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August 4, 2011 by Alison

The Best Path to a New Home, Is Embracing Your Current Home

IEL News… Before getting to this week’s blog, we wanted to share some exciting updates. We were truly honored when Terah Kathryn Collins, founder of the Western School of Feng Shui and our mentor, recently interviewed us for the WSFS blog. If you’d like to listen, click here! Also, we are absolutely thrilled that one of our favorite bloggers, Carolyn Rubenstein from A Beautiful Ripple Effect, will be featuring our blogs during the month of August! Please visit her gorgeous and inspirational site. Now, back to this week’s blog…

I decided I wanted to move a little over a year ago, and yet despite many attempts to find a new apartment I simply wasn’t having luck finding a new place that I really wanted to call home. I became so focused on moving, that I soon found myself ignoring a lot of little problems in my current place, like a broken doorknob or stuck drawer. I kept thinking I’d be leaving soon, so why bother fixing anything? Soon I realized I was no longer enjoying my current apartment, in fact I was starting to feel stuck, so I started making some home improvements. One improvement led to another and soon I was giving my place a mini-makeover and feeling good about my home again. I’m happy to report that I gave my landlord notice yesterday, and will be moving by the end of the month! So do I regret spending the time and money on the improvements I made? Not at all, as I think feeling better about my apartment, which made me feel better about life in general, is what finally propelled me forward.

Laura and I often work with clients in a similar situation who would like to move, but for whatever reason, aren’t quite able to yet. We have found that most people in this situation have put their house—and to a degree their lives—on hold. It makes sense that you wouldn’t want to invest a lot of money in a place you’re going to leave, however we often find that by not fully embracing and enjoying your current home, you can be preventing or delaying the move you desire.

That may seem counterintuitive, but consider the fact that your home is the foundation from which you operate everyday and is therefore influencing your life on many levels. If you live in an uninspiring, cluttered, disorganized home where things are in disrepair, you’re not supporting yourself to achieve your goals—including your goal to move. Think of it from a Feng Shui perspective as well—each part of your home correlates with a different part of your life, such as wealth, career, relationships, timing, etc… So, for example, if money is part of the reason you’re not able to move yet, you want to enhance the wealth area of your home, not ignore it. Also consider a holistic perspective—we consider your home, in many ways, to be an extension of your body. If you were sick or injured yourself, you wouldn’t delay going to the doctor. You would take care of yourself now—in the case of your home that means fixing up anything that’s in disrepair or broken.

There is also a universal expression “what you resists, persists.” By resisting something, in this case your current home, you’re actually placing a lot of attention on your present living situation. Instead, accept where you are now by embracing your home—by letting go and surrendering you will get where you want to go faster and enjoy yourself more in the meantime. The expression “you have to give some, to get some” also applies.

Often people who are renting fall into the “temporary thinking” trap, such as “this isn’t permanent and I don’t own it, so why make changes?” And yet, why put off being able to enjoy where you live? Why send out the message to yourself, others, and the universe that you don’t deserve good things now? Embrace your home—and the present moment—by creating a home you love. If you move, you move—at least you enjoyed your space while there.

Of course, if you’re a homeowner—even if you’re not putting your house on the market yet—making small changes to fix things that are bothering you will most likely improve your chances of selling when you do put it up for sale. Often people make home improvements right before they put their home on the market. Once the changes are made, they wonder why they didn’t make those changes years ago—some people even wonder if they still want to move. So why not make the changes now and enjoy them?

Here are a few steps to accept and enjoy where you are now as well as manifest a new home:

1. Set an intention that you would like to move. Write down all the qualities of your ideal new home and/or cut out pictures from magazines that inspire you.

2. Embrace your current home. Take care of yourself now by enhancing your current home. Make a list of all the things that are not supporting you in your home and decide what’s realistic to change.

3. Clear clutter. Make space for something new to enter your life. Know that as you do you are preparing for your move. It is hard enough to move the things you really love, much less a lot of clutter.

4. Organize. Buy some great baskets or containers that you love, and organize your things—it will make the space look and feel better—and when you do move, things are lot easier to pack when already in organized containers.

5. If something is broken, fix it. Broken items frustrate us and make us feel badly. As a renter, your landlord will bear the cost of most repairs or if it’s something they won’t cover, but will improve the property, many landlords will share the cost with you. As a homeowner, most likely improvements will help you sell when the time comes.

6. Rearrange furniture. This costs nothing and can have a dramatic impact on how the space works for you and how it feels.

7. Consider paint. Paint is an inexpensive way to personalize a space. Although landlords may say they don’t want you to paint, as long as you paint it back when you leave, they usually don’t care (or sometimes even notice). If painting an entire room makes you anxious, just paint an accent wall. If you are selling a home consider a neutral color, which typically makes your home more appealing to a buyer.

8. Live with what you love. Place at least one inspirational object or something you love in every room. You may even invest in new things for your current home—especially if you can take them with you. New bed linens are something you take to your new home, but a new carpet may not fit your new space. New dishes will most likely work in any space, but a television cabinet may not, etc.

9. Buy or pick flowers. Flowers make any space feel cheery and beautiful. It’s an inexpensive way to make your home feel and look good.

10. Clean your home and express gratitude. A clean home always feels good—go a step further with a space clearing ritual to lift the energy in your current space. Express gratitude for all the good things your home provides.

Check out our no- and low-budget makeover blogs for more ideas on how to love your current home:
Give Your Home a Makeover Without Spending a Dime
Tips for a Low-Budget Makeover
Love Your Home and It Will Love You Back