31 Days :: What’s The Purpose?

The purpose for our homes change with each season of life.

But in order to have a home that serves your family well, it helps to think of the overall purpose of your home.

Right now, I want our home to be nurturing.  A place of learning and learning how to learn.  A safe place to practice taking risks.  A place to come back to.  A place for laughs and for connection.  A place where you don’t have to pretend you are perfect.  A place to let your guard down. A place to just be.

Words like cozy, warm, inviting, playful, loved on and lived in describe what I want our home to feel like.

All of those words and purposes play a role when it’s time to decide what items should be in our home. They play a role in helping me figure out what I should or shouldn’t purchase and what I could sell or give away.  Creating a beautiful, meaningful home doesn’t start on Pinterest or at the furniture store.

Creating a beautiful, meaningful home starts in your head.

It starts with your goals and thinking about the atmosphere of your home.


“that’s all your house is, is a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff…”

–George Carlin


He’s so funny. But I hope he’s entirely wrong.

Take a few minutes and think about these questions.  Write  down your answers. Leave them in the comments or just think of one main word and keep it to yourself:

What is it that you want to happen in your home in this current season of your life?

What words would visitors use to describe your home?  Are you happy with those words?  Do they describe the home you really want to create?

This post is part of a 31 Day Series. Read the first post here. Check out over 800 1000 other topics here.


  1. Nurturing…so good. I want to be better about nurturing and contributing gracefully towards the whole “health” of my home. I’m tired of all the “stuff.” I’m realizing what matters most is my attitude and what I’m projecting towards my husband and child. Loving being a part of 31 days!

  2. Oasis. It’s my theme. My goal: To create oasis for my family and weary travelers. A sanctuary, a safe and beautiful place. I think it’s becoming true.

  3. A safe place. Not only do I want my children the feel that, I want our friends and visitors to come and go with a sense of safety. Luckily, they keep coming back (thank goodness my kids do, haha), so I guess we’re on the right track.

  4. Peaceful, joyful – I think those are the two main words I want to experience and I want my family and others to experience in our home.. and the thing that I’m wrestling with now is how do we do that when projects are unfinished.. how do we keep that atmosphere, and perhaps that’s what has to be nurtured in our hearts, in our attitudes.. maybe our heart attitudes have to come first before all the stuff and projects come..

  5. I want my home to feel like peace. I want my husband and kids to come home at the end of a long day and feel like they can just exhale and relax. Hmmmm…..I know that’s what I want, but I’m not sure if I’m keeping that at the front of my mind. I’m often so busy rushing around trying to get the laundry folded or to find the living room floor under the pillows and toys that I forget the real purpose in all the cleaning and straightening up.

    Thanks for giving me something to think about today!

  6. Simple and peaceful. Our house is small (3 bedroom 2 bath) but totally our style. Simple. Yes we have decor in all the rooms but nothing is over the top. We try not to live in excess and try to purge items (by selling or donating) we are not using at least twice a year. By keeping our clutter under control our home feels more peaceful day to day. Love your series and I am excited to keep reading.

  7. Comfort and safety. We’re newly retirees. Our home is often visited by grandchildren who move about like falling leaves on a blustery day…they’re everywhere. Large floor pillows with removable covers that can be thrown in the wash, a low kitchen drawer deep enough to hold colorful Tupperware glasses and bowls, and a view from the kitchen table enabling all to watch two bird feeders’ guests help maintain this comfort and safe atmosphere we call “home.”

  8. I want a place to gather with friends without fuss. I want a place you can come home too and breathe a sigh of relief instead of getting stressed when you look at all the building clutter piles. I want a place the kids feel free to bring their friends home too. I want a place that is soothing to the soul. I am getting closer to that place, I am slowly inching forward, but I am not there yet!

  9. Sanctuary is my one word!

  10. A peaceful, sanctuary

  11. US…that is what our home is….a reflection of US. :)

  12. mmm … it all starts in our hearts, travels up to our heads, and then onto our schedules, checkbooks, spaces, and stuff.

    provocative, fascinating topic!

