12 ways to love your home (almost) just the way it is!
Back last fall when we decided not to sell our home, I started giving a lot of thought to what really makes me feel good in a home. We looked at so many of houses for sale, and eventually after changing our search parameters when we couldn't find what we really wanted, we realized--our home is (or can be) just as good as or better than all these!! With a few changes, we realized we could make our home perfect for us--and we could be really grateful for what we have.
We've made some small changes around the house since then, most of them free or very affordable, and we've started taking care of a few things that we had stopped maintaining. It feels much better to be take care and pride in our home! (When we thought we were moving, we stopped doing things like organizing the garage since we figured it wouldn't matter soon!)
12 ways to love your home (almost) just the way it is! (and why?)
I realize this goal of taking good care of something that's important to me is very in-tune with my blog's new name and mission. To me, "Create/Enjoy" means enjoying my time at home and feeling relaxed in the space/with the things I've created! I've spent so much time decorating my home, now I ought to enjoy it!
This goal reminds me of another passion of mine--self-love and body acceptance. My biggest inspiration in this front is Molly Galbraith, who shared an amazing 28-day Love Your Body Challenge (do the 7-day version here!) and runs Girls Gone Strong, which is full of articles and inspiration for training and health (and attitude). Some of my favorite body/self positivity messages from Molly are here--just put "home" instead of "self" or "body" and they totally make sense for this goal!
- "You can love your body right now, while wanting it to look or perform differently."
- "I am perfect just as I am. And I could use a little improvement."
- "If you don't love your body, where the heck else are you gonna live?"
They say the home reflects the self. So, since deciding to stay put, I've resolved to make my home and myself more positive! Here are 12 ways I've done it.
12 things you can do to make your home better!
- Clean it. I'm not the greatest at cleaning but I'm learning, and it's amazing how much better I feel when the bathroom mirror and counter are clean. Or the stove--oh, the stove. Getting into a cleaning routine and getting used to having things clean have been really nice!
- Clean out/up medicine cabinet. How often do people clean those out?!? I had stuff in there from, literally high school. One Saturday morning husband and I went through everything and got rid of a bunch of unused stuff, making room for some things that had been on the counters.
- Move art around. As I shared earlier this week, we recently swapped the living room and dining room art and curtains and it transformed the spaces! Redecorating for free!
- Fresh paint in a small room. I actually used a combination of grey and white paints we already had to repaint our half bath from a very dark color (to get the same color family as the other greys in our home, just a lighter/medium shade). Changing that bathroom, since it had been a very strong statement, made such a difference! Every time I walked by it I felt happy for a few weeks.
- Fix broken things. We lived with our freezer leaking water occasionally for way too long. Somehow finding the time to call the appliance place, schedule a time, and commit to paying the repairman felt like a huge mountain to climb. But once I did it, I felt responsible and good about myself, and of course the freezer stopped leaking. (If you're a renter, it's even easier and cheaper to get things fixed, of course!)
- Have a dinner party. We feel so good about our home when we fill it with friends and conversations. Over the holidays when we had several couples over we crammed into our dining room and hung out casually in the kitchen and living room too, and it made us so grateful to have a home that could (creatively) accommodate people we want to spend time with. Great way to feel good about what you have, using it for a purpose like that!
- Find something new in your neighborhood. We love taking walks, but we usually go to the same places. Exploring new parks that are just a little farther away or finding a new restaurant has been really fun for us and made us glad to live where we do!
- Buy organizers. You can't go overboard on this one because I swear stores like The Container Store are just selling an idea of an organized life (Liz Lemon's "I'm going to become wonderful!" when she buys all those containers...)... but sometimes you actually do need some tools to keep things sorted.
- Trade out small, inexpensive items. I recently traded out our nightstands, which felt a little too formal and frilly, for a tiny dresser we had in another room and a nightstand a friend had had for a while. That and trading out the blanket at the end of the bed made our bedroom feel fresh and new!
- Finally order the hanging file frames. Okay, maybe it's just me. We had a file cabinet with no file frames so the green file holder things just flopped around. I never knew exactly what they were called so I procrastinated... then I finally tried to find them and ordered them (less than $9 on Amazon) and then filing things instead of leaving them on the desk was so much easier. Easy fix!!
- Take care of the houseplants. Houseplants are great! But having sad-looking ones around the house makes me feel sad that I can't even keep plants alive and thriving. We recently added soil to some of them and staked a couple others, and they're doing better. Simple maintenance tasks like that are important!
- (Okay, I haven't done this one yet, it's on my list) More major improvements. I keep moving the calendar appointment with the measurements in it to next Saturday, then next Saturday, and so on... I want to buy a cabinet for above our washer and dryer. I want to find one at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and they're only open 8-5 and Saturdays so I have to go some Saturday. But that's one of the last functional things about the house I want to change--cabinets there for storage instead of the wimpy wire shelf. It won't cost too much and is totally feasible to install ourselves, just gotta do it!
Some more photos from the art and curtain redecorating swap. A different space!
What are some simple ways you make your home feel more personalized and special, or to feel grateful for it?