More top home improvement takeaways from 2023 (Part 2)
Community members celebrate a home they rebuilt in Northfield, Minn., for a deserving family. “Over 150 people came to the fiesta, which was to thank all those who made it possible,” said Bob Thacker, who with his wife, Karen Cherewatuk, coordinated the project.

Over the past 12 months we’ve covered a lot of home topics, from the philosophical (the meaning of home) to the practical (preventing household accidents). As I wrap up the year with this two-part retrospective, here are six of my favorite findings from the second half of 2023:

In JULY, after nearly 30 days of nonstop travel, I rediscovered how much I love being home. Once back home, I grew tearful doing simple tasks like feeding the dogs, drying the dishes, and making the bed. This melancholy feeling reminded me how important the small rituals, the moments of ordinary daily living, mean.

Lesson: Being in one unfamiliar place after another made me appreciate the many small ways I (and maybe you, too) take my home, my patterns, the habits that form my life, for granted. I listed 21 reasons in my homage to home. Here are a few: I like knowing where everything is, and that it is all within reach, because it makes me feel like the master of my domain. I like the familiar view out my windows knowing no one else in the world has the same view. I like having my whole wardrobe available, and not having to make do with what I packed. I like cooking, whether whisking an egg or chopping a tomato, because I like to know what is in my food. It’s an ordinary life, which is what makes it extraordinary.