You know those interminable minutes while an online video loads, and you watch it try to get ahead so you can eventually watch the whole thing joyfully uninterrupted? That’s buffering, and your home does it too. It’s that holding pattern while you wait for your house to finally come together and be all you want it to be. In other words, your space is the watched pot and it’s taking forever to boil. The worst part is that you often don’t have a lot of control over it — something that's doubly frustrating if patience is not in your nature. Here’s how to weather the anticipatory limbo...
Think of your home as a blank canvas, for you to fill with wonderful things you love. While it’s tempting to jump right in and buy a bunch of stuff, especially when you first move in, waiting gives you time to figure out what you want, save up for big purchases, and maybe even search for the perfect antique. In the meantime, you don’t need a ton of furniture for a place to feel like home. Focus on the essentials first (hello mattress!) and give yourself some breathing room until the next step.
It’s hard to be content to let things unfold and live with the resulting mess. At this point, one room might be a catch-all space filled with cast-off items that will eventually weave their way into other parts of the house. Or you don’t have bookshelves yet and all your books are still packed up and in the corner. When you get overwhelmed with the mess, try to remind yourself that it’s only temporary and give yourself a “State of the Union” pep talk where you focus on how much good stuff you’ve already done.
Your home will change over time as your needs or tastes change. You’ll forever be bringing in new souvenirs from trips, or inheriting pieces from relatives. There's always the chance to redo your layout and, if you don't like it, redo it again the next week. It’s an ongoing journey that you get to do for the rest of time.
When showing someone your home for the first time, resist the urge to justify its state or condition. Everyone's home is a work in progress, and it's totally okay to have fabric covering your ugly temporary sofa, or to have 50 paint samples on your wall while you decide which one you like best. Your cardboard end table is totally a-okay and a sign that your home is evolving, just like you are.