But why? “I don’t like my home at all”, I hear people say. “It’s too [small/big/tired/not enough storage] etc etc”. So what can you do about it? Go into debt for a larger home? Work two jobs to pay for the mortgage (and the extra daycare fees you’ll now have to pay.) If you can, try these 6 ways to love your home, just the way it is.
Think about the structure of the house
I don’t mean about the architecture or anything too technical. I’m talking about the roof, the walls and the floors.
The roof protects you and your family from the rain, heat and/or snow. It provides protection from the elements. Imagine yourself without it.
Same goes for the walls. It provides rooms for family members to sleep in. It provides a kitchen area to prepare food to nourish your family. It provides a warm cosy environment to snuggle up together and interact as a family. The floors protect your feet from the heat or the cold.
Think about how those four walls, roof and floors are protecting you and what the alternative might be if you didn’t have them.
We make a decision to buy or rent the dwelling that we reside in. Whether that’s because it’s in our budget or it could be the location to your work or your family’s schools and activities.
To be grateful for that opportunity, that is denied to many, is a good way to remember just how lucky you are. Many people have life’s misfortunes thrown at them and their only option is to pack up what they can and most often, become homeless.
Live within your means and be grateful for what you have. If you choose to upgrade for whatever reason, that’s fine but be sure that you can afford it, in particular, in case an emergency ever arose.
When my (now ex) husband left, I was left in our home with 2 children and a mortgage with all the bills. There was no child support organised by then and I didn’t have a clue about what welfare was available to me. All that sort of thing takes time but tell that to the bank who’s demanding their mortgage payment.
Of course, you can get your payments deferred for a couple weeks but never live beyond your means. You just never know what’s around the corner. Sickness could strike the main ‘bread winner’, relationships break down or anything for that matter.
“Stuff” doesn’t make the house a home
Don’t think that by buying new stuff and bringing it into the house will make you love it more. All it will do is bring more clutter in.
Shop from the decor you already have in your home to redecorate a space. Use children’s artwork to decorate a wall or a family photo. Cut fresh greenery from the garden and put in a vase. Make your own rugs, cushions or other decor items that your family will cherish and you’ll feel proud of your efforts in creating that special look that is individual and your own.
If you are looking at changing the decor, look at secondhand stores or online garage sales for what you’re looking for. I got nearly all of my living room and dining area furniture for FREE! I’m not a charity case but people were updating their own homes so I said I’d take it. It’s perfectly functional and suits my home. Freecycle.org is a great place to look out for free furniture if you want to update that tired lounge or you’re moving your baby from a cot to a bed.
As long as it’s functional and creates a sense of comfort and coziness, save your money for experiences not stuff.
Focus on the good
If I dwelled on it too much, I probably wouldn’t want to live in my current home because of the bad memories of my failed marriage. I don’t focus on that. I focus on how my house is providing shelter for my family, who in fact, first came here from the hospital when they were born.
I have two pet dogs and two pet Cockateils and they’re very much members of our family too. They’ve been here as long as I have and it’s very much their home as much as it is mine. They’ve given me so much unconditional love.
I’ve seen the children take their first steps in this house. It’s where they played for hours in the backyard. It’s where I’ve lovingly prepared food for them, burped them, cuddled them, sang songs and read to them. By focusing on who is in the home instead of what, you’ll find that you’ll be able to remember the good times you’ve had in your home.
It’s your home, not anyone else’s
Don’t live up to anyone else’s expectations. If people want to judge your decor, your furniture or your style, let them. They don’t live there, you do. I take great pride in my home but sometimes things come up and you haven’t had time to do the dishes or sweep the floor.
If anyone wants to judge me for not getting that done on their arrival, that’s their prerogative to do so. I don’t have any say in what or how they think. No one knows what went on an hour or two before their arrival. You don’t have to explain either. As long as you’re welcoming and inviting, be cordial and a good host when your guests arrive, that’s all you need to worry about. Those people are there to see you not your home.
Create peace in your home
With those two children of mine, plus the dogs and the birds, sometimes things are a little crazy. There’s the rush to get the children ready for school. The rush when they get home. And it’s been like that since they’ve been born.
We have rules in the home where there’s no yelling (even though it does happen and that’s normal). If you can’t say what you want in a calm voice, then don’t say it at all. We like to laugh and joke. We love cuddles on the couch while watching TV and have religiously had ‘movie night’ every Saturday night since the children were about 2 years old. They love it.
By creating a peacful, harmonious atmosphere in your home, everyone will learn to love it and it will be their ‘safe’ place to be.
Who doesn’t love going away for a holiday? I know I do and when my husband proposed to me back in 2015, we enjoyed a lovely 4 day getaway with all the creature comforts in a 5 star resort. There were duck down feather pillows, room service, 5 star buffet breakfast, beautiful gardens and swimming pools surrounding the resort. BUT, I couldn’t wait to get home. I couldn’t wait to get home to see the children, the pets, feel the comfort of my own bed and my own four walls.
Even if you’ve ever been out of the country. There’s no other feeling like coming home.
If you’ve got the room, create peaceful zones where you can get away from it all even if it’s just to enjoy a cup of tea or read a book. It could be as simple as a couple extra cushions on the bed, a nice comfy chair in the garden or a sun lounge on the verandah. Make it available for everyone in the home to enjoy as a way of escaping within the 4 walls of the home.
Heighten the senses
By cultivating your five senses, that is sight, smell, sound, touch and taste, you’ll naturally increase your potential for enjoying life.
Hang family member’s artwork or photographs on the wall. It will help you remember the time when they drew that picture or the photo was taken.
Keep your home clean and tidy, to a level you can manage, so it is welcoming for the whole family. Keep on top of clutter and find a home for everything.
Nothing creates better memories than the smell of a home cooked meal or home baking. You all know how lovely it is to smell bread baking at the bakery? Cook from scratch as much as you can.
Enjoy natural scents and smells, not commercial home scents by burning or diffusing essential oils. Fresh flowers also provide a natural scent to heighten your sense of smell.
Get the family used to listening to music. Dance if you want to. Meditate or relax. Get away from electronics and the television and listen to each talk. Sticking with everyone eating their meals at the dinner table and talking about your day or what you’re grateful for is a great way to encourage the sound of laughter and love in your home.
Have regular family movie nights or game nights. Get everyone involved in the set up and pack away. They’ll be memories your family will hold dear for a long time.
Use natural fabrics in the home for soft furnishings. Nothing invokes comfort like the feel of a warm rug or cosy quilt on a cold night. The human touch is so comforting as well so make time for plenty of hugs and cuddles with family members. This will create wonderful memories for your children that they will remember their childhood as being a comfortable, safe place to be and they were loved and always comforted when needed.
If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard, take your shoes off and walk on the grass. Lie on the grass. Pull out a few weeds and plant some plants in the garden. Care for them and watch them grow. The outside of your home is just as important as the inside.
Just like I mentioned above in smell, nothing heightens the sense of taste more than the taste of a home cooked meal. We all have wonderful memories of our favourite family meals from our childhood.
Find out your family’s favourite meals and make them often. Even into our twenties, my sisters and I still loved going to Mum and Dad’s on a Sunday night for a roast dinner. It brought us together at a time when, as adults ourselves, we were always busy.
Enjoy the home you’re in. Be happy and grateful for what you have. If you want bigger, get it but be aware of living beyond your means. Really, at the end of the day, I would be happy no matter where I lived as long as I was living with the people I do now.
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