When you’re moving to a new place, you can be so focused on where you’re going that you forget what you’re leaving behind. I know that’s what just happened with my partner and me. We were walking away from a rent-controlled apartment, into a much better, upgraded in so many ways condo, and all we could think about was the new space. For the weeks leading up to the move, we were giddy talking about the in-unit washer and dryer and the gorgeous hardwood floors of the new place. We were even chastising our old place a bit, pointing out all of the things we always found frustrating about it. Our new home was like this beacon of light and hope. And then, we moved in, and I felt…sad.
I missed the old place, but how could that be? What did that place have that this new place doesn’t have? Certainly not granite counter tops and incredible water pressure. Nope. The old place didn’t have that. It didn’t have 400 extra square feet, either. So why was I missing that place? Oooooh. It’s not about what kind of literal house it was. It isn’t about the floor materials or the water pressure. It was a home. It was our home. And we’d spent years making it that way. Whatever condition the place was in, it was our place. We had our spots where we ate Thai food on the floor while watching TV. We knew all of our neighbors. We don’t have that at the new place. As if buying the place wasn’t emotional enough, now moving in was making us sad.
When your house doesn’t feel like a home, your life can feel all out of whack. You need that home base to return to, and until you make your house a home, it’s just like any of the other impersonal places you visit every day. You need that place that you go to, where you let out a sigh of relief. I’m home. If you just moved and are struggling to find that, here are ways to make a house a home, quickly.
Say goodbye to the old place
It’s important to fully say goodbye to the old place. Sit down with your partner or whomever you moved with, and really talk about the great memories you made there. Thank the place. Take a visual walk through it, recalling what you did in each room. Honor the place, so you don’t feel like you just abandoned it, and so you can feel ready to move onto the new space.