In December, Eric and I were discussing our friends who are buying homes – and how we feel like it could be several years before we are ready to take that step, especially since student loan debt is in the picture right now. Eric posed the question, “If we owned this (rent) house we are living in, what would you change about it?”
We really enjoy this sweet little home we moved into just over two years ago when we got married. The screened-in porch was a huge draw, and the wood floors are wonderful (especially with a long-haired dog – easy to clean). It’s a great 2BR-1BA size, with an unfinished basement the size of the entire house for tons of storage. It has old house charm (which also means cracks in the door jams for tiny breezes and single-paned windows and creaky spots in the flooring, so it is charming/chilly) and a great landlord situation.
However, I think this is a great question for me, as I can easily take this home for granted and want something newer/nicer/bigger/etc. We don’t have any plans to move into a different or a larger home – we don’t really need anything bigger or different – so what would it look like to do some low-key investments into this home and our belongings in order to gain more contentment for where we are now?
As part of this, I am following along with the January Cure via Apartment Therapy. This project involves daily, manageable tasks to slowly help de-clutter, clean, and organize your living space, and so far I am really enjoying it. Sitting down to create my project list (with some feedback from Eric) really helped me get a grasp of what it is I want to accomplish instead of just looking at rooms and getting frustrated.
In a rental situation, it can be easy to feel like you don’t have any control over your home, and in some situations this is more true than in others, but I found that most of my changes don’t involve the actual wall colors or flooring or other things that are a lot of work to change.
I am calling this “Project: Content-To-Rent.” My goal is not only to gain contentment with this home the Lord has provided, but also to find ways to take care of our home and make it a place of peace, not disorder. The Message version phrases Proverbs 31:19 this way: “She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking.”
Lastly, a goal with this project is for Eric and I to get to share in doing fun things together and investing in our home. Especially in the winter, I feel like this is a strategic opportunity to grow our relationship. The “friendship” aspect of our marriage thrives in warm weather when we can go on bike rides and runs and walks and hikes. We can spend weekends camping and doing yard work. But in the winter, it’s easy to just crash on the couch under a blanket and watch a lot of movies. We need some of that, but to grow our relationship, I feel like house projects are a fun way to interact with each other and learn new things together.
The first task of Project: Content to Rent was recently completed, and I can’t wait to share it here soon!