We all know that it is the memories and the people who really make a house a real home. Saying goodbye to your old home and starting new can be bittersweet and easily turn into an unexpected emotional roller coaster.
I have left old apartments before and of course it was sad and I started missing some things. However, what really hit me was when my mum told me she would sell the house in which I grew up. I thought I would never have to say goodbye to these walls and that one day I would see my own family grow up in those exact rooms. Saying goodbye to a place full of so many memories made me remember every scratch on the wall, the groaning wooden floor or the exact smell when unlocking the doors.
What I want to say with this is that moving means more than simply changing the place of residence. We also leave behind many beautiful years that we have spent there, especially if we have lived in that house for a long time. We have had many visitors come through our door, shared dinners on those kitchen benches, laughed so hard and lived many small everyday routines in exactly those rooms. Children, who were small at the time of their arrival, have become teenagers by now.
Moving away from this so loved routine can be an emotional affair. Removals will always bring hustle and bustle, but take a little time to say goodbye to the old house and welcome the new one. We know it is a hard process but we have some tips which will make the transition period a bit easier.
Take lots of pictures
Are you scared to lose those loved memories? Keeping them alive by taking plenty of photos of your home is a proven way to fight that potential loss. Document each room so that you can go back into your mind later. Remember to do it before packing everything away in the moving cart! If you have children, take a few snapshots of them at home: painting, playing in the garden, or hanging out watching TV. And, if that’s your case, take into consideration these four tips that Jennifer A. Digiovanni proposes to help them say goodbye to the old home.
Try to capture your home emotionally, and hold on to the beautiful things – for example, the great kitchen or the large windows. Putting the pictures together in one album can be a good idea. On the title page, you can write the address and indicate the period in which you lived there. When you view the move with mixed feelings, honest pictures of all the good and bad aspects of your old home can help you accept the new place better and move on from the sad goodbye.
No, I don’t want to say leave the rubbish or unwashed dishes, but add a personal stamp to the old apartment. For example, writing a welcome letter to the new residents explaining what you liked most about living there; or sharing some tips and “secrets” of the house and leaving a housewarming gift, like Julie Blanner suggests in her article. Otherwise you can simply leave your name and date in a hidden place (maybe under the ceiling of a building block?). This way you will know that a part of you will always be in that place you loved so dearly.
Take a piece of your home
Same as leaving traces behind in your old home, you should take a piece with you. Choose a souvenir from that soon-to-be-old home – something meaningful enough to remind you of that chapter in your life. Whatever you decide to take, it should not be something that you will pack up and move either way – it needs to be something much more special than that. How about your favorite flower or tree in your garden? You can replant in your new place and you will always have that special piece of home with you until you make new memories.
Make a farewell party
Go out with a bang! Your home has hosted you for many years, and it has earned a proper farewell party. Even if you have already followed our 6 tips to make moving easier and begun to pack, you can still celebrate – your guests won’t care about a few moving cartons. Hang up a couple of lanterns, set up good music, and enjoy your house or apartment one last time with family and friends. Just like you did in all the years before!
Say Goodbye from your heart
One day before the Moving day, or maybe even on the morning of the day itself, it’s time to go from room to room and say your farewells to each little walled living space. Take your partner or your kids with you and ask them what has been their favorite memory in each of those rooms. Fill every place with all kinds of great stories and fun events and ridiculous situations. It’s all part of the greater scheme! Can you think about your favorite story in the home you loved? We would love to hear it.
Make the new home your loved home
And last but not least, give your new home your personal touch. Decorate your walls, hang a few photos, order new bed sheets and make sure to plant that flower you brought from your old home. Even if it will take months before the decoration is right, a few small embellishments can help make the new home your own stamp. In this article, Ethan Greenfield shares some original tips to decorate and “bring your own spirit” to your new home.
As a last step, have a house-warming party! If you introduce your new home to friends or family, this can also help you build an entirely new connection to the house. You may also invite your new neighbors to get to know them – and start making new memories!