just going to replace the seat instead. New things can be so nice.
Take a Bath: Once everything's been cleansed with fire and vinegar, take a nice long bath. It might feel odd to be in a strange place, but by the time you get out of the tub you'll feel nice and warm and right at home.
Hook up the Internet: The quality of life improvement was dramatic the day my Internet was hooked up. Suddenly I wasn't sleeping on a borrowed air mattress with no belongings save the things the former tenants had left behind; I was in my very extremely uncluttered apartment with a connection to friends, family, work, and news from the outside world.
Post Pictures on the Internet: If you're the type to share everything on Facebook, post some pictures of your new place. The sooner your friends and family start thinking of it as "your place," the sooner you will, too.
Run Around Naked: Who's going to stop you or look at you funny? It's your house!
What do you do to make yourself at home in a new place? Let us know in the comments.
(Image: Elizabeth Licata)