Our house stands empty, a shell of what it once was. The pictures have been taken off the walls, the boxes have been packed, and the furniture has been loaded onto the truck. Today we move from the only house my children have ever known and leave behind the four walls that contained so much of our lives.
We moved in almost five and a half years ago, newlyweds — with a bun in the oven — dreaming of all the moments we would share as a family. Today we say goodbye together, as a family of five. We leave behind where birthdays, brises, and baby namings were celebrated, the family room where many Patriots games were watched and first steps were taken, bedrooms where stories were read and sleepless nights occurred, the playroom filled with boundless energy and laughter, the backyard where after-school playdates and weekend BBQs were held. Today we say goodbye to the vessel that held it all, and although we didn’t move far, a chapter in our book has closed.
It’s never easy to say goodbye, knowing life will never be the same as it once was. As we counted down the days to our move I began thinking how to make the transition from one home to the next easier for my children. Here are five tips to help your family have a smooth transition to your next home.
Make a goodbye book
Fill this book book with pictures of your family living in the house — movie nights, dinners at the kitchen table, bath time, playing in the backyard. Instead of having a cold, empty house as their last memory, your children can look through this book and remember the good times.
Visit the new house
If possible, take your children to visit the new house you are moving into. Show them their bedrooms — they’ll be excited! This will take away the anxiety of the unknown.
Pack with your children
The more you involve your children, the happier they will be. Let them be part of the process, and give them their own box to pack full of all the important things they want to bring.
Bring something with you from the old house
This could be a piece of wallpaper, a rock from the driveway, or even something from the garden to replant in your new yard.
Leave your mark
You may be moving on and creating new memories, but a piece of your family will always be with the old house. Burying your own version of a time capsule in the yard will give your children peace of mind that they have left their mark.