Good morning, friends!
I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend! (Again, if you had to labor yesterday at your job, I’m sorry!) Ours was pretty uneventful and rather relaxing. That’s always good. Finished it off with a run last night just before the lightning came. I would have welcomed some rain, but I don’t do lightning. Thank you very much.
For those of you who are new to this blog/page, I usually “issue” challenges on Mondays, but who wants a challenge on a holiday? Therefore, I’m calling you out today. 🙂 I haven’t issued a challenge all summer so it’s about time I (meaning “we”) get back down to business, don’t you think?
But first, do a load of laundry. Just one load. Or one kind/sort of laundry…for example, if you have two loads of towels, do both loads. (If you’ve never taken the laundry challenge and you are being run out of your house by the Laundry Monster, please go to this link and proceed:
(I did not re-read this post so I hope it’s not full of errors!)
NOTE: There are several weekly challenges coming up. I’m not about spending a lot of money, so don’t be scared. We are going to redo, update, rearrange…all without spending much – if any – money. So DO NOT BE ALARMED. I’m not asking you to pull out your checkbook or VISA card. Really. We are literally starting at the front door and working our way through our homes room by room. I plan to keep any spending to under $50 per room. (Dave Ramsey speaks inside my head quite often these days.)
Now, let’s carry on. I told you that this week’s challenge was a mental – not physical – one, so prepare your brain. For me, that means consuming some coffee. But that’s how I prepare for anything. You’ll also need your eyes. You might even need the opinion of a good friend. So…here goes.
Question: What is the first thing people notice when they drive up to your house? (Or condo, apartment, townhouse…whatever you call home. I’d like to call a beach house “home” but, alas, I do not.) Is it your nice, neat yard and welcoming front porch? Is it beautiful flowers and amazing curb appeal? Is it dead plants? A door that needs painting? Toys on the front steps? Does it look the houses on “Hoarders”? Bless.
Now, you’ll need to go outside for this one. Maybe even get in your car and turn on the AC if you live around here. But look at your house. Really look at it. Try to imagine that it’s your first time seeing it. Ask yourself these questions.
1. Does my house say, “Welcome, friends!”?
2. If I didn’t live here, would I want to go in?
3. I do live here. Do I want to go in?
4. Does it look like someone lives here who won’t let you touch anything?
5. Does it look like someone lives here who doesn’t care if you fall through the porch?
6. Does it look like a warm, welcoming, happy place to be?
If you don’t feel you can have an unbiased opinion about this, ask a friend or two. Ones who will be honest but not hurt your feelings. It never hurts to ask anyway. Your friends may see things you don’t – not just bad things. Good things, too!
If you answered “no” to #3 or “yes” to #4 or #5, this challenge is for you. Our goal is a “yes” for #1 and #6.
Once you’ve taken a good look at your house, you’re going to make a list. I love lists. (I don’t always get everything on my lists done, but at least I have a goal. I’ll eventually get to most of it.) You’re going to make a list of small things that you can do – for free or for “cheap” – to make your house look more welcoming. To say to people, “An awesome person lives here. You might want her (or him) to be your friend.”
So I did this on Sunday. And here’s my list – in no particular order. Most of these do cost a little. I will probably spend more money here than in room inside the house.
1. Get two pretty fall mums for the pots on my front steps.
2. Paint the porch rails and front door. (NOTE: This is a project I’ve been putting off all summer because…well, because it’s been hot and I just didn’t want to do it.)
3. Get a new welcome mat. When the word “Welcome” is no longer visible, you might need a new one. Just saying.
4. Make new wreath for front door. (I saw one online yesterday that I loved.)
5. Bring small table back out to porch so there’s a place for the lanterns that are on the back porch. (Rearranging…one of my favorite things!)
6. Bring out the fall flag and hang it up. (Replace if faded.)
7. And finally – and this is a project for the hubby, I hope – paint the porch floor.
Like I said, the porch/front door is where I’m going to spend the most money. I’ll still try to keep it under $50. It depends on how much paint costs. I really don’t want you to feel you have to spend money. Before you go to a store, shop around your house. You might be surprised at the things you find that you can use to ‘beautify” your front porch/entrance and make your home more welcoming.
You know the saying about first impressions. When people drive up to your home, they get their first impression before you open the front door. So make it as good a one as you can.
Here are my “before” pics of my front porch. Now I think it’s pretty welcoming already. So most of the things on my list are things that are maintenance-type things that need to be done. You can clearly see that the paint on the porch floor is peeling badly. Yikes! (It did get pressure washed after these pics, so it’s cleaner but the paint is more peel-y.)
the whole thing
the walkway (steps are now clean!)
My favorite place to sit and have coffee (despite the peeling paint)
I didn’t get one of the front door but trust me, it needs painting.
I’d love to hear/see your lists when you’re done. And, of course, before and after pics are welcome! They make me very excited, actually. If you’re entry is already a welcoming area, share your pics and inspire the rest of us!
Have a blessed Tuesday!