Realistically, though, thanks to our "lovely" economy this dream isn't coming true anytime soon. Our plan was to live in our place for four years at most, yet we are three years in and are nowhere near being able to move. After talking to some friends and neighbors, we see this is happening to a lot of us...
Rather than let it get us down, I started to think of what we can do to make us enjoy what we have now. Sometimes all it takes is a little tweaking, both in how we live and in our mentality, to make our current homes work for us. Below you will find some tips that I believe will help. I have already started implementing some of these tips, and can honestly say I am feeling more at peace with our situation.
1) List the Positives
First, I would suggest making a list of the favorite things about your home. This way you can refer to the list whenever those negative thoughts creep in. Here is a peak into my list:
- We love our peaceful, dog-friendly neighborhood
- A small condo allows us to feel more connected as a family
- Less to clean! Plus, no mowing the lawn or shoveling snow
- The pretty view of the trees outside our window
- A smaller place = smaller mortgage = more money in our pocket!
2) Declutter and Organize
It's amazing what a little decluttering can do, both for peace of mind and in terms of organization. Think about what items you really use or need. If you don't love it or use it regularly, it should go. For example, if you have a small closet, think about investing in just a few wardrobe staples, then ditch that dress that you haven't worn in three years or those pants that never did fit so great. Do the same with the kitchen cupboards, bookshelves, garage, or wherever clutter collects in your home.
My husband and I have a tendency to keep things "just in case," but lately we've started to really rethink some of our possessions. Room by room, we've been getting rid of so many unloved things. Suddenly we feel like our place is no longer bursting at the seams. The condo feels bigger and much more organized!
3) Home Improvement
Knowing that we'll eventually sell our place, it seems smart to think now about what small improvements could add value to our condo. I always think it's funny that people wait until they are ready to sell to go ahead and make repairs or upgrades. Why not do it now and enjoy it?
For us, this in part means our kitchen. While I'd love to upgrade our countertops to granite, given our tight budget we plan on simply adding a backsplash, door knobs, and paint. After that, we are hoping to replace our windows and add closet systems to our coat/hall closet and hopefull mine too!
New backsplash and possible paint color for our kitchen
4) Reconsider A Room's Purpose
Maybe you're dreaming about having an office but don't have an extra room. Just because the space near your living room was labeled "dining room" on your floorplan doesn't mean it needs to be one. Rethink a room's original purpose, get a little creative, and you'll be surprised at how many rooms can multitask to become exactly what you need it to.
In our case, we have a den/sunroom adjacent to our living room that currently serves as my husband's office and "music room" (he has a huge collection of CD's and a few guitars.) One of the reasons for wanting to move is to expand our family in the future. In a pinch, though, this room could get a door added, some new furniture and a fresh coat of paint to become a nursery. What will become of my husband's CD's is another story...
Amy Meier's Office in Dining Room, Better Homes & Gardens
5) Personalize It
Finally, a way to enjoy the space you live now is to simply make it your home! Our place always feels cozy when we have some music playing and a candle lit. Don't wait for your "forever home" to finally put up a gallery wall of family photos. Anything that makes you feel happy should be proudly displayed, and will only help in making your home feel like the place you are supposed to be here and now.
Are you or anyone you know in this situation? Do you have any tips to share on how you are dealing with it?