Monday, 6 May 2013

love your home

I've been inspired to write this weeks post by an overheard conversation. It was between two girls on the train and went something like this:

"How's your new place?"
"Yeah, it's really nice...quite big really, almost perfect"
"I hate the colour of the living room"
"Won't they let you paint it?"
"Yeah, but they said they won't do it or pay for it because it's just been done"
"But you could do it?"
"Yeah but why should I pay for it? It's not my flat"

It got me thinking about thinking about how people who rent feel about their homes, after also hearing about about someone else who has moved to London for work, rents during the week and goes home to their owned home at the weekend. This person has apparently never even unpacked and doesn't like being away from 'home'. I guess I find it surprising that people don't make the effort with the places they live if they don't own them and that some people won't even consider spending a small amount of money or time on improving the place they live. 

Print £20 from Lovely Cuppa at Not On The High Street

I did a quick calculation. Two tins of a DIY stores  own brand paint is about £37.98. Divide that by 365 days (a minimum term contract if you don't utilize the break clause) and it equates to about 10 pence per day. 10 pence per day and a couple of hours effort was all that stood between that girl and her perfect flat. If the guy unpacked and had a few home comforts, maybe working away from home wouldn't feel so bad? I guess what I'm trying to say is that even if you don't own, it doesn't take much to make a house a home. I'm not suggesting making major improvements, that wouldn't make financial sense, but small changes are a small price to pay for creating somewhere you're happy to come home to at the end of the day, surely? 

I believe that having a home you're happy in makes the world of difference to you life. Waking up and coming home to a place that is anything less that what you want can be soul destroying. Whatever your situation, your style or your budget by doing a few simple things you can create your sanctuary.

Lavish some time on it:
A bit of cleaning and tidying is the cheapest, simplest way to transform your space. Start with one room, one corner or even one shelf if you feel overwhelmed just thinking about this task. Setting aside as little as 15 minutes a day to attend to cleaning and tidying will make a huge difference.

Fix it:
Tired or broken fixtures drag the look of your home down. Make running repairs, throw out or recycle broken things and make plans to tackle larger projects or resolve to take them up with your letting agent or landlord. Weed the garden if you have one. Care for communal areas, pick up the junk mail and recycle it.

Decorate it:
Paint a wall (if you can) or look at other ways of 'decorating'. Buy some curtains, a duvet cover or some cushions to add colour or pattern. Have a couple of plants, buy flowers occasionally, put up some artwork that you like to look at and display a few treasured possessions, make your home a feast for the eyes (and therefore the mind!) make it an inspiring place to be in. Don't worry too much if you're not confident about it will look,  you can always change it and anyway, the only goal is that you like it and it makes you happy. 

Show it off: 
Invite friends and family over for a simple meal or a drink or even for popcorn and a movie. Nothing makes a house come alive like company and there's no greater incentive to get those niggling jobs done that the thought of people coming over!

Love it:
You can only do the best you can with what you've got, the rest is all in the mind. If you don't love your home, take a few moments to think about why, can you change what you don't like? If you can't, change your attitude towards it. If you hate the colour of your walls and can't change it, look at ways to work with it. Your place might not be perfect (very few are!) but it's yours, maybe not forever, but for now. Make the most of it.

Being happy at home is so essential so spend some time assessing your home & your happiness there and resolve to make it the best it can be for you.

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