We bought our very own home right before we got married in 2015. For some reason it was a goal of ours to have our own place to come home to after our honeymoon. We didn’t want to come back and have to decide where we were going to stay, especially since we had never lived together before & were both currently still living with our parents. In 2015, the market had started blossoming again. It seemed like every home in our budget either needed an insane amount of work, the location wasn’t right or they were pending contract the day after it listed! It was a frustrating time, not to mention stressful with all the wedding planning going on.
With that being said, at that time our town-home was great for us. It was just the two of us with our two dogs. It was bank owned and they went in and put all new carpet throughout the house, put in a new AC unit, & put some fresh light beige paint everywhere in the home. The outdated light fixtures, popcorn ceiling, decent kitchen, and tile floors all seemed so small compared to the major fixer uppers we looked at. So we went for it! I loved it at first, it was OURS. Our first real purchase as husband and wife. But with anything in life, that feeling started to fade. I slowly started finding things I didn’t like the longer we lived here. I nitpicked every little thing and the more I came home to it the more stressed and unhappy it made me. The outdated light fixtures, popcorn ceiling, decent kitchen, tile flooring all started to stand out more and more. In fact, it was basically all I saw when I looked at our house. All of the issues. All of the needed updates. All of the little repairs. How much work it needed and the little time and help we had to do it.
I had SO much planned before we moved into this house. But life has other plans! We decided 2 months after being married we were ready for a baby (I know, we are a little crazy.) & Obviously, you can’t exactly paint, get on a ladder, trim trees, or do much when you are pregnant!
I let the current stage of our home get under my skin and despise it rather than doing something about it. You don’t have to be in your dream home to make your house a home! There are some changes you can make to start loving your home more and more. This is not our forever home, in fact, we will be attempting to get a new home in 2018. BUT, for the time being, this is our home! So instead of being ungrateful and ashamed, I decided to make little changes to help that feeling diminish. This could be for anyone, if you are renting, in a fixer-upper, or just waiting to move onto better or bigger things!
Here are some of my tips that made my House feel more like Home:
Every Christmas I get so excited because I love the smell of cinnamon. Bath and Body works has HUGE sales & I usually spend an entire paycheck on candles (exaggeration lol.) I usually try to have scents that match the seasons, and try to have candles lit often. Plug-ins are also great! Something about good smells really makes me feel at home.
Depending on the room and time of day, lighting plays a big part in the home-like feeling. If it’s day time and all our blinds are closed, I feel like the room is dark and closed in. At times, I even feel more lazy. Open your blinds, let the natural light in! If you are not in a huge space, or don’t have much natural light, there are tricks on using mirrors, or using LED light bulbs that really brighten up the space!
Seems silly, but if your house is always a mess, your life kinda feels like a mess! (Or at least mine does!) This can be stressful and make you look at your surroundings differently. One thing that helps me is making lists. I set days of the week for laundry, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, cleaning out the fridge, etc. Life gets hectic, but if you keep your house tidy, it will help!
This one really helps me, simply because I love plants. Every week when I grocery shop I buy a bouquet of flowers, usually Hydrangea. They’re usually $4.00 & they last a week or longer, and it makes a big impact. I trim them and stick them in a tall mason jar and put them in my main living areas (Kitchen/Living Room) which is where I am the most. I also have Succulents, which are great because they don’t require much work! Just passing by them everyday kinda brings the outside in & I personally love them.
I consider this different from cleaning. Organizing can be done in any room, whether it be your closet, kitchen cabinets, kids toys, cleaning supplies, linen closet, etc. Chaos can cause you to feel a little crazy. Get rid of what you don’t use/need, use storage solutions, give everything a designated place. Spend a weekend organizing & you will feel accomplished & more at home!
I will be posting another blog soon on styling your home while being money conscious, but styling your home has a HUGE impact on how it makes you feel. When we first moved in I used what I had, which wasn’t much. I went to every discount store you can think of to style my home. You can get everything need at discounted prices!! You don’t have to spend a fortune! Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Ross, Thrift stores, Craigslist is where it’s at! Almost every piece of our furniture in our home is from Craigslist (except our mattress & couches.) I almost never buy anything full retail, unless I LOVE it. Go on Pinterest, get some inspiration, shop around, make the design your own!! If your space isn’t huge, be mindful on the furniture you choose, bulky and dark furniture tend to take up a ton of space and make rooms feel and look smaller.
Nowadays we take so many pictures on our phones and they just sit there till you look back on them every few months. Having family photos and pictures with friends makes me feel happy! You can order large canvas prints from Staples and Walgreens for a decent price, have a new look, and feel right at home. Plus gallery walls are gorgeous!
This one is kinda obvious.. But I’m adding it to the list because I feel like people think of updates as something like knocking walls down or completely redoing the kitchen. If you’re on a tight budget, I guarantee you can find some DIY ideas to improve your space. Changing outdated light fixtures, updating bathroom mirrors, painting your cabinets are so simple but make such a huge impression.
Ah, last but not least. As much as I don’t love our home, I will honestly be a little sad when we move. It’s our first place. We brought our son home for the first time here. We’ve prayed here. We’ve fought here. We’ve struggled here. We’ve laughed here. We’ve dreamed here. We’ve made this house a home, even though it’s temporary. Making memories and spending quality time with loved ones in your house definitely makes you feel right at home.
I’m honestly still struggling with this myself, and of course I am ready for the next home. But I know that’s God’s timing is never wrong! So for now, we will continue to make updates, make memories, pray and expect great things in our future!
I will be sharing some DIY updates as I attempt to bring this house up to better standards! Follow along for the journey!
“By Wisdom a house is built, and through Understanding it is established; Through Knowledge it’s rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4