Home may be where the heart is, but in The Mill on the Floss it's also where the self is. Home isn’t really just a place. And it’s not something sappy like family either. Well, not entirely. Home is an entire network of familiar people, places, objects, and memories that enable a person to really be herself. Both Maggie and her father refuse to leave their homes, after all, saying that they would no longer be themselves if they left. For Maggie especially, home becomes a concept to which she clings, containing her family, her past, and herself.
The Tullivers all develop a very strong sense of home and of the importance of home only after they are threatened with, and later actually lose, their home. Before this loss they take their home for granted.
The Tullivers strong desire to reclaim the Mill and their home is actually misguided, since home is really more than a physical place.