Are you unconsciously comparing your home to immaculate, styled homes you see on Pinterest? What if instead of criticizing your home for everything it’s not, you thanked it for everything it is?
If you’re like me, much of the time when you walk through your house, this is what you see:
Dirty socks that your kids just CANNOT seem to put in the hamper.
Pet hair on way too many surfaces.
That crooked picture frame hanging on the wall—the one you’ve passed a hundred times but somehow haven’t straightened.
You see the kitchen sink that doesn’t have a disposal, the trail of ants coming from a crack in the wall, and the electrical cords dangling from the TV.
Then what we do is mentally compare those images to all of the immaculate, professionally styled homes we see on Instagram and Pinterest.
And suddenly, it seems like everything about your home is WRONG.
I’m here today to beg you—quit buying into that story!
Your Home Is Beautiful for More Than How It Looks
Just like you, your home is beautiful for more than how it looks.
It’s beautiful for how it keeps you and your loved ones safe. It’s beautiful for how it supports you in pursuing your dreams and using your gifts.
It’s beautiful just the way it is.
OF COURSE, we can do the work to improve our homes. I’m all about helping you get rid of the excess and create simple systems that serve you. (In fact, check out 21 Quick Wins to Simplify Your Home Life for exactly that!)
We can straighten that dang picture frame, declutter the closets, and attack the stacks of paper that always accumulate on the kitchen counter. (Always! 🙈)
But action will only ever take us part of the way. Mindset—perspective—takes us the rest.
What You’ll Really Remember About Your Home
Early in my marriage, we lived for seven years in an apartment building set in the hills overlooking the San Francisco Bay. While the setting was gorgeous, the apartment itself was… not.
Built in the 1970s and only very minimally updated, the apartment featured yellow countertops, mauve carpet, and lots of dark oak veneer.
Because I was raising little kids and working as the resident manager for the building, I spent almost all of my time right there in that apartment, which gave me plenty of hours to think about what I’d change if I could.
I remember daydreaming about painting over the dark oak and taking a demolition hammer to the yellow counters and dingy cabinets.
But now, years later, I barely ever think about what that apartment looked like.
What I remember is how we had two little boys sharing a bedroom and one baby girl sleeping every night in a mini-crib in the bathroom. Because her sleeping quarters were so tiny, when she learned to stand up in her crib, she could reach the bathroom light switch. So I’d wake up in the morning not to her babbling in her crib but to her flicking the bathroom light on and off, on and off.
When I think of that apartment, I remember toddler boys wearing nothing but their undies while they helped their dad fix things with power tools.
Looking back, I think about who I became throughout those years in that apartment—far more than I think about how that apartment looked.
I wish I could go back to that version of me and tell her to relax a little about how her place looked. I wish I could tell her how little it would matter in just a few years.
Obviously, I can’t do that. But I can try to remind myself now to embrace where I’m at. To embrace the home I’m in.
You won’t remember the quality of your home as much as you’ll remember the quality of the memories you made there.
Embrace the House You’re In
So even if you did NOTHING to improve your home, could you nurture some positive thoughts about the roof that keeps you and your family safe every night?
What if instead of criticizing your home for everything it’s not, you thanked it for everything it is?
9 Things to Love About Your Lived-In, Imperfect Home
1. It provides shelter and safety.
That seems so simple, so obvious, but when you think about the thousands of people around the world who don’t currently have one consistent place of shelter, it’s suddenly an incredible gift.
2. It offers temperature control!
It’s been a long, hot summer here in southern Utah, and I don’t think I’ve been this grateful for AC since my childhood summers in Phoenix! Not too hot and not too cold is such a blessing.
3. It has a story—a heritage.
Who did it belong to before you? And before that? Did someone get a break on its rental rate right when they desperately needed it? How did YOU find your current home? Did you feel “led” to it in any way? Your home’s story becomes a part of your story.
4. It’s the backdrop for hundreds of memories.
When my husband mentions something from his childhood, I’ll ask, “Was that the house where your brother lost his finger?” It wasn’t even my house, and I still associate specific memories with that specific home.
You can’t put a value on the number of memories—and the amount of growth—a home contains.
5. It supports you in pursuing your dreams and using your gifts.
Think about all the times you’ve sat in your room and journaled about your dreams. Picture the spaces in your home—whether it’s the kitchen, your desk, a reading corner, or a craft room—that have supported you in pursuing your gifts.
6. It has windows and doors that let in light and air. ❤️
No matter how small, old, or cluttered your home is, if you can open doors and windows to generate a cross breeze—and if you can watch the light change throughout the year—you’ve got something special going for you.
7. It has dozens of quirks that only you know about.
Like how every morning you hear the upstairs floors creak a bit when your people begin to stir. Or the loose stone that lets you know your partner is home from work.
8. It provides you with a peaceful outdoor space, no matter how small.
Whether it’s a yard, patio, or even your front step, your home offers you a place where you can put your feet on the earth or feel the breeze on your face.
9. It reminds you that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
Home are the perfect metaphor for life. They teach us that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. They remind us that beauty is more than surface deep. They remind us that no matter how tumultuous the world gets, you can always have a place of refuge inside yourself.
Who knows… Maybe changing the way we *think* about our homes could be just as powerful as changing our homes themselves.
More from Episode 30 of “Life On Purpose with Erica Layne”
Here’s what else you can hear in the latest episode of the podcast!
- Self-Care Spotlight: A segment where I remind you not to neglect the person you spend all of your time with—you! Today is a reminder that part of caring for yourself is remembering and reconnecting with the child inside of you.
- Decluttering Tip: Let’s define the three main types of clutter—physical, mental, and emotional—and identify which one is your biggest hangup.
- Clutter Quiz: Take my new quiz to find out which kind of clutter is tripping you up AND what you can do to get free!
Listen to the full podcast episode in your favorite podcast app or in the audio player below!