4 Smart Pieces of Advice That Work for Any Type of Home You Live In

published Jul 18, 2015
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(Image credit: Jacqueline Marque)

Big or small. Traditional or modern. All homes have different styles, but they all have similarities at the heart of them, too. And these four pieces of universal advice can be applied to just about any home you’ve lived in or will live in. So print them out and keep them around.

1. Do all the research you want, but factor in what feels right, too

This works for just about any decision you’ve got to make. From which home to choose when you’re on the search, to which sofa to buy, to what color to paint the walls and more. Decisions are tough. And doing a ton of research certainly can help narrow choices, focus your thoughts and help point you in the right direction. But there’s also the part of you that you can’t quite put your finger on that knows which choice you want to make. It doesn’t have any scientific proof to back it up. Maybe not even that great of a reason. You don’t have to always choose that side, but factor it in. Even if it leads to “mistakes,” it’ll always lead to authentic spaces. And lessons can be learned from authenticity every time.

2. Give it a (momentary) break when you feel angry, overwhelmed or frustrated

It’s just not realistic to advise someone against ever feeling angry or frustrated by something that happens at home, from breaking something you’re repairing to that paint color not looking quite right after all. A little bit of space, perspective and time away can do wonders for whatever problem happens to be facing you (unless it’s a time-sensitive emergency, of course). Take a break. Step away. Consider your options. Don’t think about the problem at all. So that when you do approach your issue again you have a fresh mind and a little more patience.

3. Don’t wait until it’s too late to enjoy your home for what it is

Yes, this applies to the often-dispensed advice of decorating your rental to how you like it, no matter how long your lease is. But more than just aesthetics and ornament is the idea that you should enjoy your home — and not just use it as a place where you take care of your basic needs. So don’t just eat meals there and bathe there — invest in your hobbies, entertain friends.

4. Think about future you

We tend to think about our present selves when we approach situations where we’re torn on what to do. Present self might really prefer skipping the vacuuming and watching more TV, but future you might really appreciate not having your allergies worsened by a layer of extra dust. Present you might feel like piling on one more dirty dish to the pile, whereas future you might enjoy not having to take a ton of time cleaning an entire sink of dishes later. Next time you’re faced with two different ways you could tackle a situation, consider what future you might appreciate and let present you do a little extra work. Comedian Pete Holmes explains this idea even better in a very funny monologue found on YouTube better than we can! (NSFW language is bleeped).