There are millions of homes throughout the world. They may take the form of detached homes or of portable Mongolian yurts, but they all mean something to the people who live in them. Often, we would be hard pressed to outline exactly what turns a structure from a building into a home, because not everyone has the same definition. Home is something everyone wants, but hardly anyone can define. In this article we will attempt to explore the different reasons you call your house a home.
One of the primary ways that houses turn into homes is that they gain a family to live in them. For many people, home isn't about the bricks or canvas or the real estate, it's about what's inside waiting for them: their families. For some people, family is as simple as a cat or a dog or a goldfish. For others there's a partner, children, parents, relatives, or friends waiting for them when they get home. Either way, it's the people that matter, not the property. This is the origin of the expression "home is where the heart is."
What's the first thing that we do when we purchase real estate? Fill them with our stuff, of course! For many people, some with families, some without, home is where their stuff is. This might mean a condo that they own, an apartment that they rent, a tour bus, or even the hotel room where they're staying for a work conference or assignment. If they can go back, change their clothes, have a nap, and store their things, if it's where they return to at the end of the day, then it's home, regardless of whether it's permanent.
For a lot of people, a house is not a home until they can put their own personal stamp on it. Consequently, homes that are filled with boxes of their new owner's things aren't really homes, merely houses, until those things are unpacked, the walls are painted the way the owners like them, and there are kicknacks on every shelf. Houses are also personalized when the owners create memories in them, such as their first Christmas together or the day their child took his first steps.
This is a major requirement for almost everybody - for a house to be a home, people have to feel safe and sheltered, and they can't get that feeling in a building where just anyone can walk in and out whenever they feel like it. Maple, Ontario homes need to belong to the person who lives there, who can then choose who to let in and who to keep out. In this way public shelters and boxes in alleys can never really be home.