Ditching the Dream Home, Loving the Home You Have

home sweet home in chalk

I love reading blogs about homes, families, and decorating. I see these gorgeous pictures of perfectly decorated homes and I fantasize about my dream home – big windows, wood floors, room for playing and eating and working. Then I look away from the computer screen to see that I’m sitting in the dining room, desk crammed against the dining table, in my own messy piece of the world.

My home is a pretty traditional 50s ranch, with additions that were probably not done with permits (yeah, the back of the closet in the master bedroom blocks out the window of the only bathroom, nice right?). The rooms are dark, the kitchen is a cramped galley, and did I mention that the single, windowless bathroom is tiled in shades of yellow and brown? Not pretty. But you know what? Despite all the things I hate, I love it.

This is the home that my husband and I came back to on our wedding night. It’s the home where we brought home all three of our children. It’s the home where our children learned to walk, to read, to dream. There isn’t a single room in the house that we haven’t worked on together. We’ve painted, laid flooring, built shelves, and hung pictures. For better and for worse (bathroom anyone?) we’ve made this house our home.

Really, I sometimes feel like seeing all the television shows and Pinterest boards out there gives an unrealistic version of life where massive square footage and fancy kitchens with high end appliances are the norm. Don’t get me wrong – I have friends who have amazing homes that look just like those shows. But I also have friends who live in houses smaller or older than mine. My grandparents, Meatball and Mema, raised FIVE girls in a home with three bedrooms. So, sometimes I just need to rethink things and change my perspective.

And, just like our family and my daydreams, our home keeps changing. My husband is accustomed to me moving furniture from room to room, convinced that the bookcase in one bedroom will be much more functional in the kitchen, or that the cabinet that holds our mail will also work in the bathroom to hold towels. It’s an ongoing process, and one that I actually really enjoy.

Even though I wouldn’t turn down a chance at that dream home, I love that our home has challenged me. Just like me, it isn’t perfect, but it is well-loved. It’s full of memories and noise and laughter. So in the new year, I’m going to work on making the most of my home instead of spending time wishing for something else.

First step?  Making more space. With five people, two dogs, and one bathroom, space is at a premium. So this weekend we are clearing things out. I’m on a mission to rid our home of things that are taking up space. If it isn’t something loved or something used, it is going to be something donated. My goal is to fill a bag for donation from each room in our home. More space for the people I love here and another family may find something that they need in the things that we no longer do.

Who is with me? I’d love to do this together – to encourage each other to do one thing each month to make our houses into happier homes. Let me know if you’re in! 

What do you think?

Ditching the Dream Home, Loving the Home You Have

Sara McTigue is a secret agent, cupcake chef, award winning author, photographer, and PTA mom. At least, that is how things look in her mind. When she isn’t testing the bounds of her imagination, she is a mom to three amazing and hilariously funny children, wife to a charming and handsome man, and thoroughly addicted to reading. With a BS in English Education and an MA in English Literature, words – and their ability to shape our lives and thoughts – are an everyday fascination. Af ... More

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  1. Profile photo of Sara McTigue, CLCEditor Sara McTigue, CLC says:

    Ah yes, we went through the leaky roof situation just this year! It is difficult when the challenges are also such a blow to the pocketbook. But I still have to feel happy that I have a place to come home to, leaks and all! (Just wish I still had the $ it cost to fix the leaky roof!)

  2. Profile photo of Kathi Kathi says:

    Some things just can’t be easily fixed in a house. It’s hard to love a home with a unrepairable broken heater and leaky roof.

  3. Profile photo of Nicole HempeckEditor Nicole Hempeck says:

    I’m with you Sara! I SO need to do this too. Purge and only attach myself to what we use and love. It’s on my to-do list this year to appreciate the time I have with my girls, the fantastic people in my life and the wonderful experiences I am enjoying through my work. Life is good through living life, not the pursuit of more stuff – although pretty shoes are fun…not gonna lie. 🙂 Fantastic post!


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