Most of us aren’t living in our dream homes.
I live in a 3 story townhouse (way too many stairs!).
We rented for 5 years. Then the landlord decided to sell. We said we didn’t want to buy it. We bought it.
It’s not ideal, but it’s ours.
Maybe you’re in a similar position.
Maybe you’re renting when you want to own.
Maybe you’re still stuck in your starter home that you thought you would sell 5 years ago.
Maybe your house feels too small for your growing family.
You Can Find Happiness in Your current Home
If you’re not thrilled with your current home, it’s easy to get down on things. Feel unhappy with the space. Want to move.
And maybe you can move eventually.
But if your current circumstances mean you have to stay for now, it’s time to start making a conscious effort to be happier where you are.
And here are 18 ways to do it.
1. Stop Comparing Your Home to Others
Comparison kills your happiness. It just does. Whether you’re comparing yourself, your bank account, your house, your success. It doesn’t matter. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER PEOPLE!
Someone will always have a nicer home than you.
It’ll be bigger. Or newer. Or prettier. Or decorated more perfectly than yours.
Remember: you don’t know their story.
They could be close to foreclosure.
They could have worked for years to afford that house.
They could have a friend who’s an interior designer.
Focus on you and your house, not on others.
2. Clear the clutter
I’ll admit it. I hate to let go of anything. I’m sentimental so I hold onto anything with any significance.
I worry that I might need that random kitchen gadget that I used exactly once 10 years ago. But it might come in handy again someday.
Too much clutter makes it harder to be happy with your house.
I start to feel antsy. I can’t focus on what I’m doing. It really has a negative impact on me mentally.
Here are the benefits when you get rid of the clutter:
- Tidier looking home
- More peaceful surroundings (makes it easier to feel happy)
- Less cleaning to reduce your stress
- Fewer distractions so you can stay present
Start with one little area per day and prune it mercilessly. Get rid of things you don’t use or have no sentimental attachment to.
3. Create a Cleaning Routine
Now that you’ve kicked the clutter to the curb, it’s a heck of a lot easier to keep your house clean.
And it’s a lot easier to be happy with the house you live in when it’s clean.
When I let things go too far, I notice it starts interfering with my mood. It slows me down, especially in areas I use a lot, like the kitchen and my home office space.
Get into a routine with cleaning.
I committed to making sure my kitchen and bathroom countertops are clean every single day. I don’t worry so much about the other areas. But I always clean the counters, so they’re ready for the next day. It’s had a huge impact on how I feel.
We rented our townhouse for 5 years before we bought it. We stared at the same boring cream walls for all those years.
Even after we bought it, I took a while before I really started decorating. I was afraid to commit to pounding a nail in the wall in case I changed my mind on where I put it.
But decorating your space, whether you rent or own, makes it yours. It makes it beautiful to you.
And decorating can also help hide some of the things you don’t like about the home. A well-chosen piece of artwork can draw the eye away from an eyesore in the room.
5. Add Personal Touches
Show off your personality in your home. Hang pics of your family. Haven’t had professional photos taken in a while? Candids work just as well.
Or maybe it’s your quirky collection of ceramic cats you started collecting in 2nd grade.
Whatever it is, show YOU in your home decor.
6. Change the Look
Freshening up the look of your home makes it seem new and exciting. Instead of a complete remodel, just add a few new things.
You don’t always have to buy new things to make your space look different. Rearranging the furniture can make the space more functional and improve the look.
Pulling decor from one room into another can change up the look as well.
7. Make Repairs
The list of repairs and changes I want to make in our home is long.
But most of those things? I’m so used to seeing them that I just ignore them.
Until I’m standing there waiting to see if the Keurig is actually going to brew this time, staring at the kitchen walls, realizing how filthy they are because they’re impossible to clean due to the crappy builder-grade paint used on them.
And then I start thinking about all of the things that need to be done.
And it just seems overwhelming.
So instead of doing that, make a list of all the things you need to repair or want to change.
Write it all down. Even if it’s not in your budget right now.
Then gradually check them off, one at a time.
The little improvements make your home look and feel nicer. And it gives you some purpose.
8. Address Issues
Sometimes there’s not a repair that needs to be made, but there’s something that doesn’t work well.
Perhaps your entryway is too crowded or the current bedroom arrangements for your kids aren’t working. Maybe foot traffic causes congestion in your living room area.
Look for ways to fix those issues for now until you can find a more permanent solution or move.
9. Fall in Love Again
You chose your house for a reason at some point. Sure, your tastes may have changed. You may have gained a few kids or pets or couches since then.
But something attracted you to it.
Go back to those early moments when simply seeing your house made you smile. See if you can recapture some of that awe now.
