It’s not your paint colors, throw pillows, or even your favorite kitchen gadget. So what does transform a house into a home?

1. The dirt tracked in when the kids come back from building forts with the neighbors

2. The smell of your grandma’s secret recipe bubbling on the stove

3. Watching your child’s face light up while unwrapping that shiny new toy on their birthday

4. That long hug in the hallway when you’ve just received bad news

5. A (half-empty) bottle of cheap wine shared with your partner after a long week

6. Struggling over homework at the kitchen table with your kid who got smarter than you overnight

7. The sound of your grandkids squealing (way too loudly) as they run through your front door

8. Hearing your teenager sneaking in (way too loudly) after curfew

9. The holiday traditions passed down from your great-great grandparents

10. The parties you hosted that might or might not have gotten a little out of hand

11. Your dog’s head resting on your lap while reading on the couch

dog resting head in owner's lap while they are reading a tablet
Photo from Dogtime

12. Roasting marshmallows over the fire pit in the back yard just as the weather is starting to change

13. The to-do lists that keep your household afloat

14. The giggles while snuggled up watching a funny movie with your favorite people

15. The smell of coffee on a quiet Saturday morning

Photo from Airows

16. Overdue visits from out-of-town friends

17. Watching the rain from your back porch

What else would you add to the list?

You can make your house look as pretty as you’d like, but the memories (sometimes even the difficult ones) are what make it a home. What you’ll remember when looking back on your life is not the color of your walls. You’ll remember the people, the laughter, and the love that filled the space you shared.

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