What To Do When Home Doesn’t Feel Like Home

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Speak to an accredited and experienced therapist to help you if you don’t feel at home in your own home and it’s getting you down. Simply click here to connect with one via BetterHelp.com.

Your home should be the place where you feel most comfortable, safe, cozy, and at ease.

If it doesn’t feel that way, something’s wrong and you need to figure out what.

Let’s dive right in.

10 Reasons Why Your Home Doesn’t Feel Like Home

Why don’t you feel at home in the place where you live? Figuring this out will help you determine what to do. So, look at the following reasons why you might not consider your house a home and see which ones apply to your situation.

1. Too many memories.

You can’t feel good in a space where you’re surrounded by bad memories. Look around your home. Are there a lot of memories that make you feel bad or sad? You can and should get rid of things that remind you of the bad times.

But what if they’re not associated with the objects that are around you? If your house is just one big bad memory, you might have to consider moving.

However, make sure to try to change the way it looks to see if the memories go away. If that doesn’t work, the entire space may be a reminder that you don’t need in your life.

2. You don’t have many/any friends nearby.

Are your loved ones nearby or have they all moved away? If you live in a place where you don’t have a lot of friends anymore, it might make you feel like you’re not home. Maybe you’ve always been in your hometown while everyone you know moved away.

If it’s not just your house that doesn’t feel like home, but the entire town, consider moving. However, you should know that you can always meet new people right where you live and turn them into your new friends.

3. You don’t feel safe.

Feeling safe is one of the most important factors of feeling at home. If you don’t feel safe, why is that? Maybe you are afraid that someone will break in or it has already happened. Perhaps you feel that your furniture and appliances aren’t safe for a baby. Maybe there are even people nearby who make you feel unsafe.

Regardless of the reason why you feel unsafe in your home, you can do something about it, and you definitely should. From installing safety locks to moving to a safer neighborhood, do what it takes for you to feel safe when you lock the door at night.

4. You don’t feel comfortable.

Old, scratchy furniture and the design of your place might be lacking coziness. You need to feel comfortable at home, and if you don’t, the problem could be solved by simply making your home cozier.

Maybe you can’t afford to buy new furniture right now, but you can surely cover the old one with some soft blankets and throw pillows. Add personality and charm to your home to feel more comfortable there, and you are soon going to learn how.

5. You don’t feel free.

Are you free to do whatever you want with and in your home? If you’re living with someone else, you probably don’t have as much freedom as you would if you lived on your own. You don’t have to dance around in your undies to feel free, but if you don’t have a say in how the place looks, that’s not okay.

Consider getting a place of your own, or at least make sure that you have unlimited freedom in your room when it comes to design and what you do there. If you are living with people that you don’t want to live with, move away from them, even if they’re your family members.

6. You haven’t changed the look of your home in a very long time.

If your place hasn’t changed a bit from the day you moved in, you may just be bored of the way it looks. In addition, the existing design might not work for your current needs.

So, the first thing you do when your home doesn’t feel like home is to redecorate it. Paint the walls and rearrange the furniture. Decorate according to your taste. You’ll learn more about this later on in the article; but for now, know that changing your environment doesn’t have to mean leaving it.

7. The location no longer works for you.

Maybe it’s not the house, it’s the entire town. You have an unnecessarily long commute to work or everything you need is a long drive away from where you live. Location, location, location—they say that it’s the most important thing in real estate.

When your current location no longer works for you, consider getting a place closer to the center of the action. If you’re the owner of your place, you could sell it or rent it out to get an apartment somewhere else.

Don’t hesitate to rent a place at a different location before you decide to buy or sell to see whether it’s a location where you could feel at home.

8. You miss your childhood home.

What if you are in a new place but it doesn’t feel like home for that very reason? If you miss your childhood home, you can always incorporate details from it in your new place.

Hang a picture of your old home, add objects that remind you of it, and display family photos. Most people eventually leave their childhood home and that can be a big change.

If you’ve been through it only recently, give yourself some time to adapt to your new environment. Keep in mind that you don’t have to grow up in a house or live in it with anyone for it to feel like home.

