From renting to owning

Making a house into a home can be a challenge, especially when staying in one place is a novelty.

When Darren and I were married in 2003, we started out as many young couples do, renting a variety of places and living as economically as possible. The need for economy was exacerbated by the fact that we both chose to go to grad school. Darren finished his MA (Canadian Aboriginal History) in 2005 and, despite delays that included working part time and having two children, I defended my thesis in 2009.

In nine years of marriage we have moved ten times: Fort Langley; Saskatoon, Aird St. Apt#1; Saskatoon Aird St. Apt#2; Saskatoon, 5th Ave; Chilliwack; Walnut Grove with my parents; Walnut Grove, basement suite; Surrey, basement suite; Walnut Grove, basement suite; current townhouse. (Can you tell we were dying to get out of basements?)

We bought our current townhouse just over two years ago and got the keys on Halloween. I spent our first week or so of ownership dropping Ben off at kindergarten, driving to the new house, putting Cate down for a nap, and repainting the accent wall on the main floor. The tomato red looked striking, but it didn’t match any of our stuff and the red grated on my nerves. It was too close to orange.

We moved into the townhouse in the middle of November. Aside from retiling the shower because the grout had failed and the walls were so saturated that you could move them with one finger, we haven’t done any major renovations since then.

The transition from renter to owner has been difficult. Whenever we got into a new rental I would put up all of our photos and pictures, using as many old pin holes as possible. Out came our knick knacks, wedding presents, everything that we could use to make the place our home.

But since we have moved into the townhouse, I have felt paralyzed. Pictures go unhung, windows are curtain less, bedrooms unrefined. It isn’t a total disaster, but it could be so much better than it is.

I have come to realize that part of the reason for this blog is to help me get things done as I continue to make our house a home. Just a month and a half into this I have accomplished so much more than I thought I could, just because I need stuff to write about!

One of my New Years’ resolutions was to hang up our pictures. I hereby resolve not to be afraid, to take chances, and to be willing to question everything. I resolve to make a beautiful, functional home for my family that frees us to live our lives rather than burdening us with unnecessary obligations.

There. Now I’ve said it.

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