An Optimal Life for House and Home

by Carrie Meier

I love this month’s theme. So motivating! If I could just get all 1,678,945,362 ducks in order, I could easily live my best life, no problem. I kid, kind of. But seriously, no matter the logistics, the aspirations of living your best life is an inspiring priority for us all.

Many think first about rerouting careers to better feed one’s soul or provide a stronger financial foundation. Some prioritize family or “me time,” integrate hobbies, refresh nutritional goals, or focus on physical and mental health. Others want “more” in the way of travel, indulgences, or simplicity and space. No matter your pursuit, we mustn’t forget the quintessential value of “home” in our journey for greatness.  

Home is our space to rest and recharge, our shelter to reconvene with those we love. For us to live our best life, so must our home. Here are four pillars to our home’s optimal existence:

Energy Efficiency: Properly seal all doors and windows, saving costs and adding comfort. These are expensive to replace, so taking care of them in doses is smart. Invest in fixtures and toilets that conserve water. Upgrade energy-sucking appliances to energy-savers. Put your thermostat on a conservative cycle. Yours isn’t programmable? Adopt the habit of turning your heat or air to cost-effective temperatures when not at home or during times when temperature fluctuations are easily accommodated. LED bulbs are the way to go

Marketability: Choose fixtures and finishes that present your taste in a timeless and neutral way. Although nothing will inflate your home’s confidence faster than current market demands, houses stuck in a decade long past or dressed in a niche taste-market are going to cost you. Lavish renovations not affecting resale value must be decidedly a self-serving splurge and nothing more. Tasteful kitchen/bathroom renovations or basement/attic finishes (especially in homes needing space) are resale VIPs.

Safety: Think like an inspector when embarking on house projects. Building codes exist for a reason, so familiarize yourself first, and do it right. You’ll save time, money, and potentially you from bodily harm. Pull proper permits! If you don’t, square footage may be denied, and faulty items may arise in inspections that will end up costing you.

Functionality: Do the hard work and get organized. Closets, pantries, cupboards; there are organizers for them all. Clear clutter and create spaces in your home for quiet reflection, sweet snuggles, or needed “away” time. Find nooks and crannies that have haunted you and Do. The. Homework. Discover why they strike a nerve and neutralize their negativity with a creative fix. If you need your kids to put their stuff away, make sure the end destination for said stuff is within reach, literally. Do easy DIY projects like taking off that entryway closet door and creating a locker system. Download a podcast on minimalism and start implementing. Whatever needs to be done, get at it. If your house starts to become a well-oiled machine, the effects will be systemic.