9. Someone you lived with no longer lives with you.

Maybe you miss someone who used to share your home with you. Again, it would be wise to remove all the memories if they are causing you pain. You don’t have to get rid of them, it’s just important that they’re not in plain sight.

If everything reminds you of the person you used to live with, consider how long it has been since they left. If it’s been a short time, you might just need a while to heal.

Getting a new place may be less painful than redecorating your existing one, but this is for you to decide. Either way, you need a place that looks different if the current design brings back bad or sad memories.

10. You feel lonely in your home.

You can feel at home when you live alone, but it’s difficult to relax and be comfortable when you are lonely.

Don’t ask someone to move in with you just because you’re lonely. But a pet could be a great alternative! If a dog or a cat requires too much responsibility and space, you can always go for a parrot, hamster, guinea pig, or other small animal.

15 Ways To Make Your Home Feel More Like Home

Moving away might be the easiest solution, but will it really fix things? Your new home might not feel like home either. So, consider taking the following steps:

1. Remove the clutter.

A messy home can’t feel like home. It’s difficult to be comfortable in your house if it’s not clean or there’s a lot of clutter.

Make your bed every morning and get into freshly washed sheets at night. You’ll notice that you feel more comfortable, so make sure that the rest of your place is neat and tidy as well.

Get rid of the clutter. Consider whether you use the objects and whether they bring you joy before deciding to remove them.

2. Remove bad memories.

You might be holding on to things that remind you of your past. Are the memories positive or negative? Even if you would like to remember something, if it causes you more pain than joy, remove the memory from plain sight.

Pack up all your bad memories in a box. Throw it out or put it away somewhere where you can’t see it or easily reach it. Think about what the rest of the things remind you of.

Consider replacing or removing anything that makes you think or feel negative things. Gather the things that bring back happy memories, and make sure to display them.

3. Display happy memories.

Pictures of family members, a reward you won, your favorite book, a souvenir you got on a vacation… Display happy memories all around your home. You can also display objects that give you positive vibes.

Make sure to also add new things that you’ve picked out specifically to make you happy in your home. For instance, you could buy a cozy blanket to cover up the couch, a vase to put fresh flowers in on a regular basis, or your favorite wine that you plan to drink with your loved one. Bring positive vibes into your home and make it your own.

4. Rearrange the furniture.

If you need a bigger change, you don’t necessarily have to go shopping for new furniture. Simply rearrange the existing furniture. The point is to make your place look entirely different without spending a lot, and this method often does the trick.

You can create separate areas in a room by placing rugs. Layer them for a cozy look. See if there’s a chance you could make a hobby room or at least find space to create separate areas for your hobbies.

5. Paint the walls a new color.

Your house could get a new look if you simply paint the walls a new color. Pick a shade that makes you feel good, and remember that it can be any color you want.

You don’t have to pick blue just because it’s considered to be a relaxing color. Pick bright pink, purple, green, or any color you want. It will also give you an excuse to decorate the way you like.

Shop for objects in the same color as the walls and arrange them around the room. Use your favorite hue or the color you picture when you imagine your perfect home.

6. Hang art.

Once you have colorful walls, hang art that you like. Pick beautiful pieces that you’d enjoy looking at or that remind you of happy memories. Don’t forget that you could also create something on your own. You don’t have to be an artist to create a painting, just make sure that you paint something that makes you feel good.

Capture positive feelings and thoughts and turn them into artwork that can always make you smile. You can also use photos if you’d like, just make sure that you see a lot of happy memories when you sit on your couch.

7. Invest in security.

If you can’t relax right now because your place is vulnerable to intrusions or unsafe for children, you can easily change this. Alarms, a video doorbell, childproofing the apartment… Do what it takes to make sure that you feel like your home is safe.

On the other hand, if you feel unsafe because you consider your neighborhood to be dangerous, investing in security might not be enough. Maybe you feel unsafe because you’re surrounded by people that you don’t want to be close to. Perhaps you’ve already had intruders.

