Your Home vs. Contentment

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We’ve all seen those gorgeous homes on the water and dreamed of being able to walk out onto our own private beach. Or maybe you’re more of the beautiful log home in the mountains kind of a person.  Perhaps, you’d like a big piece of property in the country with no neighbors for miles and nothing but peace and quiet. Do you love the idea of a big house in a subdivision where your family is involved in block parties and constant socialization? Or are you the big city type, who would love to live in an exciting city atmosphere in an amazingly modern apartment with no yard work to think about, just a cool place to entertain and be steps away from what the city has to offer? No matter what your taste, it’s always fun to dream of our “dream home”, but are we so wishing we had that home of our dreams that we are missing out on the joy of the home we have?

Do you look around your home and think of how fortunate you are to live there and see all of the good things about it, or do you constantly think about the things you wish were different about it or that you wished you lived in a different house altogether? Do you find yourself thinking and saying more negative things about your home than positive things? If so, it’s time for some reflection and to change that mindset.

Sure, some people start off in a “starter” home. They get a house that they know they don’t plan on staying in forever and they save up until they can afford a house that is more compatible with their life plans, such as having a family. I totally get that and think that’s awesome. In fact, that’s the way it should be done. Start out with what you can afford at the time and move up once you get the money saved up (kind of goes along with my money post from yesterday, in terms of getting what you can truly afford and not getting something you can’t just because you think it will make you happy). However, sometimes circumstances don’t up being what you expected and that “starter” home has become the home you feel stuck in because you don’t have the money to move. Or, maybe you have moved, more than once even, but you’re still not in the home you had envisioned for yourself. It’s easy to become discouraged by that and find all the faults in your current home and convince yourself that you just can’t be happy there because it’s not at all what you wanted at this point in your life and you’re frustrated because you see your friends/family in houses that are like the one you pictured yourself living in and it’s just not fair! Sound familiar? Well, let’s work on that.

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Do you remember the feeling when you first went and looked at the house you’re in? Chances are you were super excited and could picture where you would put your furniture and what color you would paint the walls and where you would hang pictures. And then, you got the news that your offer had been accepted and you were probably beyond thrilled and giddy and couldn’t wait to get into it! Now, even though I’m saying this about buying a home, the same goes for an apartment, condo or renting a home. Wherever you were excited to move into. You probably went it and cleaned with genuine excitement (there haven’t been too many times in my life when I’ve cleaned with genuine excitement, but to move into a new house would definitely be one of those times), painted and started moving your things in and watched it go from a house to your home. Now, setting aside all of the work that entailed, wasn’t that such an exciting and happy time? Didn’t you just look around at your home for weeks, maybe months and think about how happy you were to be there? Now, did you know you can still do the same thing? You can have that feeling all over again? It’s true.

Now, not everyone has the money to do any kind of major renovation at their house (add me to that list), but there are easy and inexpensive ways to change the look of a room and make it fresh and exciting to you again. The first thing you should do is choose the room that you seem to have the most complaints about first. If you’ve got a few and can’t decide which one you dislike most, I would suggest choosing a living area because that will be where most of your time is spent and where more people in your family will get to enjoy the change.

You might guess that the first suggestion I am going to make is paint. Yeah, it takes work, but invite a friend over for the weekend to help out and it won’t take too long and you’ll get to visit while you do it. That always makes work go by faster. When you are done, you will be sooooo glad you did it. Just the freshening up of new paint and a new color will revive your room and give you renewed excitement about the space.

Don’t want to get into that big of a project? Why not try rearranging furniture, adding some pops of color with some throw pillows or fun accent pieces? New lamps or even just new lampshades. Hate your furniture, but can’t afford to replace it? Why not get some slipcovers? If you have wood floors, maybe add a new colorful rug. Maybe some new curtains would make a big impact. There are definitely things you can do to add new life to a space without it costing a fortune. Places like Marshalls and T.J. Maxx are great for getting cool decor pieces for reasonable prices.

Maybe a refresher to the outside of your house is what you need. Putting in some new mulch, adding some hanging baskets to your porch, planting a few new shrubs, etc. Simple things like this can make a major impact on the look of your home for a feasible amount of money.

Now those are ways you can make changes in your home, to change your views of your home physically, but here are some ways to change your views of your home mentally.

Who lives in your home with you? Who do you get to spend time with there? Do you get to sit and have meals in your home with friends and family? Do you have a kitchen where you are able to prepare those meals? Do you get to sit in your family room and watch t.v. with someone you care about? Do you have a washer and dryer where you get to wash your family’s clothes? Do you have a bathroom where you are able to shower and get ready to go places? Do you have a bedroom where you sleep at night? If you answered yes to any of these questions (and I’m going to guess you probably answered yes to most, if not all of them), then you have an amazing home. That’s right, YOU HAVE AN AMAZING HOME.

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Home isn’t about a big, fancy, flawlessly decorated house where you impress people who come over. It’s not about a place with a gourmet kitchen or big walk-in closets. What it is about is a place where your family comes together each day. Where you make memories, where you have friends over (who, if they are true friends, don’t care at all what your house looks like, but are just happy to be there with you), where you know that after a long day at work you get to come back to. Home is the place where you find rest, privacy, comfort and more importantly, where you find love.

So, would you rather keep finding fault in your house, wishing you had something bigger and better? Do you want to keep complaining about the things you wish were different and being envious of others’ houses? I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pointless waste of time to me, when you could instead be enjoying this home you are blessed to have and more importantly, enjoying the people you get to share it with.

In short, be content with the home you have and look at your home for what it really is…a place for family to be together and love and make memories and a place for friends and family to gather and laugh and enjoy time with each other. Your home doesn’t need to be a showplace, it just needs to be a place that is welcoming to whoever enters. That’s what makes a house a home.

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