How Does Nesting Make a Home?

Nesting Makes a House into a Home


When we think of a nest, we immediately call to mind a bird nest. When we think of nesting, we call to mind a woman who is eight months pregnant who wants to set her home in order before the baby arrives. Yet each of us enact nesting tendencies when we move.

Whenever we move into a new apartment or house, we immediately set about to make it our “own” place. We arrange our furnishings, place the dishes in the cupboard, and our hygiene items in the bathroom. Now our house is up and functioning. Yet, it doesn’t quite feel like home. Why?

Turning a House into a Home

It is the little nesting touches that turn a house into a home. It’s the pictures on the wall, a vase of flowers on the dining room table, and the curtains over the windows that make the house start feeling homey. Each little sentimental item we set about in the house “makes it” begin to feel like “our” place.

When our oldest daughter moved overseas and was limited to two tiny suitcases for international travel, she took a few items that would help her small room feel like home. She took several family pictures and a few favorite knick-knacks. She also took a handful of things that would remind her of our state.

Being a full Texan country girl, she took a few knick-knacks that reflected her upbringing: little country boot ornaments, a little state flag, a small gathering of artificial flowers, a doily made by her great-grandmother, her grandfather’s Texas hat, and a Texas blanket.

When our daughter settled into her small room overseas, she placed the doily on a small table by her bed. In the center was a small vase with the artificial flowers. In front of the vase were the little Texas cowboy boots. Right next to them were family photos. She placed the Texas blanket over the sheets and plain heavy quilt. Though limited in personal space, she used her nesting skills to make the space her “own” and began feeling right at home.

We can turn any size space into a homelike atmosphere. By using our nesting instincts with intentional placement of items that have sentimental meaning to us, we can easily turn our little space into our home. Besides physical items, let us look at how fragrance and music effect the atmosphere of our home.

Fragrance Effects our Mood

Fragrance has a profound effect on our mood. Baking bread in the oven and cooking soup on the stove top will bring about the smells from childhood and make the house “feel and smell” like home.

Lighting a candle or turning on the essential oil diffuser will also beckon the smells of home. We have a candle in the center of our dining room table. Each morning, we light it. The amber flame and the scent welcome us into a new day. We usually leave it burning for a while, so that each family member is welcomed with the sight and smell of the candle. It is just “homey”.

Music Effects the Atmosphere

Sound has a major effect on the atmosphere in our home. We put music on an old phone and connected it to a small speaker in our living room. Any time we pass through the living room we hear worship music.

The simple act of refilling our water bottle becomes an act of “feeling at home” because of the welcoming music, the sight of pictures on the wall, the leftover scent of the morning candle. Bolstered by the fresh water and refreshing music, we are off to finish the next task at hand.

Determine to Make Your House a Home

Whether you live in a large house, a small apartment or in a rented room in someone else’s home, you can make your “space” into a homelike atmosphere with a few intentional touches. Adding fragrance and music will help your mood. Adding sentimental items will help it feel like its “your” space. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to be you. Utilize your nesting skills to make your house into a home. And in all that we do, we want to honor our Lord.

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” ~Joshua 24:15 NASB


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New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB 1995), copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

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22 thoughts on “How Does Nesting Make a Home?”

  1. My husband and I moved from a house we had lived in for 30 years. We were tasked with purging. What do we keep? What do we shed? I knew a few prized possession that had to come and have proven to make our new space feel like home. I have an antique trunk that belongs to my grandfather and an antique dresser that my grandmother gave us when we got married almost 40 years ago. Those items along with my scented candles and the piped in music does it for me.

    1. Moving is hard work, Calvonia! I’m so glad you were able to keep your family heirlooms! Candles and music make such a difference in our home atmosphere!

  2. I love those items that your daughter took to remind her of home in her new nest. Those items can be great reminders of who you are and where you came from. I wonder what I would choose….

    1. Yes, being eighteen years old at the time, she didn’t own a lot, but her ability to perceive that she would hold onto her name and her state, but let go of her clothes, nationality, food, etc. made her transition into a foreign culture so much easier. Missionaries make a lot of personal sacrifices, but they do it in the love and grace of God. When I took a Perspectives course at a later date, they counseled people to choose what they would and wouldn’t give up…the Lord led my daughter well!

    1. I’m in the process of evaluating a few of my “areas” too Jodee. Have fun creating a fresh atmosphere with God!

  3. I spent the month of January thinking we’d have to make a big move soon and thought a lot about what items I would want to take with me. Thankfully we don’t have to move, but I think going through that thought process (even though we hadn’t got to the point of packing anything) helped me prioritize what things beyond necessities are important to me and are part of my “nest”

    1. I’m glad you don’t have to move, Kym. Evaluating our “stuff” does help, I’m doing that myself right now.

  4. Great post, Lisa, the intentionality of nesting is a natural instinct that adds beauty to our surroundings. Your ideas are great, I use all of these in my home, and they are the things my husband points to often to thank me for the haven of our home.

    1. Yes, all these make a physical house a home! Yes, her Texas items helped her make her corner of the world “home” for the twelve years she lived overseas.

  5. I actually make a nest. My nest is like ‘my room’ in the house. It’s my safespot. The room I go to when I need rest. Only my rules apply in that room. And people can only enter when I say so. Since I have that ‘place that’s only mine’, I feel so good.

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