At NewlyWoodwards, my biggest goal is to encourage you to create an unconventional home. And I want that to happen without sacrificing your life, family or budget.
I promise it’s possible.
What is an unconventional home?
I could tell you that I want you to have a beautiful home. A comfortable home. A safe home.
And all those things are so true.
But over time, I’ve become most passionate about creating an unconventional home. Because this allows you to you create all these things – a beautiful, safe and comfortable space for you and your family – without drowning in debt, neglecting your relationships, or making yourself crazy.
That’s why I think it’s awesome to be unconventional. Because conventional wisdom would tell you that you can’t have it all. But unconventional thinking means you can get just what you need from your home. And it means you can ignore the rest.
You don’t have to do it all. (Face it: You don’t really want to, right?) Instead, you can focus on what really matters. It’s about giving yourself, your family and your budget a hefty load of grace.
I’m not perfect. My home isn’t perfect. And you and yours don’t have to be either.
What ISN’T an unconventional home?
So, if being unconventional really just means focusing on what matters, what ISN’T it?
In short – anything that becomes a large burden to you or your family.
- An unconventional home isn’t spending money when you can’t afford it. Instead, it’s about living within (or below) your means so your home doesn’t cost you financial security.
- An unconventional home isn’t feeling inadequate in your home because you see beautiful homes of your friends (or online). Instead, it’s about looking to others only when it’s inspiring you. It’s about finding contentment.
- An unconventional home isn’t stressing about every single decision because it all has to be perfect. Instead, it’s about finding joy in the process (even in the ugly parts) and realizing that nothing is EVER perfect. (Seriously. Can we all just forget about perfection?)
And most of all – it’s not spending so much time perfecting your home that you forget to LIVE IN IT.
Because it’s only an unconventional home if you actually spend time enjoying it with the ones you love the most.
How to start creating an unconventional home.
Are you in? Do you want an unconventional home, too?
Of course you do.
So now that all the explanations out of the way, it’s your turn. Here are the three steps to get there. (Click any of the links below to take you to even more information, inspiration and encouragement.)
1. Know your means and live below it.
You have to afford your home. I don’t care if you are living in your dream house that graces the pages of Country Living. If you can’t afford it, it’s not the right house for you.
Being unconventional means you aren’t keeping up with the Joneses. Who cares about them anyhow? Who wants granite countertops if you are stressing about your mortgage payment every month? (Answer: Nobody.)
I know that there are tons of factors that go into finding a great house that fits in your budget. And I know that it can be impacted by your location, jobs and family. But, the bottom line is that you can not have an unconventional home if you can’t afford it.
More inspiration about budgets, money and living below your means:
2. Treat your home with respect.
Can I let you in on a secret? An really important part of creating a home that’s unconventional is cleaning and maintaining it.
I know. It’s not sexy. But it’s true. Of you spend a little time maintaining your house, I think you’ll get a little closer to loving it. And you won’t have to spend money as frequently to replace things because maintnance can extend their life expectancy.
This is unconventional because we live in a society that believes in throwing away old things and buying new things – on repeat. Just like getting your oil changed on your car, your home needs some regular tune-ups to keep it running smoothly.
A few examples:
- Keep carpet and rugs vacuumed and stains cleaned – they will last longer (and look better).
- Touch up paint every so often. Scuffs and chips happen and are easy (and cheap fixes).
- Change air filters regularly – this can help keep the dust levels lower in your home.
These aren’t about becoming a crazy clean freak, but just a little maintenance can go a long way to creating an unconventional home. And the best part is spending time caring for your home may help you love it a bit more, too.
More inspiration to treat your home with respect:
3. Love the home you are in.
It doesn’t matter if you are living in a Barbie dream home or a 300-square-foot barn apartment, you can love your home. There is no “but” here.
- “But it’s so tiny.”
- “But it’s so ugly.”
- “But I really want something else.”
Move past all the excuses. You shouldn’t have to wait to have a home you love. Before you can create an unconventional home, you have to work at loving the home you are in. Because if you are only wishing for a bigger, better, more beautiful home, you are missing the best parts of living right where you are.
That can be a challenge. And it can be a perspective shift. Start by thinking about what you love about your home. And then, think about small changes you can make to love your current home a little more.
- Painting walls or cabinets.
- Tearing down ugly wallpaper or faux paneling.
- Changing ugly light fixtures.
- Adding personal touches to your space.
You may find in the process of fixing up your home with inexpensive changes will help you love it more than you ever believed.
More inspiration to love the home you’re in:
It isn’t always easy to be unconventional. But I believe that creating an unconventional home is the best way to focus on what matters and ignore the rest.
What steps do you need to take to create an unconventional home?
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