At the heart of simple and frugal living is being contented with what you have. And the biggest thing you have… is your home. For so many of us, it’s hard to be happy with it.
It’s easy with people with beautiful homes, right? But what if your home isn’t beautiful? What if it’s outdated, painted orange, and looks out over a field of poison ivy (been there). How do you find a way to love your home when it’s like that?
Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with your decor or the size or condition of the house you’re in. It means having an emotional connection to your home. There is no way to buy it, but here are some ideas to create it.
Let’s find out how to fall in love with your home all over again.
1. Get as much natural light and air as possible
This is the difference between a home and a prison.
Open the curtains unless it is night. Open the windows whenever you can. It’s a nice idea to air out your bedrooms early in the morning. (If it’s cold out, shut the bedroom door, so cold air doesn’t rush through the house.) Look for the sunniest corner of your house and put a chair there. Spend the mornings in places that face east and the afternoons in places that face west. It’s good for you.
2. Enjoy the view out your window
What do you see when you look out your windows? Your old deck furniture and some cracking planters? The back of someone else’s house? A bunch of outdoor toys sitting around? Perhaps the curtains are always closed? Change it, as much as you can, to something you’ll enjoy. This might mean putting some flower pots out. It might mean making your kids put their outdoor toys away every time they are done. Maybe a bird feeder would help, or even just birdseed scattered on the ground every morning. Looking out the window should be a happy thing.
Want to love the space you’re in within the next thirty minutes? Grab a trash bag and fill it up with all the junk that’s visually assaulting you.
Old broken stuff, piles of mail, clothes you hate, cheap decor that’s falling apart, and all those dumb knick-knacks on your dresser. Throw them away. Isn’t that better?
If you spend fifteen minutes a day decluttering, you’ll find that your relationship with your space improves.
Suddenly, you can find things you need, and you have space to breathe. It turns out you don’t need to be wishing for bigger closets after all. Having less stuff will do the trick just as well.
Yes, being content with what you have is important.
But sometimes, a small and inexpensive change can make a big difference in how you feel about your home.
And if a fresh coat of paint will make a big impact, you should go for it. This is especially effective in rooms with dark, depressing paint colors. If you have one room that’s driving you crazy, go ahead and change it.
5. Find a productive home-based hobby
As a general rule, the busier you are, the less you complain. Too much time doing nothing leads to you looking around your home and finding it not satisfactory.
What if you took that negative energy and turned it into something positive? You can even spend that time doing something to improve your home atmosphere for you and your family.
- Start a garden (grow some fresh flowers to help you decorate!)
- Bake something (homemade food is a great accessory)
- Sew or knit
Your home is not supposed to be a trendy showpiece. It’s supposed to be a place to.. you know, do stuff.
6. Make your home function well
How many times have you opened a kitchen cabinet, have a bunch of stuff come crashing down, and thought: we need to move… we need more space!
Well, the hard truth is that moving won’t solve your problems when your house is disorganized and non-functional. You’ll just have more cabinets that have things flying out of them.
So, how to set up a home that functions well?
- Store things where they are used: spatulas near the mixing bowls, straws near the cups, etc.
- Designate a central stockroom area for bulk storage and have just one of what you need in each room instead of space-hogging multiples. Restock from the storage area.
- Make things easy to access: brooms hung on the wall instead of some disaster of a broom closet, just a few coats on hooks instead of a mountain of them in a closet.
You’ll probably find that with a little creativity, even your home that seems not good enough can work for you very well.
7. Stop scrolling for your dream home
If you don’t like your current home, stop looking on real estate websites. There’s no need to look at houses you can’t buy and compare their professionally staged pictures to your everyday reality.
Before you know it, you start thinking about how much better your home would be with a pool or a new kitchen, or even just a little bump-out for a window seat. This is not a way to cultivate joy and gratitude in your life.
Stop spending time in the comparison trap.
8. Move from room to room throughout the day
Open floor plans have one huge problem: you feel like you are in the same room all day. It is not pleasant.
So, if you have an open floor plan but also a living room and dining room, use them!
A change of scenery is good for the soul, and you can get it right within the walls of your home.
Some ways to use the lesser-used spaces in the average house.
- Eat dinner in the dining room. It doesn’t have to be a formal dining room that is utterly pointless. Find a more casual table and chairs that can get used on a daily basis.
- Set up a reading nook in your bedroom and take a short break there during the kids’ quiet time.
- Don’t need two living spaces? Do something else with your living room: a home library, bar, study, or something else functional are all good choices.
The point is, make your spaces fit your life so you can use them.
9. Change things up
This doesn’t mean you should head down to Hobby Lobby and spend $85 on fall decor made in China.
But some seasonal changes in your home decor every so often help it feel fresh and new.
- Cut fresh flowers (even wildflowers are beautiful) and put them on your mantle or windowsill.
- Rearrange the furniture in your living room
- Keep a box of white throw pillows and hand towels and take them out for a few weeks in early spring.
If you have a lot of throw pillows., blankets, and other accessories, pack half of them up and rotate them every so often. Your home will feel brand new without you having to spend any money. Sometimes a little change is all it takes to love your home again.
10. Keep it clean
Yes, this is different from decluttering. Think of what every realtor tells you to do to make buyers fall in love with your home: clean it!
Shiny tubs, clear windows, and polished floors make your home more beautiful than marble counters or trendy lights.
As a bonus, as you care you and clean your space, you’ll often feel yourself bonding with your home, in a sense.
You can be in love with your home, no matter what it looks like
Try to cultivate a spirit of gratitude towards your house. Take care of it, and remember that you and your husband have worked hard for it.
It’s an attitude change, not a decorating change that you probably need.