Managing Emotions While Moving

 Because 2020 wasn’t hard enough, my husband and I decided it was the perfect time to sell our home. The home we bought together, fixed up together, brought home our 2 children to, and created so many memories. While my gut knew it was the right decision, my heart had a hard time letting go. We discussed moving for about 1 year, and seriously considered it for 6 months. The final factor came one day, when my dear husband was booted to our not so spacious master bedroom to work for the umpteenth time, we both decided enough was enough. We needed more space. Home prices had been rising and we knew we would make a good profit from our sweat equity. Interest rates were nearing historic lows and it felt like the time was now. In hindsight, it was the perfect time to move, prices climbed to almost 50% more after we purchased. While we would have made more on the sale, we would not be able to afford the home we are in now. Moral of the story, listen to your gut and trust the timing.

Moving is one of the most stressful things we can do. It’s up there with divorce on the stress level, or so I’m told. 

I’m going to share with you 7 things I did to help make our families cross town move less emotional; not just for me, but for my kids too. 

1- This wasn’t a rash decision. We had been discussing it for some time. This worked in our favor because I was able to slowly prepare my home for listing. We set a deadline to be ready by, which was a few months away. During this time, we slowly finished up unfinished projects, paced away less used items, donated never used items, and got rid of junk and clutter. The decluttering of my space actually made me feel less chaotic inside.

2- We depersonalized the house. I knew this would be an emotional time for me. As I was preparing to stage the house for photos and showings, all the articles said how important it is for the prospective buyers to see themselves in your space. By taking down our personal artwork, family photos, clearing off the side of the fridge, I slowly started accepting that the things that made this feel like home, weren’t the walls and roof. Though I am immensely grateful for the shelter they provide, home comes with you. 

3- We started dreaming about the next place. Although we didn’t have our next home lined up yet, I felt oddly at peace. Our conversations filled with anticipation of the possibilities our next home could bring. An actual office space so we could have conference calls in am actual room instead of our master bathroom.. Yup that happened on more than one occasion. A large kitchen with actual sightlines so I could keep eyes on my sweet little monsters. A large yard, an income property, a pool. The options at this stage are endless. If you already have your next home lined up, you may know those details but now you can focus on the paint colors, new furniture, upgrades, or anything else that gets you excited! 

4- Before our new listing went up, I printed out the old photos of the home off of redfin. I wanted to have the before and after’s as a reminder of just how far we took this wonderful home. I’ve kept a house key from each home together and intend to make some kind of ornament or memory book with the photos and key. You can create some kind of simple reminder that brings a smile to your heart and when you see it and send you on a wonderful journey down memory lane.

5- Break up the chaos with something fun! There will always be something on your to do list calling your name. Every so often, be sure you put that to do list down and step away from all things home buying/selling. Go grab a coffee with a friend, go on a fun date night with your partner, treat yourself to a mani pedi. Whatever your outlet is, do it! I promise you, your list isn’t going anywhere but your sanity might be! I made sure to keep up on my therapy, acupuncture, friend dates, and hubby dates. I also made sure I was paying extra attention to my tiny people. Moving is tough on them too. I made sure to set aside extra time dedicated to just having fun with them. Once we sold our house, we took a little get away to Big Bear as a reward for making it through the first phase of the transition.

6- I did a few things to help my kids adjust to the idea of moving. For reference, my kids were 3 and 5 at the time. They came into my life through foster care so transitions are very hard for them, especially my oldest. I put a lot of thought into how I should approach this. When we became serious about moving, as I was ready to start pre-packing, I knew I needed to let my kids in on what was happening. They told everyone, of course, but c’est la vie. Once they knew we were moving, I focused hard on helping them understand that all of their belongings were coming with us. I had them help me put their toys in boxes. I repeated probably 500 times that these were just going away for a little bit and were coming with us wherever we go. I started dreaming with them of what they wanted in a new house, a pool, which sadly didn’t happen and in their new rooms; rainbows and dinosaurs, which did happen). There were some tears, lots of repeating the plan, and ultimately acceptance and excitement. Just remember, if you’re feeling emotional about this, so are your kids. Figure out what your kids need from you to make this transition easier. 

7- Say your goodbyes. Several years ago, after leaving our first home together, I made sure to take a moment to thank the home for providing safety for our family. It may seem silly, but expressing my gratitude for the blessing of that home really helped me let it go. I have made that part of my ritual. Once the house is empty of all our belongings, I give thanks. After all, it was my safe haven for however long.

If you’re feeling the pressure and stress of moving. Just know, you’re not alone. It is overwhelming, it can be emotional, and all of that is normal. You’re not crazy or losing your mind. You can do this, and when it’s done, I hope you absolutely love where you end up.



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