The reality of us leaving the nomadic lifestyle and settling down once again is so close I can almost taste it. I have been ready for it for a while now, and if all continues to go well we should be living somewhere that is just our own by the end of the month! (Prayers please!)
As we prepare for this big shift in our lives I have started to think about (and make lists, of course) about what we will need to make our new house a home. Okay, it will be a flat (that's British for apartment), not a house, but you know what I mean.
I want to be a minimalist. We basically have been out of sheer necessity while we travel - there is only so much stuff we can fit into our suitcases and carry everywhere with us. And before we left we sold 95% of what we own, keeping only the very most important irreplaceable things (art, books, family heirlooms) in a room in my parent's basement. So even if we could magically transport all of that stuff to our new place we would still be living pretty minimally.
But also, I know it would be so freaking easy to get sidetracked from my minimalist ideals as we settle down. We will pretty much be moving into a blank slate - we won't have any typical household items and have to start from scratch for everything from a mattress and sheets to a shower curtain and towels to plates, silverware and cookware. Other than clothing, shoes, and a few mugs we have nothing else with us right now.
I can already feel the pull of new stuff as we wander through charity shops and discount stores, planning what we need to get. (But not buying anything yet! Just in case things fall through.) We are trying to balance what is absolutely necessary to living in a place with what will make the place feel like home, rather than just a house.
For example, there are two things I want that are absolutely not necessary in any way, but I am looking forward to so much because having them will feel like home. First, a scented candle. I love the smells, the flickering light, everything about a candle relaxes me and gives me a feeling of peace. Second, a bouquet of flowers in a vase. I am thrifty with this - I'm happy to get an inexpensive vase at a thrift shop and I only buy discounted flowers at the grocery store - but the sight of fresh flowers just cheers up any room and makes it feel more like home to me.
Other than that, honestly having a space in the world that is just ours is going to feel truly luxurious. We have not had that since July of 2018! We are so grateful we have had this experience of housesitting, staying with friends and family, and getting to travel, but we are looking forward to the comforts of a home of our own once again.
I'm excited for the small joy of getting to arrange the furniture however I want.
I'm excited for the small joy of having a fridge and pantry filled with only our food rather than trying to organize everything around other people's stuff.
I'm excited for the small joy of knowing that if I break or stain something I'm the only one who will be upset by it!
I'm excited for the big joy of being able to host people again - invite friends over, have people fly out to stay with us, and not having to ask anyone else for permission!
They say home is where the heart is, and that is true to an extent. But home is also a real, physical place. I don't think I really realized that until I no longer had one.
I'd love to hear from others - what makes a house a home for you?