It can be hard to love your home when it’s still in the dreaded fixer-upper stage.
Ho hum right?
Especially when there’s no room in the budget for all those changes you envisaged making when you bought it.
Maybe your house is already in pretty good shape, it just looks like a clutter ‘splosion thanks to your penchant for buying things on special.
Hey, I hear you. I’m known as Bargain Betty in our house.
The thing is, loving your home is super important. If you’re not feeling it, living there won’t feel good. It’s a lot like being stuck in a bad marriage. You either make it work or you leave.
Since you can’t take your house to couple’s therapy (well, not without looking weird, anyway), you need to figure out how to rekindle the romance.
Ready to Love Your Home?
You don’t have to wait for your home to look the part before you fall in love with it. There are plenty of things you can do right now to make coming home something you look forward to.
The tips here aren’t obvious. Some are a little woo-woo if I’m honest. But don’t let that put you off. Grab a bowl of granola, pour yourself a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine) and let’s dive in.
1. Check Your Impatience at the Door
You’re chomping at the bit. I get it. Maybe you have an idea in your head, maybe you have a folder of magazine cutouts of what your house will look like when you’re done rennovating it.
While it’s nice to have aspirations, it’s equally important to appreciate where you are. I know this sounds like the “kids are starving in India” speech your Mom gave you when you refused to eat your Brussel sprouts, but you have somewhere to live.
It might need some work, but it’s still a roof over your head. A lot of people don’t have that luxury. It’s worth reflecting on that for a moment.
Okay, guilt trip over.
Tthere’s another reason to exercise patience on the path to loving the home you’re in. Science says micro wins have more of an impact on us psychologically than big wins.
This means that over the long run you’ll love and appreciate your home more if it improves in stages rather than all at once.
You might think winning a home makeover would be the best thing ever, but I’d argue you’ll be happier taking your time, savouring each improvement as it happens.
I could be wrong (I don’t think I am, but you never know), but if you’re short on cash then my crazy ideas are all you have to work with right now.
Why not give them a try? You’ve got nothing to lose except faith in my ideas.
Exercising patience will also keep you from going into debt. We’ve all been there. We get super excited about a new project and want to get it done now. The only problem is, our budget doesn’t agree.
Patience will enable you to live a debt-free lifestyle, which is way better than remodelling your bathroom on someone else’s dime.
Still with me? Awesome, let’s move on. Unless you want to pause and get a second helping of granola or coffee? Go ahead, I’ll wait.
2. Start by Decluttering (Yup, That Old Chestnut)
I know. First I hit you up with woo-woo advice and then this. Can I not stop with the decluttering story already? I get it. I sound like a broken record (me and half the internet), but it’s with good reason.
Decluttering isn’t a box you can check and move on. Humans are like clutter velcro. Even hardcore minimalists like Sporty and I have been known to end up with a junk drawer full of miscellaneous items we neither use nor need.
Aside from removing the actual stuff from your home, decluttering also shifts stagnant energy. (More woo-woo, just go with it.)
You might not buy into my hippy-dippy way of thinking but you can still experience this for yourself.
Take note of how you feel before you declutter (overwhelmed, stressed, grumpy, etc.) and then see how you feel afterwards (calm, relaxed, happier).
Removing the clutter wipes the slate clean. It allows you to really see your home. It shifts your perspective and brings the potential back into focus.
Read: The Minimalist Home by Joshua Becker
3. Incorporate the Three Cs: Clean, Clear, Clever
Clean lines, clear surfaces and clever use of space. Keep these three Cs in mind as you work towards creating a home you love. I’m no decor whizz, but I know what makes me feel comfortable.
When a home adheres to these three principles I’m in my happy place. Clutter, loud colours and overfilling a room has the opposite effect on me. I’m not alone in this. Most people would find that jarring.
The thing is, you often don’t know there’s a problem until you experience something else. It’s by no means a judgement. We all have areas where we’re ignorant until we know better.
If you grew up surrounded by clutter you might be constantly irritable and not know why. Only when you remove the excess from your own life will you make the connection.
One way to incorporate the three Cs is by buying furniture that checks all three boxes. Opt for things that are simple, stylish and above all, good quality. You want it to last.
It also needs to serve a purpose beyond pure aesthetics. Obvious, maybe, but a lot of times people get caught up in how something looks, forgetting that it’s actually supposed to do something.
If you’ve ever sat on a stylish but wildly uncomfortable couch you’ll know what I mean. Most people love reading and own lots of books. The problem is they take up a lot of space.
Figuring out how to store them is key. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, simply find yourself a minimalist bookcase on Tylko.com website.
Use this approach throughout your house. When in doubt, opt for clean, clear and clever. Done right, your furniture will wow in an understated way.
Read: 11 Minimalist Style and Décor Ideas by MyDomaine
4. Use Feng Shui to Make Your House Auspicious
Feng shui (pronounced ‘fung shway’) seeks to promote prosperity, good health, and general well being by examining how energy, qi (pronounced ‘chee’) flows through a particular room, house, building, or garden. [Source: Infoplease]
The benefits of feng shui cannot be overstated. Sporty and I have dabbled in the ancient art of Chinese geomancy (as it’s also known) for many years. And always with excellent results.
In case you’re wondering, feng shui and minimalism can co-exist. Our go-to source of all things feng shui is Red Lotus Letter. Run by Kathryn Weber, the website offers a ton of useful, easy to understand and actionable information on the subject.
Historically, feng shui was widely used to orient buildings in an auspicious manner. While China is experiencing a feng shui renaissance, the rest of the world has yet to catch on.
As such, most buildings are designed for aesthetics and practicality. Something that’s pleasing on the eye from a Western standpoint could very well be a firm no-no in feng shui terms.
Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to fix things without having to resort to knocking down walls and bricking up incorrectly placed doorways.
Feng shui can easily become overwhelming, but it’s worth persevering. Start by signing up for Kathryn’s free 4-week program 28 Days to Prosperity (you’ll find it on the homepage).
Read: Feng shui for beginners by Kathryn Weber
5. Make a Dream Home Wish List
Our tastes can change significantly over time. This is fine when it comes to your wardrobe. Buying new clothes can be pricey, but the outlay won’t necessarily break the bank.
Home renovations on the other hand are super costly. You want to be absolutely certain that you’ll still love the changes in five or 10 years time. (Maybe even longer.)
This is where loving your home on a budget is actually an advantage. Without the necessary funds on hand, you won’t be able to make rash home improvement decisions.
You may even find that something you really, really like right now, will be a huge turnoff in a year’s time. Likewise, another idea may well stand the test of time. A year or even two years from now you’ll still love that style.
Awesome, at least you know for sure.
The other benefit of making a dream home wish list is that it gives you something to look forward to as well as something to work towards. Having a clear end goal in mind will motivate you in those times when you’re not loving your home as much.
It’s Time for Some Home Lovin’
By now you should be feeling confident about the prospect of loving your home. It might not happen immediately. (Good relationships take time.)
But at very least you should feel like it’s a definitel possibility.