Updated: May 26, 2020
Moving houses is easy to do unless you’re a nostalgic person like me. Every book, piece of clothing, and stuffed animal becomes too important to get rid of. How do you pack away all your childhood memories in a box and move away? I found myself navigating through this mess recently.
After living in my childhood house for 15 years, my mom and I decided it would be best for us to leave due to the unexpected death of my dad last January. My parents had discussed downsizing before, but the plans were put in full throttle after my dad passed. Getting on board with selling the house was the easy part compared to what was to come ahead.
I know I had a beautiful house that had a lot of character, but the problem was getting other people to see that same vision. Our realtor would tell us not to take anything personal but how could we not when potential buyers would leave nasty comments after their visits? No matter how many cans of Febreze we sprayed, the bad vibes would not get out of our house.
Remember the Vine where the guy impersonates a mother cleaning a house before guests come over? In the video, he says, “the house better looks like Disney on Ice in one minute,” and then “get rid of the couches, we can’t let people know we SIT.” Well, that was my mother every time we had potential buyers come by. It was hard to keep my feelings together when all I wanted to do was just scream. The dream of selling the house and moving on with our grieving process became harder and harder to reach.
After 5 long months on the market, our house was finally sold. My mom and I could finally start to rebuild our lives without my dad. Well, I was wrong, as the packing process began, I wanted to separate my feelings from the job that had to be done. I started to wish that I could just take my heart and cover it in bubble wrap and put it in a cardboard box, labeled as “breakables” to just get on with it.
Sadly, there was no possible way I could fit my heart nor memory in a box. One memory I wanted to box up was the last night that my family was all together. We had spent it eating Italian takeout and watching HGTV together on the couch. I was scared if I moved away from my childhood house that I would forget my last moments with my dad.
Moving can bring up a lot of mixed feelings but this is what I learned: try not to remember the stressful process of putting your house on the market. Try not to hold on to every tangible item that made up your old house. Try not to think about the ‘what if’ I had not moved possibility. Instead, try your best to live in the now rather than beating yourself up to remember your past. Have an open mind to moving houses no matter how bad you want to convince yourself not to leave.