Saying goodbye to a home can feel like bidding farewell to an old friend.
Leaving behind a home filled with memories is a big adjustment, whether you’re upgrading to your dream house, or settling into something smaller after the kids have left the nest.
Maybe you didn’t choose to say goodbye at all, but circumstances warranted a change in habitation.
There’s all sorts of mixed emotions that come along with a move, whatever your situation may be. In today’s blog, we’ll guide you through the steps you can take to provide you and your family with some closure when saying goodbye to your home.
Take lots of photographs
The best way to preserve a memory for generations is through a photograph. You can help ease the transition into your new home by keeping a photo album dedicated to your former dwelling.
You might already have stacks of photo albums documenting your childrens’ first steps, your family vacations, weddings, parties, and even the wacky hair blunders you’ve made throughout the decades. But a departure from a longtime family home is significant enough to warrant its own space on your shelf.
Take the time to visit your favorite spots in the house, and snap a picture while you’re at it.
Have the whole family participate by posing in their own favorite areas. Think of the memories you’ve shared with your loved ones over the years, and photograph any place or thing that you’ll miss when you leave. However small, no memory should be forgotten.
Leave something behind
You can make your mark on your home by leaving a little piece of you and your family behind. This way you’ll know that although you’re leaving, you’ll always be with your old home in spirit.
One way to do this is by creating a time capsule with your family. You can use an empty shoe box, or a biodegradable container. Fill it up with meaningful objects — photographs, childhood toys, your favorite book — anything that symbolizes who you and your family members are.
You can stash your time capsule in a hiding spot such as an attic or crawl-space, or bury it somewhere on the property. The new owners may never find it, but you’ll always know there’s a part of you still living in your old home.
Take something with you
The grief of leaving behind your old home might keep you from feeling comfortable in your new one. You can ease some of this pain by taking a small piece of your home with you.
Depending on how far you’re moving, you’re probably already taking most — if not all — of your furniture and worldly possessions with you. But we’re talking about a literal piece of your house. It can be a brick from your home’s garage, or maybe a plant from the garden. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that will remind you of the good times.
Encourage all your family members to think about what they’d like to keep with them. When you arrive in your new home, put your kept item on display in a prominent area of the house. This way, you’ll be reminded of your old dwelling, and feel more at ease in your new one.
Host a farewell gathering
There’s no way to send off an old friend like having a big party. Say goodbye properly by inviting your family, friends, and neighbors over for one last celebration.
Just like a house-warming party, the farewell bash is an important gesture to mark the significance of the new steps you are taking in your life. Make this gathering a time you will never forget by bringing together your loved ones to celebrate the memories you’ve shared together.
Break out the champagne and toast to your old life, and the new one you’re about to begin.
Greet the new owners
Sometimes, it’s stressful to think about strangers living in a home you’ve owned for years. Getting familiar with the people who are moving in might bring you a sense of comfort.
You’ve probably already met the new owners to be briefly, however going one step further to get to know them can help offer you piece of mind.
You can do something as simple as meeting them at the closing table after the transaction is complete.
You could also have them over the home to show them things about the property that they will need to know. For example, showing the new owners to be how to operate pool equipment, perhaps solar panels, or showing them what you’ve done over the years that has worked as far as maintenance is concerned. A friendly gesture will go a long way in fostering trust between individuals.
Make your new house a home
Lastly, but possibly most importantly, is making your new home feel like a comfortable and safe place to be.
This might take a while, but you can help speed along the process by filling your new dwelling with familiar items. While you’re unpacking, hang family photos in your living room and dining area. Use some of your old decorations to adorn the walls and surfaces of your new home.
If you’re not bringing much of your old furniture with you, you can still give your new place a lived-in feel by adding curtains or drapes to windows, placing plants on shelves and tables to brighten them up, and using blankets, cushions, and throw rugs to warm up the atmosphere.
Saying goodbye to a home can be bitter-sweet, but whatever your circumstance is, make the best of it by embracing the change. Keep your old memories close to your heart, but also make space for the new ones. After all, there is a life to live and plenty more photo albums to fill!