Depending on the reason you feel unsafe, you might have to move. In some cases, getting a dog can help, and getting a pet is also recommended if your home doesn’t feel like home because you feel lonely.

8. Personalize your place.

Your home is an expression of how you feel, and it can tell someone more about who you are. So, express yourself by decorating according to your likes. Think about your hobbies and how you could incorporate them into the design.

Maybe you could have a craft table set out with tools displayed, a shelf with awards you’ve won, or a unique collection displayed in your living room. Being reminded of something that you like doing will surely make you feel more at home. Maybe you could get a wine rack if you like wine or a spice rack if you like to cook.

9. Keep your place clean and cozy.

Your place shouldn’t just look clean, it should stay clean. So, make it a habit to clean regularly and put away the things that you use once you’re done using them. Declutter every now and then because clutter quickly builds up over time.

Most importantly, make sure that your place is cozy. Use soft blankets, throw pillows, candles, and anything else that makes you feel at peace.

10. Add plants and more light.

Plants will have a positive impact on your mood and bring life into your apartment. There are a lot of low-maintenance houseplants, but don’t forget about flowers as well. Getting fresh flowers for the vase in the living room every week can cheer you up and make the place look brighter.

Pay attention to the light as well and add extra light if needed. A room can look depressing if there’s not enough light, so use lamps and install dimmers if possible. Don’t forget that candles are also a source of light and warmth, and they make a home look cozy!

11. Add spa details.

Candles are just one of the spa details that you can use in your home. When you want to relax, think about the most calming and comfortable place that exists—the spa. Fountains, aromatherapy, soft towels, incense, candles, stones, bathrobes, face masks… Make sure to have these things in your home. In fact, arrange some of them across the entire place.

12. Host dinners or parties.

If you’re lonely or your friends have moved away, meet new friends and invite them over. Your home might not feel like home because you’re the only one there most of the time.

Getting an occasional visitor is not the same as entertaining people in your lounge. So, host dinner parties, wine tastings, a poker game, book club, karaoke, cocktail hour, or a boardgame tournament. You can host anything you want, so create great memories in your home!

13. Be kind to your neighbors.

Your neighbors don’t have to be your best friends, but be kind to them. Exchanging pleasantries with your neighbors can make you love living in your location more. Plus, you’ll have someone to rely on when you need your mail picked up, your plants watered, or anything else that someone who’s nearby could help with. Having a good relationship with your neighbors can also make you feel safer in your home.

14. Meet new friends.

If your friends have all moved away, and even if they haven’t, make an effort to meet new friends. Go out, join a class, or start a hobby. Find ways to meet and befriend new people.

Give a chance to people entirely different from you because you can always learn something new from them. Be kind to strangers, ask them questions, and get to know them better.

If you pick up a hobby based on your interests, you are liable to meet like-minded people. So, you can suggest more group activities related to what you like.

15. Consider moving away.

Sometimes, you just have to move to find a place that will feel like home. However, keep in mind that you might feel the same way somewhere else. So, use these tips to make your home your own.

Don’t be afraid of starting a new life. If you’d be more content somewhere else, then reach for your happiness! Just make sure that you end up with a house that feels like home, and understand that it might be up to you to make it feel that way.

Still not sure how to make your home feel like a home? If it goes beyond the way your home looks but rather to how you don’t feel happy where you are, speak to someone about it.

We really recommend you speak to a therapist rather than a friend or family member. Why? Because they are trained to help people in situations like yours. They can help you to look at your situation from different angles, work through your feelings, and find the best solution for you.

A good place to get professional help is the website BetterHelp.com – here, you’ll be able to connect with a therapist via phone, video, or instant message.

While you may try to work through this yourself, it may be a bigger issue than self-help can address. And if it is affecting your mental well-being, relationships, or life in general, it is a significant thing that needs to be resolved.

Click here if you’d like to learn more about the service BetterHelp.com provide and the process of getting started.

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About Author

Ana Vakos enjoys writing about love and all the problems that come with it. Everyone has experiences with love, and everyone needs dating advice, so giving these topics more attention and spreading the word means a lot to her.