10 Ways to Learn How To Love the Home You Hate

Do you feel stuck in a house you loathe? From the practical to the personal, here are strategies to help you embrace the home you have.
Kristen Mosier Avatar
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It’s normal to feel sad or disappointed after buying a home. In fact, a recent study from Zillow found that 75 percent of buyers have regrets about their house purchase. For some, these feelings are an initial reaction to such a significant investment. However, for others, the concerns only worsen over time, leading to increased dissatisfaction with their home.

While selling seems like the obvious solution, that option isn’t always possible. With soaring interest rates, many homeowners feel stuck in a house that doesn’t meet their needs or they downright hate due to financial reasons. Others may believe they should stay because their children are settled or their partner is content. Whatever the reason, when moving isn’t an option, there are other ways to learn to love—or at least feel better about—the home you hate.

1. Make it more personal.

Black Couple Hanging Poster In Frame On Wall At Home

A house is more than brick and mortar. It’s a home where friends and family gather and memories are made. The décor is a reflection of the people who live there. Though it may feel impossible to love the house, it’s possible to love the contents.

Hang pieces of art that have special meaning or were created by people you love. Display cards, photographs, and mementos. Consider following organizing guru and author Marie Kondo’s method of sparking joy: Choose colors, textiles, and items that welcome feelings of joy.

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2. Create a mood.

Oil diffuser on blurred background near candles.

Instead of focusing on specific changes, consider creating a mood. Some spaces evoke a sense of calm, while others are stimulating or comforting. When deciding what mood to choose, consider favorite hotels, restaurants, and friends’ homes.

When adding in features, engage all of the senses. Add candles, soft textiles, warm lighting, greenery, and other Zen touches to create a relaxing vibe, while vibrant color and whimsy can help generate a cheery mood.

RELATED: 15 Ways to Light Up Your Decor With Candles

3. Clear the clutter.

woman entered her child's room with a mess to collect dirty things and clean up

Studies have found that clutter can have a negative impact on overall well-being, and even lead to isolation and avoiding guests. An organized space can make a house more inviting, manageable, and comfortable.

Clearing away clutter and creating an organization plan also helps make a home operate more efficiently. When clothes are in designated drawers, they are easier to find than when hurriedly rummaging through the laundry before running out the door. If the thought of decluttering feels overwhelming, recruit help or start with just 5 minutes a day.

4. Make thoughtful updates.

Elderly woman gardening in backyard with daughter

Most likely, the whole house isn’t deplorable. List the things that garner the most dislike and assess how to make changes. Focus on the areas that can be helped with a quick fix, such as new paint, furniture arrangement, or a landscaping cleanup.

When more extensive renovations don’t make sense, small changes can go a long way in making a house feel more welcoming and better aligned with your lifestyle and personal style.

RELATED: 14 Easy DIY Living Room Updates Anyone Can Do in a Day

5. Shift your perspective.

Woman working while her niece draws

If it’s impossible to make a change, consider a shift in mindset. When we focus on the negative qualities of anything, more will likely be noticed. Instead of lamenting over all the disappointing factors, notice the positives.

Maybe it’s a nice neighborhood or there’s outside space to play. Perhaps the bedroom is cozy or there’s a basement with extra space. Focusing on gratitude can help us downshift from hating everything.

6. Carve out a nook.

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Find a spot, even a corner, and claim it. Consider a reading nook with a small bookshelf and a cozy chair, a meditation corner with candles and floor pillows, or a music alcove with headphones and a speaker.

Carving out a space free of clutter and adorned with your favorite items can offer a respite from the outside world.

7. Get involved with the community.

Active retired seniors enjoy one another's company while sitting on a porch together.

Whether the neighborhood is ideal or not, getting involved in the community can help make a house feel like a home. This might include volunteering for town organizations, taking a local class, or simply going to the same coffee shop each week and getting to know some familiar faces. If that seems intimidating, just start by waving hello to neighbors.

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8. Focus on the present.

Mother watching her husband and son playing soccer in the garden

It’s easy to get caught up in what we want to change and forget to focus on the present moment. Don’t miss out on life while waiting to move out or lamenting over a house where you feel trapped.

Life will keep unfolding; remember to notice and enjoy even small positive moments. Savor sitting by the window in a rainstorm or watching the birds or little ones play in the neighborhood.

RELATED: Resolved to Get Involved: How to Put Your Skills to Use Around Your Community

9. Ask yourself if it’s really the house.

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Maybe it’s the house, but it also could be something more. As the famous proverb says, “Wherever you go, there you are.” Unhappiness follows us if we don’t work through it. So, it’s essential to ask if moving is the answer or if there are other ways to find contentment in the present moment.

10. Make a long-term plan.

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For those who have tried for some time and still hate their house, it may be time for a change. Even if it doesn’t seem 100 percent logical, it is still sometimes the best option. If it’s not in the cards now, lay out a plan for moving. List what circumstances would make a move possible and the most important qualities to seek out in a new home.