  13. I want my home to be comfortable. Pretty enough to be inviting, but not so nice that people are paranoid about taking their shoes off and using coasters.

  14. At this time in our lives, HiHoney and I love our home to be a place where our Grandchildren know they can always come for lots of Hugs and Kisses, Nana’s Pancakes, Papa’s Tickling, Dolly’s Toe Licking (Dolly’s a GirlieDog) and Forever Memories!

    Your home is exactly what I’m talking about! Thanks for hosting this amazing BlogLand Experience.

  15. Loved this post today, because while not thinking about my house, I have been really thinking about what this next season of family life looks like (my oldest is now in high school). I am excited to now include my home in these thought-ramblings. Thanks for how you make me think!

    • Spring, my oldest is now in high school too! As our children get older it does change how we use our home, it’s actually going to be a post this month about how we are changing our plans with their rooms.

  16. I love the words safe and nurturing… that’s really what I desire for my family… both that we can offer to each other in our home and to others who enter in.

  17. cozy. that has always been how people have described my home (even when it’s been different places) and it always makes me warm and fuzzy inside to hear that word. :) thanks for encouraging us to share!

  18. ENOUGH is my word of the month, year? I want just enough stuff to make it warm and inviting. Struggling with this. The size is just enough (small by most standards), but I have more than enough pillows, throws, accents pieces, etc. Trying to balance too much and instead have just enough. :) Hard.

  19. Security. When all around is crazy nuts falling apart chaos pain fighting hurt, I want our home to be secure. Safe. Peaceful. Oops, more than one word. Hard to describe an attitude. Here, in this house, you can feel secure. That is what I want.

  20. I want our house to be inspiring. Right now people may say it looks unfinished. I have almost all the big stuff… but haven’t been able to figure out how to place all the accent pieces.

  21. First, I want to say thank you for the link up party. I’m having so much fun reading and participating in it. Second, I’m loving your 31days topic. As a designer, you would think my house would look like a picture out of a magazine but it really is just chaos right now with baby stuff everywhere and 4year old toys everywhere. You really got me to stop and think about what my home is saying right now and what I want it to say and the two aren’t meshing. Now to figure out how to change it.

  22. Reclaimed is the word for our home this month. After our son and his family living here for 3+ years and now gone. We are working at making this house OUR home again. While we are both enjoying the “Just You, Just Me….Just Right” aspect of the reclamation, the painful side is that our grandchildren are no longer here. Well….in body anyway. I keep finding bits and pieces of their life all over this place. And I’m sad. I so wish the parting could have been pleasant instead of painful. But….we move on. There is nothing we can do about any of it…except move on. So we clean, reorganize and adjust…….our home once again. What WILL this new life look like???

  23. I want my house to inspire me. Like when I walk into Anthropologie and I gasp, that’s’ what I want my house to be. BUT I don’t want to spend a ton of money. I want to use things I have created, things my children create, and things from nature. I loved the challenge of finding cast off pieces and turning them into fun inspiring pieces for my home. I am so excited to read your 31 day series! So fun!!!! I have found several I will be following all month! Love Gussy Sews handmade Business in 31 days!!!
    xoxoxoxox Angela

  24. We cherish peace in our home. With a peaceful home we are free to live and welcome others to live and breath when they come in to our home.

  25. Comfortable, welcoming, calming. I want my home to be all this for all those who enter. But I want it to be this especially this year for my youngest daughter. She is now the only out of four living home. And the pressure to apply and get into college is so stressful. I pray that I would just come alongside her, show her I care and understand, provide foods/snacks/drinks she likes that let her know I’m thinking of her. I don’t wan to add to her pressure. I want to relieve some.

  26. Joy. Being content and joyful regardless of the circumstances, loving, nurturing.

  27. I love this “Creating a beautiful, meaningful home doesn’t start on Pinterest or at the furniture store.” Because it’s so true. Pinterest and stores have beautiful things, but they aren’t me or mine. I like you suggestion of looking a home as a place that grows as the family inside grows and changes.