10. Find New Things to Love
It’s so easy to pick out the glaring deficiencies in a home. You know exactly what’s wrong and what doesn’t work for you.
But what about the things that are good? Maybe it’s a window seat in your bedroom or built-in bookshelves in the living room.
Focusing on the good things can help the bad ones not seem as important.
11. make It Comfy
Even if you don’t love your home, at least you can feel comfy while you’re there.
If you don’t have the budget for all-new, super cute, super comfy furniture, you can add little touches of softness and comfort.
Here are some ideas:
- Throw pillows on seating
- Throw pillows on your bed
- Soft, cozy blankets over the back of your couch
- Mattress topper on your bed
- Super soft bedding
- Warm lighting
- Soft upholstered ottoman
12. Practice Gratitude for Your Home
I think practicing gratitude in general is so important to your state of mind. If you don’t appreciate what you have, how can you be happy?
When you’re doing your gratitude journal or just thinking about things that make you grateful, don’t forget about your home.
On a very basic level, your home gives you shelter. Everyone can agree that’s something to be grateful for.
Then, get more specific. Maybe your grateful for the backyard where your kids can play or the dedicated laundry room that makes tackling the 257 loads of laundry each week a little easier. Maybe you’re grateful for the perfect shade of yellow you chose for your bedroom walls that make your space feel sunny and happy.
When you’re feeling stuck in a house you don’t love, remind yourself of those things.
13. Create a Personal Sanctuary
You might not be able to make over your whole home. And there might be some areas that just don’t fit what you want.
But…why not create a mini sanctuary within your home that does feed your soul?
Think of it as your personal happy space. A place to escape when you’re feeling frustrated or overwhelmed with the shortcomings of your home.
Choose things that feel that a calming retreat to you.
It could look something like this:
- A cozy chair in the corner of your bedroom
- Small bookshelf next to it with a few of your favorite titles
- Houseplants surrounding you to give you that feeling of a mini island getaway
- A side table to hold your favorite mug filled with your favorite hot beverage
- Bluetooth speaker so you can pipe your favorite relaxing, motivating, etc music or podcasts
- A painting done by a local artist that you fell in love with at the farmer’s market
- Your journals or art projects or whatever else you do that fills your cup
14. Add Experiences
Having things to do at home that you love can make you feel happier there. Invest in things that let you have happy experiences at home.
Some ideas include:
- Outdoor kitchen
- Swing set for the kids
- Pool table
- Crafting room or corner
- Hot tub
- Outdoor games or toys
15. Bring in Nature
Nature has a way of making you forget about your troubles. It’s beautiful. It’s inspiring. It’s magical.
You might not live on an acreage with sweeping views of mountains, but you can pull in a little nature to make your home feel happier.
Houseplants are an easy way to do that. Now, I’m not known for my skill with plants. In fact, plants probably get nervous when I come near them at the nursery, hoping I won’t pick them to bring home… and likely kill.
But I really want to make it work. And so I’m trying to dip my toe into the world of houseplants.
If you’re like me and you don’t want to make it work, grab yourself a bouquet of cut flowers. Fresh flowers always make me smile.
Maybe for you it’s water that’s soothing. Add a decorative fountain to your home.
Or blow up a beautiful nature photo you took on your last vacation and hang it on a wall that you see every day.
16. Make Happy memories
If you’re unhappy with your home, you might be focusing a little too much on the physical aspect of things.
Your home is more than just the walls, counters, and appliances that fill it. It’s about how you live in it.
Spend more time laughing with your partner and playing with your kids.
Get to know your neighbors by chatting with them over the fence while you’re in the backyard.
When you associate your home with those happy memories, you’ll think more fondly of the house itself, too.
So maybe your home isn’t ideal for entertaining. Your kitchen’s small or you don’t have a spot for everyone at the table.
Don’t let that stop you from having people over. Entertaining goes along with making good memories in your home.
Not only do you share fun moments with friends and family, but you also have a distraction from what you don’t love about your home. You’re having so much fun laughing about the pizza you burned that you forget that your kitchen is smaller than you want.
Entertaining can also remind you of what’s more important than having a fancy house: friends and family.
18. Make a Plan for the Future
If you’re truly unhappy in your home, don’t settle for it. You might not be able to move now, but you can make a plan to change your housing situation in the future.
Simply dreaming about a new house won’t get you there.
Create a plan with specific detail about what type of home you want, how much it will cost, and what you need to do to get there.
Maybe you just want to upgrade your current home with a kitchen remodel, addition or new furniture.
Whatever your goal, have specific steps to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
Find Happiness in Your Home
You don’t need a brand new home or a complete home makeover to be happy with where you live. Having a positive mindset and making little changes can transform how you feel about your house. For more tips on how to be happy, check out my blog post on how to be happy with your life right now, even if it’s not going how you want.