Tips for People Who Don’t Like Their House But Can’t Move

street view of three modest outdated homes

Updated January 12, 2023

Do you have outdated cabinets, mismatching finishes, linoleum straight out of the 70s and 80s, a dark and dingy basement, or a cramped kitchen?

Millions of homeowners know the excitement of owning your own home and falling out of love with it over time, but moving to a new home often isn't an option, whether due to the current market, your budget, time constraints, etc.

But just because you don't love your home in its current state doesn't mean you can't grow to love it by making a few tweaks here and there.

We've compiled a list of our favorite methods for making your home a place you love again.

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Repair What Needs It

repairman working on plumbing under sink

First, if you have any major issues that need to be addressed, fix those first.

This could be an old leaky toilet, outdated appliances, or stained carpet to name a few.

Next, if you have small issues that catch your eye and get on your nerves, address those things.

This could be things like an off-kilter door, broken doorknobs, uneven cabinets, nail holes in the wall, old lighting fixtures, etc.

Get Organized

A cluttered home has negative impacts that many people don't consider, which is why we always recommend keeping your home as organized and functional as possible.

Make sure any items that exist in your home serve a clear purpose. Everything should have a designated place where its kept, and anything that isn't purposefully left out or put on display should be stored away and organized for easy finding and accessing.

This is when closed storage and functional decor pieces come in handy the most.

Ottomans, benches, end tables, beds, and even couches come with built-in storage options these days and can be a great way to utilize your wall space for storage, too.

Shelves, hooks, pin-up boards, and other organization options can not only add warmth to your walls but functionality as well.

Along the same lines: Make the bed everyday.

By now, we've all heard the positive effects this banal task can have on our lives:

  • It starts every day off on the right foot, building momentum into more positive choices throughout the day.
  • It makes climbing into bed at night a much more relaxing and pleasant experience.
  • It makes your bedroom instantly look more tidy and pleasing to the eye.

Remember: The overall goal is to maximize how you use and see the rooms in your home to increase its functionality as well as your overall enjoyment in the space.

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Add Things That "Spark Joy"

For those not familiar with Marie Kondo, her popular Netflix show "Tidying Up with Marie Kondo," or any of her bestselling books, she is an organization and tidying expert "helping people around the world to transform their cluttered homes into spaces of serenity and inspiration."

Her KonMari method for creating a space you love has six simple rules, with the sixth and arguably most important rule being to only keep items in your home that "spark joy."

In other words, your environment should make you happy, and that is achieved by filling it with items that achieve that goal.

According to Kondo, you'll know if an item sparks joy for you if, when holding it, you feel "...a little thrill, as if the cells in your body are slowly rising."

When going through the items in your home, donate, recycle, or toss the things that no longer spark joy for you, and look to bring in items that do spark joy.

While the home itself may not spark joy for you, filling it with things that do will make it a much more enjoyable place to be.

Examples include adding a gallery wall of photos of family and friends, sentimental knick-knacks that warm your heart to look at, decor pieces in a color that lifts you up, furniture pieces that you love, plants that breathe literal life into a space while camouflaging eyesores, or textures that make you feel cozy and peaceful.

Don't Underestimate the Power of Paint

Painting is an affordable and relatively easy way to transform your home and give it a completely new look and feel.

Whether it's your home's interior or exterior that needs a change, paint has the ability to get it done.

On top of that, the endless option of colors allows you to choose colors that evoke feelings you want to feel.

For example, lighter colors, like creams, light grays, and beiges evoke feelings of serenity and calmness.

Darker colors, like bold greens and blues, can evoke feelings of health, romance, strength, and coziness.

Accent walls are a great way to add additional dimension and interest to a room without having to commit an entire room to a bold color.

Don't feel like you need to paint your home's entire interior or exterior at once. Start with the room that needs it the most or the front door.

Upgrade Outdated Fixtures and Hardware

man replacing front door hardware

Updating doorknobs, cabinet pulls, handles, lighting fixtures, etc. can have a big impact for a small price.

You may not realize exactly how much your hardware has an effect on your home's look and feel, but it's major.

You can swap out your old doorknobs, handles, and cabinet pulls throughout your home for versions that better suit your desired look.

The same goes for upgrading your lighting fixtures, appliances, toilets, tubs, etc.

Don't let your home stay stuck in the past with outdated, ugly fixtures when they're so easy to replace.

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