40 Days Tips and Tricks: House Love

Do you want to love your home?

I think I've found the secret to house love: stop comparing your house to other homes...just pay attention to your house, wherever you may be right now, whatever it might look like, and work at turning it into the
coziest, cleanest home it can be.

In a little notebook I sometimes jot my  "rules" for life I once wrote these things:

-Clean and everything will look better to you.
-Less toys, furniture, clothing, junk is always better...keep a SIMPLE house...get rid of stuff
constantly. Or better yet, don't buy it!
-Don't ask for endless opinions...you'll get too many ideas...stick with what YOU love.
-A small change, that usually costs pennies... flowers, a pretty plant, etc...makes a big difference.
-Don't copy anyone's style...find your own and stick to it.

Today there are tons of ideas and images out there from just about everywhere..magazines, (and I'll
add now- blogs!)...I find for me that it is a waste of time to constantly be on the search for the perfect idea, or to constantly want/need change. I want to be content! I find that when I mind my own home, with what I have on hand I achieve contentment.

Sometimes this means: I NEED TO STOP LOOKING!

Sometimes I feel we have so many, TOO many, chances to want, want, want. Or to wish, wish, wish.

What if we just tried contentment? What if we accepted our homes as they are, linoleum, old cabinets,
tiny closets, squeaky doors, hand-me-down sofa, and worked with and learned to love what we have right
in front of us? I think our grandparents did this much better than we have ever done. Most of them lived
in the same home for their lifetimes, and took such good care of what they had, whether it was the "in"
thing or not.

I really have found if I clean, everything looks fresh and new to me. It's a little miracle, with no money and some elbow grease I can transform my home and my attitude towards it.

And have you ever noticed on those home make-over shows the biggest change is that the rooms once filled with "stuff", are just emptier and cleaner?  That costs nothing!

Sometimes I catch myself thinking, "Oh, I need a change in here." And that change always means more money, more searching (time wasting searching), maybe an errand, something new.

BUT I find when I just give that room a good old fashioned cleaning I feel so differently...that's all that was needed. Dust those shelves, buy some tulips or pick some branches from outside to put in a vase, scrub, scrub, scrub, wash the windows, move things around, and purge all that clutter. Fill the air with the fresh scent of 'clean' and I love my home again.

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
be it ever so humble,
there's no place like Home.
- T. Howard Payne


  1. This is such a good message for today. We are so brainwashed to always be thinking up upgrading these days. My grandmothers didn't ever feel the need to do big renovations. Their homes were very outdated but were completely functional. I was watching a show on hulu called Loving Spoonfuls, where this young guy was visiting different grandmothers while they cook a meal. Anyway, I noticed that they had older kitchens, tin foil under the stove burners, etc. I loved that it was all about the company, the food, and the love that goes into the food. Personally, I like decorating my home too and I just want to find a middle ground.

  2. I ALWAYS enjoy your take on all things to do with home!

  3. Sarah, I'm 12 bags into my 40 bags challenge,and can I just tell you-- it. feels. SO. GOOD!!! Certain areas of my house are cleared out (sparse, really), and it makes me so happy. I cannot tell you how calmer I feel walking into a room that is in good shape. I've got six kids at home and number seven is on the way, and I know I can't expect perfection, but I can look at a room and say, we can get this in tip top shape in five minutes flat. And knowing that it won't be long because it isn't covered in clutter means I can expect more from my kids to help clean up, because I'm not asking them to work on an overwhelming project. Its amazing how the more people we have in the family, the less "stuff" we know we need in the house. I've been reading your blog for ages because its such an inspiration to me to live more simply. Thanks so much for that!
    Anne McD

  4. Hi Sarah! I just discovered your blog through another blog the other day, and can't stop thinking about the post I read. Today I came back and read this post. Another Great one! I really enjoy your attitude and take on life. I love seeing that you have 6 beautiful children and hearing about your experiences. So glad I found your blog!!! Very inspiring! xo

  5. I love this Sarah!!! I agree...so many times I see things (either on other blogs, pinterest, magazines, other friends homes) and think...I need a change...I want that...but do I really??? No. I have more than enough now!!! I am about to embark on once again cleaning/weeding out, and agree I always feel better and content once I have done so.

