When a house doesn’t feel like a home


How do you make a house feel like home?

I’ve been living in my current place for over a year now and try as I might, I just can’t make it feel like home. I’ve got my belongings here; I’ve tried redecorating numerous times; I’ve lived with a roommate and without. Nothing seems to make a difference.

I think part of me really just can’t get past the temporary nature of my living arrangement. While I technically have my own “apartment”, I live in a house with other people and there are a few common areas. The apartment is intended only for students which means that as soon as I finish grad school I will have to find somewhere else to live. Furthermore, because there are shared common areas in this house, it doesn’t feel like my “apartment” is truly a private space.

Similarly, in my previous living situation I had moved into a condominium with two other women who had been living there for three years. When their roommate moved out, I moved in, but because they had been living there for so long already, I felt like a guest in their space. In this case, I could understand why I felt this way, but it’s so frustrating to feel similar experiences in my current apartment as well.

Am I going to feel this way about every space that I rent? Will I never experience the feeling of “home” until I actually own my own house?

I feel as though I’m in a very transitional period of life in which I changed career paths, quit my previous job, and am going back to school in a new (and terrifyingly huge) city. Everything is changing and I don’t even feel as though I have the comfortable familiarity of home that I did growing up. So, I wonder, how do I make a house feel like a home? How do I make my space feel like my own personal haven rather than feeling like a storage bunker for my clothes and furniture?

Have any of you ever felt this way? What do you do to make your space feel like home? Will this feeling go away once I finish school and move into a more “permanent” space? Ideally I’ll be living here for the next two years, which is a long time, but just knowing that there is a predetermined end to my stay here makes it feel so temporary.

Any advice?



4 thoughts on “When a house doesn’t feel like a home

  1. lovelifestyleandpilates says:

    while I don’t know the exact extent of what you may feel I am in a bit of a similar situation. To make a long story short I relocated with my husband to a different state to start a life in a warmer climate. That led to him getting an awesome job, so of course we’re staying. . Our families, while we talk daily and visit often I still don’t feel like it is home. Nothing there reminds me of home. We went from New England, four seasons, blooming trees to Pam trees, ocean breeze and warm Christmases. While that may feel like the dream to most I find myself feeling very lost and not at home.

    what I found worked for me is finding something that does give me a sense of comfort a sense of being home. That may be an ornament, blanket, dish or plant. Something that reminds me of where I come from and brings me comfort.

    If you can find something that gives you a sense of comfort, you may feel a lot better and more at home. I know it sucks to wait around for feelings to change, but in time it truly does get better and easier. It is a just a period of transition. Try also focusing on the positive things you do have going for you, the good changes and not so much of the shortcomings or sad feelings. I hope you find yourself at home soon. 😉

    • Discoverecovery says:

      Thank you for the advice! I actually recently asked my parents to bring more of my personal belongings (ie. My favorite mugs, my cozier blankets) which I left at their place when I initially moved out for school. Actually, after reading your comment ive realized that I live a very minimalist lifestyle here in the sense that I only have the essentials and didn’t really bring my personal touches like pictures and decor. Maybe I’ll have to bring more of my stuff to make it feel homey!

  2. jlstanding says:

    I have definitely felt the same as you before! I think it has a lot to do with the space you are in. There was nothing wrong with the last place I lived in but I never felt settled there. I just moved a few days ago into a big old house and it feels like home to me – the time for you will come – just know that ❤

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