How to Love Your Home
February brings Valentine's Day and all things love, romance, and red/pink/white. Sure, we love our kids and spouses and partners, but how do we feel about our homes? Are we feeling the love? Here are some things to keep in mind to help you get that warm, gushy feeling.
1. Be grateful that you have a safe, warm, dry space to live.
Let's start with the basics, shall we? We live in a first-world nation and are incredibly lucky to have our safe, warm, dry home/duplex/apartment/condo to live in. Sometimes on windy nights when I hear it howling outside, I snuggle down deeper into my blankets, thanking God that I am where I am. Yeah, so maybe it's not your dream home, or it's not completely decorated the way you want, but it keeps you out of the elements and away from hungry bears. That's a good thing.
2. Think of all the memories you've made there.
Maybe you brought your first baby home to this house. Or your third. Maybe it was your first grown-up space you lived in after college. Maybe it is where you celebrated your last Christmas with your Grandma. You've celebrated birthdays, anniversaries, and new jobs. You've had Memorial Day picnics or Super Bowl parties or Thanksgiving Day feasts. We make lots of memories in our homes, and the walls silently witness all of these special occasions with us.
3. It's a place for your belongings.
Our homes keep our stuff safe, whether it's furniture, books (oh, our BOOKS!), beds, photographs, food, china, tables and chairs. And of course all of our papers and clothing. Where would we put all of this stuff we need and love if it weren't for our houses? I have no desire to carry it all in a big sack weighing on my back and shoulders.
4. You can always repaint or redecorate.
And this is where we get tripped up most often, I think: the Age of Social Media has made us all hyper-aware of how other people live and we are in a constant state of comparison with what other people have. I don't have a farmhouse-white kitchen. My dining room is painted the perfect shade of 1998 Red. I have hand-me-down furniture in several rooms of my house. Does this bug me? Sometimes. I drool like everyone else on Instagram and Facebook and Pinterest, but I know that with a little paint and some well-placed updates, I can change a lot of what I have into what I want. Fresh paint gives pretty much the biggest bang for your buck in your house and $50 at HomeGoods or Marshalls can go a long way towards refreshing things.
5. Storage can always be made to work harder.
Lack of space is another area that I think is a common reason people get grumpy about their homes: not enough storage, a too-small basement, barely-there closets. The good news is that storage can ALWAYS be made to work harder: you can always do a hard purge of no longer needed items and invest in some solutions that make use of every inch. Bins, baskets, and labels can usually wrangle more usable space everywhere.
6. Remember your favorite times of day or year.
Maybe it's your family room at Christmas when the tree lights are on at night. Maybe it's the way the sun comes through the kitchen window in the early mornings of summer. Maybe it's your back deck in the fall, looking out over the orange and red leaves. I personally love the way the way my house looks when it has snowed outside and all that bright white light is reflecting in every room. We all have favorite times of day or favorite times of year, where the light or view or something is just right and you feel at peace. Keep those times in mind and be thankful.
Have a wonderful Valentine's Day with the people (and home) that you love!!