I have always been a “glass half empty” (or teacup half empty) kind of person. I’m the type of person who always notices the scratch in the furniture, the stain in the carpet, and the chip in the tile (and yes, I am talking about those scratches that are so tiny that most people wouldn’t even notice them without a magnifying glass). I struggle constantly with discontentment in many areas of my life, but most especially in my home. I’ve been wrestling with this a lot lately, and as I was reading one of my favorite home blogger’s thoughts today on “finding contentment,” it finally hit me, “why not create a gratitude list for my home?”. I’ve been wanting to cultivate a more positive attitude about the home, and what better way to do it than to concretely list the things I am really grateful for—even the things that I often just take for granted (also, I really love making lists). So, here we go:
An attached garage. Depending on your perspective, this might not seem like a huge thing to most people. But I lived for almost three years in an apartment which not only had no garage, but also didn’t really have a parking lot either. I usually ended up having to park at least a block away and making multiple trips to haul my groceries inside in the middle of winter was really not fun.
The floorplan. I didn’t really think that much about how important a good floorplan is until living in my house for about a year (I was much more preoccupied with superficial things like the color of my carpet which I didn’t like). But unlike carpet, it’s a lot harder to change the layout of your house. And I really love the fact that my dining room is at the front of the house and the living room is at the back, which makes our living space feel much more private. Moreover, the whole first floor is open which allows for a really good flow of space when entertaining.
A fireplace. This was another thing I took for granted when first living here, but my husband and I have loved lighting fires in the winter, and it’s definitely something that will be on my “wish-list” for a future house whenever we move again. Granted, I might not love the aesthetics of our particular fireplace (I’m still working on fixing that), but I am really grateful that we have one to begin with.
Large windows. I’ll discuss this topic more later on in my living room series, but I really love that we have unusually large windows (or sliding glass doors) in many of our rooms. Again, I don’t love the aesthetics of the windows, but I’ve been able to improve them a lot through better window treatments. Since our townhome only has windows on two sides of the house, it could easily feel pretty dark inside, but the over-sized windows let in a wonderful amount of natural light, and it makes a huge difference to the feel of the space.
An updated kitchen. Kitchens are probably the most expensive room in the house to renovate, so I knew when we moved in that it was a huge plus that our kitchen had already been recently redone with new appliances, new cabinets, and even granite countertops. Once again, I might not have chosen the exact materials that were used, but I am incredibly grateful for a kitchen that is in such good shape.
An unfinished basement. This one might seem odd, but I am really grateful that a) we have a basement because it means extra space, and b) that it’s unfinished because that means we can finish it exactly the way we want to. When we first moved in, I had slightly regretted that we weren’t able to buy one of the units which had an already finished basement, but I realized afterwards that I’d way rather do it ourselves and tailor it to our specific needs.
Central air conditioning. This is definitely one I take for granted now, but my previous apartment did not have it, and living on the 4th floor with no central AC was not fun in the summer!
Ample closet space. This is another thing that’s easy to take for granted, but I’m realizing that as you get older and start to accumulate more stuff, it’s nice to have a good place to store it. This house has two closets on the main level, a hallway closet upstairs, and reasonably large closets in all of the bedrooms (including a walk-in closet in our master bedroom—such a luxury!).
Reasonably sized bathrooms. This one is tough for me because my “dream home” would have a large master bath with a jacuzzi tub. But back to the real world, our bathrooms are a decent size, and it’s a huge upgrade from my former apartment where the toilet was so close to the sink, that you almost had to sit on it sideways so that your knees didn’t bump into the vanity.
Recessed lighting. Our house actually had no recessed lighting when we moved in, but my parents installed it in our dining room and kitchen before selling us the house (more on that story later). This meant that we got to remove the really ugly chandeliers that were in our dining room and breakfast area, and they added under-the-cabinet lighting to our kitchen, which has made an enormous difference!
What kinds of things would be on your “home gratitude list”? I’d love to hear! It doesn’t matter if you are renting, you can still make a list of things you are grateful for in the space you are living in! If you can’t think of anything at first, start small, and more things will come to mind. If nothing else, it’s at least a roof over your head, which is no small thing!