Okay, so we've established some of the things you can do with a home server. I'm pretty sure you're atleast a little bit interested. So there's lots of ways you can get started. Here I'll share the platform I chose.
So after much research, I shortlisted 3 platforms and I'm pretty sure all 3 of them are great for your needs.
TrueNAS core is the successor of the venerable FreeNAS, a free solution for your NAS needs. (NAS = Network Attached Storage)
It's based on FreeBSD and is stable and leverages the power of ZFS too. (google it, it's awesome!)
It also has an area where you can download and install docker images of popular HomeLab projects just with the click of a button. It also has a commercial version with more advanced features.
OpenMediaVault(OMV) is a free and open source (FOSS) project to install on your home server or your NAS. It's built on top of the ever-so-reliable Debian Linux base. It also supports docker images and is actually a Linux install, where you could technically do/install anything you can on a normal Linux install. Henceforth, it is incredibly powerful.
It also has a vibrant community around it and chances are you'll find very beginner friendly comments and replies on their forums because OMV is used extensively by individual tinkerers like you and me.
Proxmoxx is a super powerful type 1 KVM hypervisor. It's a little different than the other two. Proxmoxx is incredibly powerful and is also used in data centres of big tech corporations. You can also use it to link multiple different computers together and use their resources and spin up virtual machines (VMs) on-demand. It also enables cluster-computing and has a ton of features for you to explore and, I repeat, is very powerful. It's also built on top of a reliable Debian Linux base. You can technically do/install anything you can on a Linux computer. It's more powerful as a hypervisor than type 2 hypervisors like virtualbox and vmware, as it provides more resources for the VMs to use as it is lightweight and host OS (proxmoxx itself) doesn't have unnecessary bloat and is a headless server, operated using a web GUI.
All 3 of these are amazing projects and the first 2 are more beginner-friendly, while proxmoxx has a lot of capabilities that piqued my interest.
I highly recommend TrueNAS and OMV for peeps who're starting out with this kind of stuff.
I, personally, chose Proxmoxx as I was intrigued to try out software that run on industry-grade data centres.
TrueNAS and OMV were built for home server and tinkerers in mind too and thus are very beginner-friendly.
Me being a huge FOSS & Linux lover also influenced my choice.
I recommend all 3 of these.