Jan
09
Moving your family: How to say goodbye to your old home

Preview

Moving to a new home, whether it's across the world or just down the street, can be very exciting. It's a chance to explore a new place, live where the weather and the people are different, and have an adventure. The new house might be gorgeous and just what you wanted, too. That doesn't mean you don't still have affection for your old house, though. To truly move on and feel good about your new start, you might want to do something to say goodbye to your old home. Doing that can give you closure, and can help you feel better about moving on and entrusting your old house into the hands of someone new. Here are some ways you can say goodbye to your old house and hang onto fond memories:

Take a LOT of Pictures - of the Good and the Bad

It's nice to have pristine pictures of your lovely home, but be honest - did it really look like that all the time? While you want plenty of pictures of how great the place was, you may also want to showcase some of the not-so-pretty moments. They're all memories, and you may want to hang onto them so you can look back on them at a later date, smile, and reminisce. Take pictures of the living room when the kids' toys are all over the place, or the kitchen before you clean up from Christmas dinner. Take lots and lots of pictures, both dirty and clean, lovely and not so lovely. That will truly give you a more accurate picture of what your house really looked like, and how much it meant to you.

Begin Letting Go Early

Once you know you're going to be moving, you'll probably want to declutter your home and start getting it ready for showing to prospective buyers. In order to do that, you'll need to store the items you want to keep. If that's just a few boxes of things you can put them in the basement or the attic, but if you have a lot more stuff you want to pack up to make the house seem more open, you can rent a self storage unit and put your things in there. Units come in a lot of different sizes, and you can get them with or without climate control, so you have the opportunity to protect all your items and have your house looking great when the Realtor brings potential buyers through.

Create a Farewell Book

A farewell book is another great way to remember your old home and say goodbye to it. You can put anything you want into that book. Some people write things in it, and others put pictures onto the pages. Doing both can be the best option, because it allows you to take some of those great pictures and write what you remember about them. You can get your kids involved, too, to help them say goodbye to a place that they may have called home for their entire lives. Paste a picture, write your thoughts about it, and then do another page. You can put other things into your farewell book, too, like receipts, letters, an old utility bill, or anything you want to hang onto as a goodbye and something to remember the house by.

Have a Farewell Party

There's nothing like having a party to make you feel better. Why not have a farewell party to say goodbye to your old home? You can invite friends, family members, neighbors you've gotten to know, and anyone else you feel comfortable having in your house. Just remember that you don't want the party to get too crazy, so your house doesn't get damaged before the new buyers move in. A more low-key party can be a great way to talk about all the memories you have of the house, and let others in your social circle share their memories, too. There may be some things that happened there you don't even know about, which could make for some more great stories and memories as you prepare to move.

Eulogize Your Home

While it might be a bit much to have a true funeral-style service, you can still eulogize your home if it makes you feel better and helps you let go and say goodbye. Just like eulogies bring closure for people who have lost loved ones, they can also bring closure when you need to say goodbye to a house and move on to something different. Whether you write something and read it for your family, or you read it for others at a party or gathering, it can be a great way to get your feelings out about why your house was a great place to live, and how much you're going to miss some of the unique or important things about it. It's a wonderful way to share memories and closure with others, too.

Stroll Down Memory Lane

All those pictures you took over the years, along with the different things you saved from parties, remodeling, or anything else that happened in your house, can be fun to sit and look through. Just for a little while, don't worry about packing another box or looking for a new place. Instead, take a look at everything you remember from your old place, and just enjoy thinking about all the times you had there. Whether those times were good or bad, they were yours, and they were experienced in the house you're about to leave behind. There's nothing wrong with being a little sad about that, and you may find that your kids or spouse feel that way, as well.

Write Your House a Love Letter

If you've ever written a love letter to someone, you know how they go. You pour out all your feelings and let that person know how much you care for them. You can do the same for your house, and you can get the entire family involved. Your kids and/or spouse, or anyone else who lives there with you, will probably have their own reasons for loving the house. Those reasons might not all be the same as yours, and it will be fun to share them all in love letters you write to your old home. What are some of the things about it that make it such a good house? What will you remember most? By getting your feelings out and "talking to the house" in your letter, you can feel like you're saying a true, proper goodbye.

Leave a Letter for the New Owners

While you're writing to your house, you may also want to take a minute to write to the new owners. Let them know anything that's particularly important, and make sure you tell them what a great house they're getting. Maybe share a favorite, short memory with them. It's hard to know whether they will appreciate that or not, but it's something you can do to help find closure. If they have children, perhaps sharing something about (or even from) your children will help the new buyers feel more at home in your old house, and also help you "pass the torch" so to speak. That way you and your family can really feel like you've let go of the old home, and entrusted it to others who will take good care of it.

Leave a Little Something Behind

Whether you leave the owners a letter or choose not to, you may want to leave a little something behind. It can be a picture, a note, a drawing, or even a small memento. Some people leave these things in a conspicuous place, while others leave them in a drawer, a basement, or even in the unfinished attic. It helps you keep just a little bit of a connection with a place you really loved, and reminds you that it was once yours. There were a lot of great memories made there, and you won't be forgetting those anytime soon. Whatever you leave behind doesn't have to be anything big, but should be something that has at least a little bit of meaning for you and your family.

Take a Little Something With You

Along with leaving something behind, take a little something along with you. Some people take a small paint chip or a little bit of wallpaper. Of course, you don't want to damage the house to take something like that. It's always best to take something that's already coming loose, or from an area that isn't going to be seen. You may want to keep your old house key, or even a small fixture or other item that was a part of the house you lived in. That's especially true if you lived there for a long time, and if you have a lot of memories that go with that particular house or an object in it.

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