5 Ways You Could Be Using Your Home All Wrong

Our home is our haven. It’s where we open our eyes every morning, and close them each night. How we use our homes in between the sound of the alarm and lights out will influence pretty much every other part of our lives.

Whether you’ve been living in the same place for years, are just getting settled in, or are shopping for your next haven, here are five ways a lot of us miss out on getting the most from the place we call home.

1. We Have Space We Never Use

Maybe it’s a guest room, a formal dining room, or even a big porch, but if your home has a room that’s saved for company and special occasions, or when the weather is nice, you are missing out on some fun opportunities. Think about creating a “convertible space” like a hobby room, play room, reading room, meditation room, TV room, home office, or even an extra closet.

A dining table can be converted to hobby space with a foldable faux table top. A porch can be enclosed to create a space where you can take your coffee in the morning or sit and watch the sunset at night. Adding a wall of storage to a guest room gives you space for everything from clothes to extra bedding, or even kids toys and games.

2. We Don’t Organize Our Storage Space According to Our Lifestyle

“A place for everything and everything in its place,” may be asking too much of modern family life. But most of us have stuff we never use, not because we don’t want to use it, but because it’s too hard to get to. Or we have stuff that never gets put away even though we don’t use it very often, because the place it’s supposed to live is too inaccessible and we know we’ll want to get it back out soon.

Thinking of storage more as a way to make the stuff we use often most easy to get out and put away, instead of organizing it by how stuff fits into the space, may mean room for less stuff (although not always) but it usually means you get more good out of the stuff you have and experience a lot less stress in your life.

3. We Treat Counter Space as Clutter Space

Speaking of organization, what is there about flat surfaces? They just invite us to overload them. Yet, two of the flat surfaces we depend on most to keep our lives on track – the vanity counter and the kitchen counter – usually hold stuff we don’t use every day.

Adding easy-to-access storage (somewhere not on the counter top) for items that don’t get used every day can streamline getting out of the house in the morning and getting dinner on the table at night. You can install a vanity cabinet with more storage space, start storing the seldom used juicer/mixer/blender under the counters (install pull-out shelves to make them easier to get to when you do want to use them) or add a free standing cabinet in the bathroom or a rolling prep cart to the kitchen. Anything to declutter that precious flat surface so that you can get to the items you use every single day.

4. We Put Exercise Equipment Where There’s No Room to Move

We all had good intentions when we got that treadmill, climber, elliptical machine, or spin bike. But then we put it in the bedroom because we intended to use it first thing in the morning. Or we put it in the living room because we thought we’d use it while we watched television. Except those spaces were already at maximum capacity so now that equipment is holding up shirts, or coats, or kids backpacks.

Exercise is an ideal use for that convertible guest room, or newly enclosed porch. It takes a little more discipline to go to a room that isn’t currently part of your routine in order to exercise, but not as much discipline as it takes not to use the equipment as a clothes tree or to take all the coats and backpacks off of it in order to use it.

5. We Don’t Even See Our Home Anymore

That isn’t to say you’re never home. Just that a lot of us stop really looking at the place we live. If we did we might find that we’ve lost touch with all the wonderful things in it, and all the wonderful things that happen there.

We know that our surroundings affect our moods, attitudes, creativity, and productivity. It’s why our choice of homes; in terms of design, décor, and how we use them, is such an important part of our life experience. Look around you. Do you love every item you see? Does the color on the walls, the lighting, the atmosphere, create the mood you want to be in when you’re in that room? Does the form of the room support its function? Does every bit of artwork or object displayed make you smile?

If not, you can change that. If it does, you can reconnect to it. You deserve to have a home that is not only efficient in supporting your lifestyle, but one that also helps you love your life just a little bit more.

–All of these ideas can help, a little. But if you’re ready for a major makeover or a new home we can help. Our online application is quick and easy, and its just the beginning of a relationship with your personal licensed Loan Officer who will work with you to get exactly the equity loan, or new home loan you need for a haven that will help you love your life a little bit more.

Photo: Flickr/Chalon Handmade