This post first appeared in 2014 – but every year people ask me for it again. So, another encore – HAPPY HALLOWEEN! 

Many of us live in a haunted house and don’t even realize it.  I don’t mean haunted in the traditional sense; like the kind you go to on Halloween or an abandoned mansion you may see in the movies.  But, our homes can be and often are haunted by the ghosts of our own furnishings.  We tend to keep possessions and stuff we don’t really need anymore.  Look around you…  do you still need to display that trinket you bought on your vacation in 1985?  How about the framed wall hanging that says “Have A Nice Day” your Aunt Ruth gave you for a housewarming gift when you moved in 20 years ago?  It’s time to go through and refresh your accessories.  Edit out what’s old and just a dust collector.  Arrange like things that are precious to you in a collection, not spread over every surface.


Another way you may be living in the past is your upholstery.  When was the last time you had those chairs recovered?  Maybe it’s time to stop living with what you liked when you first moved in and just haven’t really looked at in many years.  Over time, upholstery fades and discolors.  Wear and tear from a busy family really can take its toll on furniture.  Paint colors will change over time and can look dreary and drab.  Try freshening up those rooms with a modern color or new wallpaper.

Pictures and artwork can also really make your home feel dated and old.  Your tastes have probably changed, you might like abstracts now but just can’t part with the landscape you bought at a garage sale a few years back. Maybe there is art you’ve had since college, and it has memories.  But those memories might be holding you back, keeping you in the past.. when you should be looking to the future.

It’s easy to go day-to-day thinking that next year you’ll buy a new sofa, or paint the den or have that painting reframed.  But days turn into months and months into years, and before you know it.. you are living in a home from yesteryear.. Yes, a haunted house!  Haunted by old, used and sad furnishings and colors.  Make a change before those ghosts decide to just take over.

So, this year, go visit a real haunted house, don’t live in one!