The contract is signed, the date is set, and the removalist truck is booked. There’s just one thing left to do: pack up your life and leave. The process itself is fairly straightforward - put things in boxes; remove boxes from home - and yet it is often the most complicated part of all. When it comes to selling your house, property value is one thing, but it’s the sentimental value that generally means the most to homeowners, and it can be difficult to let go when it’s time to hand over the keys.
To help guide you through this often emotional experience, we’ve gathered a list of handy tips to ease the transition into your new life, and say goodbye to your old home.
Document the memories
Moving house is more than just a change of residence. There’s stories in each room and memories on every wall (like remnants of that ink stain from when your toddler decorated the wall in permanent marker), so it’s a good idea to document the things that mean something to you. Take pictures (before you dismantle and pack up furniture) of the family meal times or the kids playing outside. Those special moments can never be re-lived again, and in years to come you’ll be grateful to have tangible evidence of the good times, and heart-warming photos to reflect upon nostalgically.
Downsize and donate
Collecting a lifetime of memories also means you’ve probably collected a lifetime of stuff. Stuff that no longer has any real place in your life. Moving house is the perfect opportunity to sift and sort through cupboards and drawers, and clear out any outdated items that you really don’t need to bring with you. Donating clothes to charity, having a garage sale, or putting ads on Gumtree are great ways to de-clutter your home so that there’s ample space in your new place for collecting new memories (and probably new stuff, too). Just check that you aren’t getting rid of someone else’s precious treasures before the cull is finalised!
Leave a piece of yourself
Memories and attachments fade over time, but leaving a small memento hidden away somewhere will ensure that you always feel a connection to your home no matter where you may be. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, it could just your name and date on a piece of paper, a family photograph, a small artefact, or even just a lock of hair. Or you may feel inspired to write a little note like a time capsule and hope somebody finds it one day. Tuck it away safely in a wall or ceiling, or bury it in the yard.
Have a festive farewell
It doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom - have some fun and turn it into a celebration with a house-leaving party! Invite relatives, close friends, and neighbours around for a barbeque (because let’s be honest, who’s going to feel like preparing a full spread of catering in the days leading up to the big move?) and some champagne for one last hurrah. Having a laugh and remembering the good times will help lift your spirits if you’re struggling to let go, and after all the hosting your home has done over the years, it deserves a proper send-off.
Take something meaningful with you
Similar to leaving part of you behind, it’s a good idea to take something with you. Maybe it’s a cutting from the tree you buried the family pet under, or a handful of soil or pebbles from the garden. There’s no specifications on what special keepsake you should or shouldn’t take with you, as long as it doesn’t cause damage to the property or leave the new owners out of pocket having to replace whatever you took.
Hellos are just as special as goodbyes
Leaving the past behind can be painful, but it’s important to remember a whole new adventure lies ahead of you. Your new home is waiting to be filled with love and laughter, moments and memories, and is a place to create the next chapter in your story. Unpack, meet the neighbours, give the place your personal touch, and before long it, too, will become a special part of your life. And, most importantly, don’t forget the house-warming party!
Saying goodbye to your family home is a difficult thing to do, but remember: a home isn’t made by bricks and mortar or the location; a home is made by the people who live there.
If you've been thinking about buying or selling your home feel free to contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0431 366 364.