Saying Farewell to an Old Home
Homes are vessels. Between their timber-framed walls, we experience a child’s first steps, community with friends new and old, and an infinity of moments that become cherished and close to our hearts.
Yet however dearly we love our dwelling, it’s common to have to say farewell to that special home at some point. Whether you’re relocating for a job assignment, upgrading to a more sizable space, or moving for varied personal reasons, you can easily make eulogizing your old home part of the transition to your new house. Read on for a few ceremony ideas to say goodbye to a home that’s served you and your family well.
Appreciate the Past
Whether you’ve spent a year or decades in your home, you’ve built a life inside that special space. While you may be moving on physically, schedule time before you move to appreciate the memories you’ve created in your home. Create a memento; find something you can take with you. Photograph favorite spaces and the exterior of your home to preserve its memory. You might not revisit the address, but you will revisit the photograph in moments of nostalgia to return to the positive associations that home carries.
Another ceremony to say farewell to your home: set aside an evening to gather with your family or loved ones and write out favorite memories you’ve shared in your home. As you write out your recollections on pieces of paper, place them in a jar or container so that you can take them with you; you’ll find a new place to house those memories, and to continue building on them at your next home.
Anticipate the Future
While nostalgia and love for your home is understood, anticipate the next chapter in your life with a purge! As you go through your home packing up items and choosing which pieces will continue on with you to your next home, you’re likely to find a myriad of items that you no longer need or want. Instead of adding extra weight to your move, lighten your load by hosting either a garage sale or a tag sale with friends.
Looking to be extra creative? Put together baskets with pieces of art, wine, furniture, or other miscellaneous items, host a gathering for friends to come over and purchase raffle tickets to enter into drawings for each basket. Pick a local or favorite charity to donate the proceeds to, and as your friends purchase tickets to score your old items, you’re not only reducing the amount of stuff to carry with you, but you’re also supporting a cause!
Savor the Present
Whether you open your doors to a final potluck gathering with neighbors and friends, or host a more intimate gathering with those who lived in the home, a last supper is a perfect way to bid your home adieu. This ceremony can be as simple as you need it to be – if you’re hosting a potluck, supply the beverages and paper plates and plastic utensils to eliminate a need for any dishware that you’ve already packed away, and invite others to sign up for different dishes to contribute.
If you’ve limited the guest list to your immediate family living in the home, pick up food from your favorite restaurant in town to end your experience living in your house with a favorite local treat. Either way, sharing a meal in communion with those close to you is a meaningful way to savor your last few days as you part ways from your home.
Saying goodbye to a special home can be trying, but with a proper farewell and send off ceremony, you’ll leave fully aware of the joy you’ve experienced in the home, knowing full well that you can continue to build upon those experiences wherever you may land next.
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