There’s a vast difference between having a house, and feeling at home, as home is much more than the physical property, indeed, it’s more a feeling than anything else. When you have this feeling of home, all feels right with the world, but if you’re in a place where you don’t feel at home in your house this can be a very unsettling feeling.
This article looks at what to do when your house doesn’t feel like a home, and looks at the reasons why this could be the case.
Give yourself time
If you’ve just moved home, there’s a good chance you’ll be feeling unsettled as your home environment is very much linked to your emotional state – and when moving home, you have disrupted your associations of home; meaning, as we are creatures of habit we tend to get comfortable with things being a certain way and our brain makes associations such as “house with green door = safety and relief”, so if you move house away from the green door that your brain has become programmed to associate with a sense of safety and relief, perhaps derived from the act of coming home from work… it now needs to catch up, and transfer this association on to your new home, which perhaps as a red door.
The point being that your brain associates certain things with a sense of home and a feeling of stability – when you move home, it’s having to play catch up, which is why it’s so important to have as many nice experiences in your new home, as early as possible, to start to condition your brain to see this new place as “home”.
Plan on updates & repairs
Whilst the dripping tap, leaky roof, drafty windows and stiff lock might not seem like big deals in themselves, they are the sort of problems that you notice on a daily basis but just choose to live with. For this reason, over time, they grate you down – and it’s not an acute pain that needs your attention, unlike a blocked toilet, it’s more of a niggling pain that just stays with you.
If you have maintenance tasks to undertake that you’ve been putting off such as finding replacement windows then write a list of all these niggling tasks, and work your way through this list – not only will you find it practically conducive to feeling more at home within your home, but it’s cathartic on an emotional level too.
See, we all want to feel like we are taking care of ourselves, and when we take care of our home we often feel better about ourselves.
Consider how you use your home
It might seem simple, but a home can be many things to people… it all depends on how it is used, as for some people, their home is a launchpad to create their new business whilst for others it’s a place to iron their shirt and grab a slice of toast before rushing to get the train to work.
How you use your home determines the associations you feel with regard to your home.
One of the best things you can do, therefore, is to ensure you are using your home in a way that is conducive to it feeling like a home; for instance, whilst it can be nice to go to a luxury spa from time to time, your home should be your sanctuary, and therefore creating a DIY lavender sugar scrub, lighting some candles, running a nice hot bath and putting some relaxing music on can help you feel much more at home.
Host a party
If we live a solitary life within our home, it can feel more like a cave of isolation, rather than a warm and friendly home environment. It’s important to have people over from time to time, have a dinner party, invite people around for a barbecue, and so on… or even, just have a movie night with your friends or family where you make popcorn and get the duvets down — home is a feeling, not a place, and the feelings that are created from your home will come from the experiences you have within it.
In summary, home is not a place, it is an emotional state – and you have much more control over your emotional state than you might realise, as after all, you have the power to control your emotions by conditioning them… yet so often we allow our emotions to control us… and if you’re living in a house that doesn’t feel like home, it’s time to start taking back control.
Affectionately known to her friends as Millennial Martha for her love of DIY and decorating, Jen can’t help but pour her heart + soul into everything she touches. She’s loved to entertain since acquiring a table and chairs, and giving gifts is one of her favorite hobbies. Jen is the creator of Girl Meets Party. Her dream is to share her passions with the world in hopes to inspire others by making the seemingly unattainable attainable.