I Thought My Home Had to Be “Done” Before I Shared Pictures of It, But I Was So Wrong

published Sep 16, 2020
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For most of my adult life, I’ve been waiting for the right time to document my home. Even when I’d get a cool new piece of furniture I’d wanted forever (looking at you, green velvet couch) or I finally moved into a bigger apartment in New York with a fancy roof deck, part of me always hesitated to share everything because it wasn’t perfect yet. When an Instagram follower would ask for a full house tour or I would start to draft a blog post documenting a certain room in my house, I’d always want to share pictures—and then immediately get the feeling that I should wait until things were better. Even when my last apartment was featured on Apartment Therapy, I spent the week before panicking that I hadn’t gotten that piece of art I wanted yet, or regretting that I hadn’t spent the time or money to replace my kitchen table chairs with something better. 

I’ve moved since that apartment tour, and now I look back on those photos and I couldn’t be happier that I didn’t get that piece of art framed or buy those chairs. It’s not that both of those things wouldn’t have improved the space aesthetically, but for the first time in my life, I actually have documentation of my entire living space during that time of my life—good, bad, ugly, and completely average.

I’m now living in a new home, in a new city, and I find myself slipping into the same thought patterns, despite the fact that this space is in so many ways what I’ve always wanted. Now that I’m somewhere with double the space, I keep telling myself that I should fill all those spaces perfectly before officially documenting it. This time it’s not a piece of art, it’s photos of my fiancé and I that I’ve been meaning to get framed. Instead of kitchen chairs, it’s a larger desk for my office space. But here’s the thing: I’m wrong. 

“When you make yourself wait until some magic ending point to document your space, you not only run the risk of never documenting it at all, but you miss out on the good stuff that happens when things aren’t even close to perfect.”

I should take photos of my home right now, as it is, and so should you—whether it’s “done” or not. Because the secret is that homes are never done. Spaces are constantly evolving with the people who live in them, and they’re never, ever going to be perfect. When you make yourself wait until some magic ending point to document your space, you not only run the risk of never documenting it at all, but you miss out on the good stuff that happens when things aren’t even close to perfect.

Without a photo of it, you might forget how you used a bar cart for a kitchen table for a few months, or how you used to store extra shoes in your fireplace (guilty). You might forget that you used a set of IKEA shelves for half a decade without even realizing it. You might forget the step stool that you bought just so your dog can look out the window whenever they want. Maybe none of those things match the “vision” you have in your mind to give your home some greater aesthetic purpose, but they are part of your life and your world. And one day, we’re all going to want to have visual reminders of all of those things—way more than we’ll ever wish we had bought a certain set of dining room chairs. 

So take photos of your space. Take photos when it’s messy, when you’re in between pieces of furniture, when you just move in, and when you think it all looks wrong. All of those details don’t matter as much as actually taking them and being able to one day look back and appreciate all the little physical details of this time in your life—the good, the bad, the ugly, and yes, the completely average, too.