    I’m trying to redefine my home in a similar way, not by the stuff I own, but by what that stuff says about me. I love hanging my children’s art work because it’s personal and it shows who and where we are as a family. And I love furniture that has room for me to sit with maybe 2 toddlers on my lap, because that’s what we do to read books or talk or learn. My mother’s house might be full of antiques, and as much as she suggests I fill my home in the same way, I know that if I did, it wouldn’t be OUR home. And that’s what home should be.

  28. All four of us, though the kids are pretty well adult sized, still fit on one (not so big) couch. This is because we are willing to sit close. Tangled up, arms and legs intertwined is just fine with us. I like that my home fosters a close family. If I were to name the Purpose of my home it would be to cultivate intimacy. Looking at the way we use that couch to watch a movie tells me I am succeeding.

  29. This series is speaking to my heart already. I am letting these questions spend the day rattling around in my head.

  30. Thank you for provoking this thought today. I love your 31 days theme.
    As empty nesters with no grandkids, we have the luxury of space and time that can be reclaimed for personal interests, With this in mind and with the need to assure that each of us has some alone time, we have created multi purpose spaces. As a result, we have spaces for solitude or gathering, for quiet meditation or raucous celebration, messing up or cleaning up easily. I am the happiest I have ever been with the look and feel of our home because it evolved from our individual passions and practicalities without constraint of trends or external expectations.

  31. Comforting, simple, and timeless. I don’t want to be slave to my house and house trends (as much as I LOVE home decorating ideas), and want to be keeping house and making a home, rather than just playing house.

  32. From what I see in a lot of blogs, and people I know (including myself in times past) George is not far from the truth. My favorite proverb is the one that says we should not have anything in our homes that is neither beautiful nor has a purpose. But there has to be a limit. xo

  33. Love this post! Love your attitude! And I love how you call it the “current season” of our life. That’s so true, things always change, don’t they? For the first time in my life I am living alone. My daughter moved off to college several years ago, and after that my husband moved out after a 22 yr marriage. Much turmoil in my life of late, but one thing I am so happy about is being able to make my home all about ME now. The current season in my life is the season of ME! I have spent the last 3 years trying to put my life and my house back together after the break up of my marriage, and I so look forward to the day when I open my front door, walk in, and go, “ahhhhh” because it will finally be that warm, inviting, lovely home that I’ve been diligently working toward. Thank you for this great post!

  34. Comfortable, welcoming. I love a clean home but I also don’t want to miss the fact that we are a family and we LIVE here.

  35. Real. And Peace. We’re just trying to keep things real/realistic at our pad. If we’re too uptight about things then no peace exists. We know things are going to get dings and possibly even destroyed. It’s just the reality of our life stage currently. Our home can still be pretty, cozy and comfy with realistic decorating. I’ve come a long way with not getting too attached to “things” and am attempting to create more of the decorative items in my home rather than buy it all. Plus, my kids actually show a bit more respect for it after seeing mom work on something for the house vs. buying it. We’ve been through too much this past couple of years to obsessively care about “stuff” anyway. I love your topic of the purposeful home!

  36. Encouraging: its the word that describes inspiring and a hug all at once. I want it to feed our senses and our spirit.

  37. Appreciation, inspiration, and Peace.

  38. Welcoming and full of love. I want my family and all who enter our home to feel like I want them there and that they are greatly loved. If I strive for this, then my home will automatically be warm, safe, peaceful… all of those other descriptions that I strive for, as well.

  39. Cannot begin to tell you how much I love this thought: “What words would visitors use to describe your home? Are you happy with those words? Do they describe the home you really want to create?”

    definitely got me thinking….

  40. HOLY HOUSE GUEST! With stuff like this, October twenty-twelve is going to be the bestest blog month ever.

  41. REAL. I want my house to be a real home for my boys, not a museum where they have to tip toe around all of the ‘breakables.” Yet, I have alot of glass and nests,etc. all around our home. I have a rule that if I bring it into the house, then I have to be willing to accept that it might not last forever. My boys are young and I want them to touch, feel and experience all parts of their home (except the knife drawer)!!

