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What do you do to make a place seem more comfortable or more like home? When you move to a new place, what makes it "home" instead of just a place to sleep and keep stuff?

For me it's a combination of things, useful stuff like basic food in the kitchen, toilet paper in the bathroom, a made bed and a candle/statue I've had overlooking each home I've had. —Robin 06:17, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

a little mess

When a place looks like a magazine shoot -- everything put away, no evidence of something that's been happening in the room, like books being read or meals prepared or someone going through a closet to decide what to wear and overall, a bit bare -- it doesn't seem like anyone's living there, and not much like a home to me.

In fact many magazine pictures of how they think a room should be decorated are missing essential accessories for a room that's actually used. The bathrooms don't have towels or even a place to hang a towel. Sometimes they don't have toilet paper within reach of the toilet! The living room has lighting that wouldn't work well for sitting on the couch and reading. The windows and beds have such complicated arrangements that it would take 10 minutes to open a window or 15 to make the bed. That may be fine if you can afford for a daily housekeeper to come in or if you don't have any other work to do, but all the simple household tasks take so long, you'd need someone working at it full time to keep up! The kitchen doesn't have any frequently used items in easy reach -- no cookie jar or cutting boards, a pan or tea pot on the stove, nothing in the drying rack (in fact no place to put dishes to dry or cool at all!). I don't know about you, but I don't wash pots that just came off the stove -- they'd burn! And I need a place to set dishes or other things that were just hand washed or rinsed. Even if I go ahead and dry and put them away right after I wash them, I don't wash one item, dry it and put it away before washing the next item, so I need a place to put it down while I wash the next item. In these unrealistic pictures, children's rooms don't have toy boxes or any visible toys. And walking into a home with no reading materials or visible places for books, magazines etc. feels uncomfortable to me. And where does the mail go, papers, receipts, etc. Sure they may not be all over, but again in magazine shoots, they don't show up in any rooms, except maybe one picture of a desk where... oddly enough all the mail is the same size and shape and makes tidy, even piles. I don't know about you, but my mail comes in different sizes and shapes -- and that "rule" about handling paper only once -- really? Do they think that a magazine should be read and put into recycling the minute it comes in the door? Or I'm supposed to drop everything and pay each bill the day it comes in? Or decide whether the family will accept an invitation without checking with others? And then in rooms with TVs, there are no remotes or places to put remotes. There are no water dishes for the dog or food for the fish near the aquarium. The laundry room doesn't have clothes in it, and often no visible place for detergent, bleach and spot treaters, maybe one of these things, but not all the normal things.

In writing all this it becomes clearer than ever to me that those pictures and the few homes I've been in that look like them don't feel like homes. (And the ones I've been in usually aren't homes. They're houses that are up for sale or rent.) Real homes have more stuff even the ones lived in by people who are very good at getting rid of clutter.

-- CocoaZen 14:32, September 18, 2011 (UTC)

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