How to Love a Home that You Don’t Want to Live In

Whether you received it through an inheritance, married the person who owns it or bought it in a moment of desperation, what do you do with a house you don’t like?

While it’s tempting to just say “chuck it all” and put a for sale sign in the front yard, it may not be the right time to sell; the market may be soft – meaning you’ll get less for your home than if you waited for a “hotter” market – or maybe you don’t want to move the kids in the middle of the school year.

No matter why you decide not to sell, you can learn to love your home, despite its flaws.

Of course this doesn’t mean you put up with mold and mildew or anything else that’s potentially dangerous…these kinds of issues must be resolved for the sake of you and your family’s health.

But if your dislike for the house is based on design issues rather than cosmetic you can still learn to love it.

Here’s how:

Replace what you hate with something you love

Hate the faded floral wallpaper in the dining room? No problem…just hang new wallpaper or paint. But until you’re ready to redecorate, just “cover it up”!

Make one wall take center stage…cover it with a collage of family photos, shelves with your favorite knick-knacks, decorative tiles…whatever makes you smile every time you sit down to eat with your family.

Nature to the rescue

Aside from the health benefits, houseplants can bring life to an unloved space. A luxurious fern or colorful African violet provide great cover for those areas of your home that you hate to look at.

Fix what’s broken or bent

Over time, every home experiences dripping faucets, toilets that won’t stop running and other minor inconveniences. Every time we come across them they eat at the back of our minds a little bit more, adding to the frustration we feel about our homes.

If we tackle these issues when we first come across them we’ll reduce our stress levels and perhaps even start to like our homes a bit more. So don’t ignore that squeaky hinge on the bathroom door…oil it! And while you’re at it, tighten that wobbly doorknob before it falls off completely!

Minimize, organize and decorate

New couch slipcovers and decorative pillows are a fast and easy way to brighten a space and give new life to a tired space. 

Clutter is stressful enough in and of itself, but when you add clutter to a cramped space, it can make us hate our space that much more. 

Declutter your home on a regular basis and create a space for everything you keep. Use trays, baskets and other organizational aids that are both functional and decorative to encourage the entire family to use them.

And you’ll brighten the space as well!

Fill your space with memories

Invite friends and family over for weekly dinners or game night. Make happy memories in your home and you’ll grow to love it.

Make your bed

Surprised? You shouldn’t be…research has shown that starting the day off with making your bed sets you up for good habits the rest of the day. You’ll keep your tiny kitchen sink clear of dishes, the countertop cleaned off every night and that hotspot – the place where everyone drops their keys, backpacks, purse, etc. – will disappear too!

Change your perspective

Focus on what you do love about your home. You may not love the faded tile kitchen floor but it’s where your youngest first stood up as she was learning to walk and where you sat, late at night, putting together her first dollhouse for Christmas morning. 

Somehow, when you think about how your home has supported you and your family, providing shelter, offering privacy and helping you to strengthen the bonds between each other, that annoying creak from the top step can almost seem like music to your ears.