15 things that are better about my new house

To start off, I want to make something clear: I was unhappy about leaving my other house.

It was not what I wanted to do; I poured my heart and soul into making that house a home, I raised my children there, I homeschooled them there, I cooked thousands of meals there…no part of me wanted to leave.

dining room with two windows

On Mother’s Day last year, when my family helped me do my big move, I threw my items into bins, barely able to see through my angry tears.

No matter how sure you are that this is the right decision, it is still a really, really, really hard thing to do.

A living room just after moving in.

A lot of you have wondered why I was the one that had to move, and I don’t know what to say that is respectful and kind, so I’m just not gonna offer an explanation.

window in gray dining room

In short, I decided that it was not worth getting into a legal fight over, and I chose to go find somewhere else to rent.

(Don’t worry; down the road, I will insist on splitting things evenly. I just did not think this, in particular, was worth the fight at the time.)

The point is: this move was an unfortunate one in many ways.

matching window trim

Despite that, there are a lot of things that I really, really love about my rental house, and since joy is multiplied when it’s shared, I wanted to tell all of you.

I also wanted to share because it can be helpful to see other people blooming where they are planted, even if they didn’t particularly want to be planted there.

peonies in a white pitcher.

You know how I always say that nothing is all good or all bad? Well, this is another case where that’s true; there were a lot of hard circumstances around this move, but there is also a lot of good I can find here.

So, in no particular order, here are some things I love about my rental house!

1. There’s a pantry

My other house did not have a pantry at all, which was kind of a bummer. But this house has a coat closet that’s converted into a pantry, and I’m a fan.

pantry closet.

I’d rather store food than coats, to be honest. 😉

2. My kitchen has so many cabinets!

My old kitchen was a little short on cabinets. Plus, since it didn’t have a pantry, all my food had to also go in the cabinets.

But here, I have a lot of cabinet space PLUS the pantry.

brown kitchen cabinets.

I actually have some cabinets that are a little bit empty, which is a nice feeling!

wood kitchen cabinets.

3. I like the orientation of my closet

My old closet had two short closet rods in the side of the closet, running front to back. (I hope you can visualize that; it’s hard to explain!)

My current closet has a more traditional setup and I do prefer that; it’s so easy to see all my clothes now.

clothes hanging in a closet.

4. I love my living room built-ins + fireplace

I’ve never had built-in shelves or a fireplace before, and I love the look of these!

living room wall.


Also, I’ve never had a mantel before, and it was lovely to have a place to hang Christmas stockings (I’ve always hung them on railings in prior houses.)

stockings hanging by a fireplace.

four stockings hanging on a mantel.

The fireplace doesn’t work, but I put some candles in there (from my Buy Nothing Group of course), and it looks cozy in the winter.

5. I have a carport

I have never had a garage or carport in my adult life, so this is a pretty fun upgrade!

Right now my carport is full of furniture that needs rehabbing, but I will eventually be able to park my car in there.

6. My in-shower window is practical and beautiful

I love the decorative glass block as a window option.

bathroom with sun shining in the window.

In my other house, we had an actual functional window, and while that’s nice for airing out the bathroom, mainly it’s a big headache for cleaning purposes.

A functional window has so many parts that can get dusty, slimy, or rusty in a shower.

Glass block for the win! I will totally do this if I ever remodel a windowed shower/tub in the future.

shower window.

7. There’s a big front window with a shelf

The house I grew up in had one of these, but none of my adult houses have until now.

plants in window

I love the living room light this window provides, and I love that there is a shelf with room for plants.

bay window with plants on the shelf.

8. There’s a little bench by the front door

There’s not a porch per se, but there is a little bench, and when the weather is nice, I like to sit out there and eat breakfast or lunch.

Kristen on a bench holding a coffee mug.

9. There’s a hanging rod in the laundry room

I love, love, love this! There are a number of things I like to line-dry (to avoid shrinkage or wear) and having a rod makes it so easy to just hang those items up on hangers.

hangers in a laundry room.

10. There are trails in the woods here

My old neighborhood had great roads for walking on, but only a very tiny trail through the woods down to the water:

raindrops on winter branch

There are way more trail possibilities here.

view of the woods.

My other neighborhood did border a river, and my current one doesn’t, but hey, you win some and you lose some. I will just focus on the nice wooded paths here!

trail in the woods.

11. I have a spot to hang my aprons

I never could find a good spot to hang my aprons at my last house, so they were always shoved in a drawer.

three aprons hanging on hooks.

But here there are some hooks inside the pantry door, and they are perfect for my aprons.

three aprons.

12. My linen closet shelves are solid wood

I like this way better than the wire shelving I’m used to; the wire ones make it so hard to keep things standing upright! Wood shelves are superior.

linen closet shelf.

13. My bedroom has south-facing windows

My old bedroom was downstairs, on the north side of the house, with small windows.

But my bedroom here has two full-size windows, upstairs, facing south.

sunny bedroom.

This means my bedroom is so, so much sunnier than my old one, and that makes me happy.

Are the windows clouded up because of broken seals? Yup. But this room is still brighter than my old bedroom was.

And thanks to the light, my orange tree is over-wintering very nicely.

orange tree.

14. This house isn’t a split-foyer

There are a lot of house designs that I like, such as ranch, colonial, cape cod, craftsman, or farmhouse.

In fact, just about the only one I dislike is….a split-foyer design. Which is what I lived in from 2005-2022!

the foyer; the worst part of a split-foyer design!

Sooo, I am super happy to be enjoying a ranch-style house. Honestly, anything other than a split foyer would have felt like a fun and fresh change of pace.

15. There’s a window by my kitchen sink

At my other house, there were just cabinets above the sink.

But at this house, there’s a window above my sink, which means that I can look out at the backyard when I am washing dishes. I like that!

window above kitchen sink.


Sometimes, I still struggle with sadness (ok, and anger) about having to leave my other house. When I have those feelings, I try to sit with them and just let them move through.

What also helps, though, is to keep my eyes on what I DO have here at my current house. Then I’m more likely to feel grateful and happy!

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