  42. “Creating a beautiful, meaningful home doesn’t start on Pinterest or at the furniture store. ” I love that. For the past 6 weeks or so we’ve been working on changing up our routines to make things more peaceful around the house. Now that we’ve done the work on our actions and attitude, I would love to bring peace into our home in other ways with comfortable, inviting spaces to read or lounge, places for thoughtful work, and places for play without fear of a broken lamp.

    Thanks for posing these questions. I’ve been thinking about them all day.

  43. the misfit says

    Welcoming! I am an antique nut and I would love for people to think my home is beautiful (and sometimes they say so and it makes me happy. Even if I know it’s more of a reflection of their graciousness than my skill. Because having delightful friends is more important than having a beautiful home anyway!). But the #1 thing I want my house to be is welcoming. I can’t have kids, and I always imagined a big, bustling family around me. That has been hard to part with, as I work to accept God’s plan for my life that was no part of my plan (!). But, I am realizing that what I was attached to was the FAMILY part – not babies, per se. I’m happy surrounded by people I love, even if they’re not children, and even if they’re not related to me.

    So, if I hear people say, “Let’s just do [X] at your place,” then I know I’m on the right track. Lately I have been working on a lot of projects (which have got me a bit behind on housekeeping) so I can’t always host at the drop of a hat, which is something that’s VERY important to me – I want people to be welcome always on a moment’s notice. But I am hoping that the projects will end with my home being even MORE welcoming (hope! Hope!). And for every time I say, “Eek! I can’t do tomorrow!” I am trying to make sure I do host something else, so I am still sending the message – my schedule is not that important! My standards are not that fussy! You’re always welcome! Just drop in!

    So, for me, that feeds into how I fill my space (keep the super-comfy sectional instead of buying a Victorian sofa that would be prettier; make sure there’s LOTS of cabinets and storage things so every baking and serving dish I could use to feed people are at my fingertips, rather than in a box in the basement) but also what I schedule and how I talk about my house and (maybe more importantly) my time.

    Thanks for this series, Nester!!

  44. I am looking forward to rearrange beds so there is more space in kids room.

  45. Happy…is the first word that came to my mind.

  46. Oh! Right now I want my home to be a place where my kids can play and make messes and live as children! But, I struggle because I also want my home to have clean carpet and a white couch and look like a magazine! I’m looking forward to reading more in this series to help me reconcile the purposes of my home! :)

  47. In this current season, I want little home to be a place where my family is free to explore, create, read, play, work and think. I want guests to feel at home and for our home to be peaceful, yet fun. One of the college-aged girls who comes weekly to our home for bible study said to me recently, “When I grow up, I want a house just like yours.” I do not see my home as perfectly put together, clutter-free or designer beautiful. Her comment made my day because she feels at home here and enjoys being in our environment and that’s what I want for all who enter my home. Thanks for helping us think through this great topic!

  48. Authentic. I want my home to be a place where real life is allowed to happen, where perfection isn’t masking all. I long for my home to welcome meaningful conversations and to create memories. I so often get caught up in making everything “just so”- but that is the Martha focus, not the way Mary approaches life. My home should be comfortable and inviting, but not so much so that there is no push for change and new life. In this season of life, my husband and I host a small group from church where authenticity is the goal. May our home be a place of quiet inspiration, of deep breaths, of rest and restoration. A little celebration wouldn’t hurt either!

  49. This is the most amazing idea. The series is fabulous on its own, but to invite in the world to participate and undertake their own 31 day journeys…wow! that has amazing power. Thank you for the opportunity to join you.

    As for my home, I hope it is a sanctuary. We all go our separate ways. Some of us each morning. This year one of us off to college (some years more than one of us go this way). I want home to be that place we return to to renew our souls. Our refuge from the world.

  50. Great post! Home is where you can just be yourself!

    sandy toe

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