“I’ll know it when I see it”
I hate this phrase. And I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve used it on way too many occasions, thankfully now I know better. Um… how can you know it when you see it if you haven’t purposefully thought about what you are really looking for?
Before you go out looking for a new place, you need to take stock of your now place. Think specifically about what’s working… what you love… what you wouldn’t give up if you didn’t have to (you have more storage space than you could ever need? You have the best sunroom ever? You LOVE your kitchen? The character of your place is unbeatable?)…
Also, think about what isn’t working… what do you hate… what is SO frustrating you can’t believe someone got away with building it (literally no closet space? bathroom so small you have to stand in the tub to brush your teeth?, nowhere to hang coats? can’t fit a sofa in your living room?) What are you constantly telling visitors – no matter what, in my next place…
These are really important things to know.
For most of us change is scary . . . and stressful. Moving is definitely stressful, I think psychologists and scientists have even proven it. Yes. No matter how much practice you have at it somehow it’s just always gross. Despite the excitement we might have for our new place. It’s some primal thing that we don’t like as humans. Also, buying a home is the largest investment you make, so emotionally there are all kinds of extra stressful things going on that add to the stress of just the moving. I wish there was a way to move without the stressful moving part… if only.
Knowing – big picture – what is working or not in your now space… and thinking purposefully about how your life and needs are changing and what you will need in your new space are what will ensure that you find the perfect new home for you. It will also help you make sure that this huge investment you are making is going towards something you will really love. It will help you feel more certain, confident, empowered and in control. You are choosing your perfect new home, you are not settling for the least bad of a bunch of things you didn’t really like. You are moving into a place that is just right for you and you know you will love, you are not ending up in another place that isn’t right for you and then forking over your hard earned money every month feeling frustrated and discontent.
See the difference?
You can’t really make sure all of the other components (like colors, furniture, art, etc. which we will also most certainly discuss) fall into place if you don’t get the big picture. What does it matter if you love the architecture of the building if the space is completely wrong for you? What does it matter if you have the best couch ever… if your living room can’t even fit all of your friends that you have over to watch the game every week?
Here are a few good questions to get you started – if you were looking for a new place with me, this would be some of your homework (it’s okay, there are no wrong answers!):
What do I love most about where I live now?
What do I hate most about where I live now?
What is my favorite thing about my space? [Is it a room, is it an object, is it a feeling when you see something, is it the location?]
What room do I spend my free/relaxing time in?
No matter where I live I never have…
If I could change anything about my current house to make it better suited for me I would…
I wish my space had…
What space in my house is the most important to me, I couldn’t compromise if this space wasn’t ‘perfect’ (exactly what I picture/what I need):
If I found a place with my dream (above answer), but I had to give something up to get it, I would be willing to compromise on (something you would love to have in a place, but could live without):
Take some notes about your place until next time and notice if you realize anything surprising?
And just in case you are starting to feel a little stressed just THINKING about thinking about moving… I’ll leave you with a warm and fuzzy image to help calm the nerves.. what can I say, I’m here for you :)