  6. SO TRUE! I love my quirky little mismatched hand-me-down furnitured house. Because of all those reasons!

  7. The old saying "eanliness is next to Godliness" could be true. Contentment is such a wonderful thing. I have a little change around with furniture and things feel so much better.

  8. I appreciated this post so much today. I just deleted a bunch of different people I follow on Instagram for "inspiration" oh home decor, style in makeup which I very much love. However it was only a couple of days ago that I realized I am in a different place than those I follow and need to re-invent myself according to not only what I can afford but also the kind of life style I live.. Surprisingly enough. I always find myself back to the people who to me feel more real and more like me, which are my three favorite bloggers. You being one of them. I spent too much time looking for inspiration while breastfeeding my baby and I just figured out that instead of helping me feel inspired, it only makes me feel crappy.

    As always... you are a very wise woman Sarah.

  9. Thanks for such a good reminder! I always appreciate your way of phrasing things so it seems perfectly obvious without being condescending.

  10. Could not agree with you more Sarah! SO true. I love your house contentment posts. Years ago while we were looking for homes a similar post of yours resinated with me so much. It helped me be content in the home we were in. And it inspired a major cleaning spree! Which like you said - always makes you love your home more. Thank you always for your inspiring posts that help us all focus on what matters. Love you!!

  11. So true. I always get an itch to do something, and then I do the 40 bags in 40 days, or just clean. I also treat myself to pretty candles or flowers, and it is amazing what a cozy day at home can do!

  12. I am slowly very very very slowly clearing out the clutter and junk....and it feels GREAT when it happens. It's going to take a long time but each step brings me closer to loving my home and making it EASIER to clean and tidy. I love your advice. I have a really good friend who has the tiniest ever home - it is truly itty bitty and filled to the brim with her family and love and care. She doesn't have a lot of money, and what she has goes back into her family, but she has a wonderful eye and her home is full of loving details. I truly am amazed when I go there because it's so beautiful and homey. She and her family live in a very expensive community where her house would fit in most garages and still have room for a car...but it doesn't phase her, or her kids - because they have a home that is sweet and cozy and welcoming. I want my daughter to go there with me one of these days so I can show her big doesn't always mean better (she is always complaining how she wants a bigger home). I would LOVE my home to have a different layout, but I am hoping by clearing out the clutter and making our existing space, which is definitely fine for us, just not the IDEAL layout, much more useable.

  13. Great advise, as always. It's so easy to get caught up in the bigger, better, newer, more mentality. I am trying to remind myself daily to be grateful and content with things as they are, not how I think they need to be.

  14. I love contentment, it is a "lost" feeling in our world today- the thought of bigger, "better", etc is what now consumes the world. While I love contentment, when it comes to my home I do love seasonal change. I don't want my home to ever feel stagnant. Change to me feels like my home is a "living" with us. I love to have a sprinkle of spring when it's spring, summer when it's summer, etc, etc. I love cozy, inviting, comfortable. I want anyone to walk into my home and want to snuggle up in my chairs or on the couch. I want them to feel like they can walk into my kitchen and help themselves without asking- that is my all-time goal when I manage my home. I truly love it but I believe you can do it on a dime without having to spend much money at all. For me it's balance and I truly believe I have found that. :-)

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Amen to every last word! I am a mother of a large family in a very small home by todays standards and these principles ring so true to me, my family, and my contentment! Thanks for sharing truth!

  17. We live in a gorgeous old house that sometimes feels a little too old. But when I am down about something falling apart or another needed repair I remind myself how "romantic" an old house feels. Old charm. Lots of history. And subsequently lots of love. It always brings me back to the positive. Good post.

  18. I love those tips and tricks. I think that is the one that is missing to me when I'm cleaning our house. Thank you very much.

    Industrial Cleaning