What is it about certain dwellings that immediately says,
“Welcome. Come on in, sit down – and while you’re at it, put your feet up. We saved you a seat.“
Some days, I tune into the Real Estate news here in Denver and across the country and I feel as though we Americans are being trained to become experts at discontent: the market will never be hot enough, homes will never sell fast enough and our houses will never, ever be big enough.
Don’t get me wrong – I am passionate about my work as a Realtor here in Denver, and I want our housing market to be strong; it’s good for my business, good for homeowners, good for the economy. It’s fantastic that Sellers are seeing swift sales and able to move on with their lives toward a new location or new style of home that suits their needs well. And as charming as tiny homes and the entire movement is, I don’t believe 234 square feet is the right size for every person or family – although I also don’t think every family needs an 8,000 square foot mansion or the accompanying mortgage payments, either.
I wrote a post recently about having fun in your home, and with a beautiful wife, awesome kids and really swell friends, I’d like to think our own home is a fun place to be. I believe it’s important to have fun in your home and build memories with friends, family or your herd of cats. I also believe whether you live in a studio apartment or suburban mcmansion, log home in the country or luxury condo in the Mile High City, it is possible to cultivate contentment and to make every homecoming feel like an epic experience simply because you’re home.
5 Tips for Cultivating Contentment at Home
- Feel gratitude daily. Whether in the form of a journal or thoughtful words to your family, recognizing and expressing gratitude daily for the good things and good people in your life will make life richer – without spending a dime.
- Give. Drop a plate of cookies off at your neighbor’s house, donate a box of stuff to a local thrift shop or a bag of groceries to a good bank, shovel someone else’s walkway or volunteer at a worthy organization in your community. You’ll gain perspective and brighten someone’s day.
- Open the Door. You don’t have to host a lavish dinner for twelve to justify inviting friends and family to your home. Whether humble or magnificent, the welcoming atmosphere of your home is not about square footage – it’s about your ability to let someone in, give them a place to sit and a cup of coffee (or something a little stronger) and share a conversation. Renters, owners and even basement-borrowers can practice hospitality, and the laughter of a friend goes further to make a house a home than a new tschochke for your bookshelf can.
- Shop at home. If you are a person who longs for gizmos, gadgets, upgrades, fancy-schmancy doohickies and the like, you’ll benefit from learning to shop at home – without opening your wallet. If you are hankering for a new set of fishing gear, a new outfit, new bedding, the latest toys for Molly or Johnny or little Fluffy – before you hit the checkout button on your Amazon cart, take a few minutes to shop your own storage unit, basement, garage, closet or attic. You’d be surprised at what you can find tucked away in a box that will save you from a potentially unnecessary purchase, remind you to cherish what you already have, and possibly fill the need you were about to make a purchase for. Shopping is fun! It’s cathartic, it’s exciting and most people I know – men and women alike – enjoy shopping in one category or another. What I’m suggesting is that you embrace what you have and learn to enjoy your home, life and possessions in a contented way.
- *Let it go. *If you have young daughters like I do, it’s okay to break into song at this point. Make it a habit to brush off at least a portion of the tension or disappointment of your day before entering your home. Keep a journal in your car to write down a frustration you are willing to leave at the door of your home – even if that means picking it right back up the next day. If you are a prayerful person, you might consider lingering on the porch for a moment to bless the mess and carry on into the evening without the weight of that day’s junk weighing you down.
If you are wondering what contentment would look and feel like in your own just-right house, give me a call. I’d be happy to help you Buy, Sell or simply to talk about your options.