7 Home Regrets You Don't Want to Have in 10 Years

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Do you ever look back on the past few years, and wish you’d taken that job, or gone on that date? When I do that, most of the regrets are about my home. I dream of what it could look like now if I’d started that renovation project when I said I would, and how lovely the garden could be if I’d taken care of it better.

With time and knowledge on my side, I want to pass some of my wisdom on to you. These are my top seven regrets that I've either experienced myself, or that close friends have told me about. I'm here to help prevent you from making the mistakes that I did…

1. Not personalising your home

As someone who has been a serial renter for a number of years, I've certainly been guilty of this one. When a house isn't your ‘forever home’, it can be all too easy to put off decorating it or adding any personal touches, because it seems like a waste of time, money and effort. However, let me tell you – it’s not.

Telescope

Telescope by JAY MANTRI

Making a house into a home is never a waste. Even if you don’t own the home you live in, you can and should make it feel like your own personal space. Though you may plan to buy your own place at some point in the future, that doesn't mean you should settle for a non-descript home right now.

And who knows how long it may be before you find your ‘forever home’? Trust me, investing in your own furniture and décor will transform the place you’re living in from a bare space, into a cosy home, and it will improve your mood no end. You deserve it! If you’re struggling with the idea, think of it as a practice run, so that you’ll be able to furnish and decorate your own home beautifully.

Find an unfurnished property to rent if you can so that you can add furniture to your own taste and style; or, if you’re living in a furnished property, invest in throws and cushions, rugs and wall art to spruce the place up.

2. Not maintaining your home

Yes, clearing out the guttering isn't a job that any of us look forward to. But take it from me – those annoying jobs that you’re putting off can transform overnight into nightmare jobs, which are a whole lot more time consuming, not to mention expensive.

Which would you rather spend money on – lovely décor for your home; or bills to replace items which might have been repaired if you’d got to them in time? Keeping on top of little jobs can prevent anything more serious from developing, and will make your life much easier in the future – especially if you want to eventually sell your home. Your future self will thank you.

3. Not finishing that DIY project

I know the feeling on this one. You started the shelving system with such carefree abandon and high hopes for its completion, but that was before you realised you didn’t have enough screws to finish the project.

Renovation

Home Improvements by e-du

Since then, six months have flown by, and the half-finished monstrosity is gathering dust, causing a health hazard (luckily only stubbed toes so far) and has been the subject of at least 1,365 arguments between you and your partner.

Well, that’s what happened to me, anyway. Let me give you some advice: do yourself a favour and finish the DIY jobs you start. Half-finished projects just cause stress; and eventually you’ll be likely to throw the whole thing out in a fit of rage after half a bottle of chardonnay if you don’t get it completed.

And if you leave your projects to fester for a whole decade, don’t blame me if your other half cites it as grounds for divorce.

4. Trying to keep up with the Joneses

In the old days, people used to compete with their neighbours for the title of Loveliest Home on the Street. Nowadays, the whole world is your neighbour. Flicking through Pinterest and home décor blogs can be inspiring, but it can also set an impossibly high standard.

The Joneses

Untitled by jinkazamah

Firstly, trust me: no-one’s home actually looks like they do in those photos for longer than five minutes, unless the homeowner has a team of cleaners attending the place 24/7. Secondly, if you try to enforce such high standards on your own home, your family and friends are probably going to be scared to enter the front door.

By all means strive to keep your home looking lovely, but be realistic. And don’t beat yourself up just because there are a few dirty dishes in the sink. Before you know it, ten years will have passed and you may regret the amount of time you spent fussing over cushions instead of actually enjoying your home.

5. Missing out on an opportunity to own your home

There’s no doubt about it – saving up to buy your own home can be tough, and sometimes impossible, in today’s housing market. But if you have any spare cash that you can put into savings for a deposit on a house, start now. It may well save you money in the long run.

As Tejvan Pettinger from The Mortgage Guide UK says, “With rising life expectancy, people are living longer. Therefore the benefit of paying off your mortgage is increasing, too. The old saying that ‘rent is dead money’ is true.”

Over ten years’ time, you may be able to save up a substantial amount of money. That money could mean that you no longer need to deal with landlords, and you can decorate or renovate your home in any way you wish. Think about what you want for yourself in ten years.

6. Not investing in a decent sofa

For me, the sofa is a key piece of furniture in any home. Not only should it match your taste and style, but – and this is the more vital part for me – it has to feel comfortable. We spend plenty of time relaxing on our sofas, especially during the winter months when the weather keeps us from going outside; it really is worth investing in a decent sofa.

Newport_room

Newport range from SofaSofa

If you’re renting in a furnished house, then I feel your pain. I’ve put up with enough cardboard-like sofas in my period as a renter to last me a lifetime. It’s worth having a word with your landlord if your sofa isn’t up to scratch – they may honestly have forgotten to replace it, or simply have tried to chance their arm.

If they refuse to replace the sofa, consider asking them to put it into storage and investing in a decent one yourself. It may be more hassle than you want, but trust me – your body will thank you for it in ten years’ time!

7. Not organising your home

Maybe you’re rebelling against the way your parents forced you to organise your bedroom when you were a teenager; or maybe you’re simply too busy to spend time considering where items in your home need to go. But if you’re getting to the point where you’re seriously wondering if your toothbrush might be in the sideboard, it’s time to clear the decks.

Focus on one area at a time, and methodically clear out the items you no longer want or need, then arrange the items you’ll be keeping into some sort of order. Not only will this save you time when you need to find your belongings, but it will help to make you feel calmer, and make your whole life more streamlined. A tidy home equals a tidy mind!

The wonderful Mrs Thrifty offers some brilliant advice on organising your life and your home. This post focuses on tackling the bathroom.

“Make a mess in your bathroom tonight. Get every single thing out of the cupboards. Every. Single. Thing – go on, do it,” says Mrs Thrifty. “Evaluate each item with the following questions.

  • Is it within a useable date?
  • Is it half used and dried up?
  • Do I like this product? Have I used it previously and broken out in spots or a rash?
  • Why was it stowed away unloved in the back of the cupboard?
  • Will I use it within the next 6 months?

“Now, which items do you really want to keep? Be blunt, be honest with yourself.

Mrs Thrifty also has some fantastic ideas on where to place the items you do keep – take a look at the post to find out more.

No regrets!

The main point really, is to make the most of your home. Take care of your home, treat it with TLC, and you’ll be rewarded in both the short and long term. Sometimes that also means doing boring jobs, and saving money when you’d rather spend it, but it will all be worth it in the long run. Spend your money and your time wisely! Happy homemaking!

Posted in DIY, Interior Design on 1st May 2015

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