Home improvement: Are you suffering from ‘houseblindness’?

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I suddenly had words for the syndrome I had been experiencing since childhood as the dining room overflowed with boxes of files. I even had my own version of it – from my first married home – I’ll call it ‘willful houseblindness.’

When my husband and I were looking to purchase the house, the owners were gathered cozily in the basement watching television, showing us how many places there were to congregate in the old three-bedroom house.

It wasn’t until we had moved in that we realized they couldn’t possibly have been watching television, the basement was unheated, couldn’t be heated, and the family would have frozen to death if they’d stayed there any longer than 30 minutes.

Another memory: When my son was crawling, he hid his bottle of apple juice under the radiator so he could take a swig when he felt like it. I didn’t notice it was under the radiator until months later when I caught a glimpse of his little hand reaching for it. I no longer noticed the radiator.

A few weeks ago, Centrepointe resident Lynn Campbell noticed a light shining on the tiny back porch of her home. “When I asked my husband to turn it off, he pointed to a switch on our dining room wall,” she recounts. “A switch I had never noticed before, in 15 years of living in this space, was now made visible to me.”

Over the years, I’ve noticed that keys and locks are particularly susceptible items to the house blind. People get so used to jiggling and turning a key in a particular way that they no longer realize how unusual it is for others.