tommyflan

How do you say goodbye to a home?

Tom Flanagan
8 years ago

Whether it's a place or person, saying goodbye is never easy, and our homes are no exception. I still remember vividly the day I left my childhood home to go to University, knowing that as my parents were selling the house it was the last time I'd see it. For me, it was a a really poignant moment because it represented the closing of a chapter, and the overwhelming sense of excitement and sadness is something that only moving can really achieve. As odd as it sounds, I went to every room in the house to have one last look, not leaving a space untouched.

Like everything else, we all process things differently, so how do you say goodbye to a home? From taking a last picture or throwing a party, I'd love to hear!

Aphrodite · More Info

Comments (44)

  • Helen C
    8 years ago
    I will soon be saying goodbye to my previous home. I've already taken the photos and had quiet moments of contemplation. My final goodbye will involve placing a card and bottle of bubbles on the mantelpiece for the new owner to enjoy. Sad but its onwards and upwards for our family :)
  • PRO
    plumbing solutions
    8 years ago

    I think moving day is so busy that our minds are normally taken up with other things and we don't get time to Reminisce. I reckon that comes later when we have settled in the new house.

  • Related Discussions

    How do you prepare your home for spring?

    Q

    Comments (10)
    Swap out the throw pillows and throw blanket on the sofa. Bring out the patio cushions. Open the doors and windows. Put up a hammock. Build an outdoor garden room. Seed the lawn, stain the patio, stain the fence, paint the house trim, powerwash the roof, wash the windows, hook up the hoses, clean out the garage, have a garage sale, get the driveway sealed... I have had cabin fever and am ready to rumble;))
    ...See More

    How do you create a welcoming atmosphere in the home?

    Q

    Comments (10)
    Hi Tom, It is a great subject for a discussion. A welcoming atmosphere is usually created by an emotion. Objects such as art, photo frames, pieces with sentimental values, antiques can create an emotion. It is also important to pay attention to textures and colours that are at the first sight when entering a home. The most important aspect of a welcoming atmosphere in any home is attention to detail - how and where you place objects, whether there is a small accessory on a furniture unit, interesting objects on a shelf, a vase with flowers on a table etc. And last not least is smell - invest in a very nice room scent that would appeal to most people not just yourself. I hope this helps. I believe that your home is an extension of who you are so always make it personal! Warm wishes, Anna Monich
    ...See More

    How do you leave the house when you go off on holiday?

    Q

    Comments (11)
    I only remove fresh items from fridge but leave jars etc I tidy but don't clean I usually put fresh linen on bed day before we leave so come back to a nice bed I arrange all the blinds / curtains so open but not fully open I set all the light timers I leave a key with neighbours and let a SMALL number of neighbours know As we are about to leave I put bleach in all the toilets If it is a taxi firm we don't know ( try to use same one each time) as I leave I talk to and wave at imaginary children and then discuss imaginary children with husband when we set off "will they remember to ...hope they visit .....etc" As we are about to leave I put bleach in all the toilets
    ...See More

    How many fridges do you have in your home?

    Q

    Comments (5)
    I never thought we'd need a second fridge as we have a large American Fridge Freezer but, due to a cost saving exercise, the NHS have decided that I have to have my medications (injections) delivered once every 3 months now instead of monthly which means that I can take up half an under counter Fridge just for my meds. We had no choice but to put an extra fridge in the garage. It is handy though, especially at Christmas time.
    ...See More
  • Andrew Millar
    8 years ago
    home is where I live,sure it's important to remember your old house, but everything moves on .memories are special but we make new ones.
  • chunkysox
    8 years ago

    I agree with the above post. Make some new memories somewhere new. You are moving for a reason. If you aren't ready to say goodbye, don't move!!

  • Jo DP
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I still walk by my old home to tell the plants in the front garden that I haven't forgotten them. I see the crab apple tree I rescued as a dried twig growing strong & the birds eating it's fruit & soon its blossom will add prettiness to my old street. The jaunty daffodils nod their heads at me as I walk by & they haven't a care in the world. Perhaps, the new owners have re-decorated but their Garden knows it was created with Love & is still bringing joy to the Bees & causing passers-by, to Pause, take a moment out of their day & drink in the beauty created by, now, a hand unknown.

  • Linda Hargrave
    8 years ago

    It's not the house so much as the memories that accumulate of the good times over the years. We bought our house in 1982, when our kids were little; it was a great family house with loads of get-togethers over many years, but by two years ago we were rattling around and it was time to leave. It was hard, though, to let go after that length of time - for our adult children as well, because it was the only home they remembered - and I think it was well over a year before I really came to terms with the loss. But now we have another house of our own we can start organising even more good times. All of you are right about looking forward to the fun you'll have in the future... and we want to have lots!

  • Leona Brauser
    8 years ago

    Well, we are moving in 37 days and leaving a lot of wonderful memories in our large home. We are going to have a new phase in our lives in an upscale independent residence...never having lived in an apartment in our 62 years of marriage...should be an interesting experience. I have the imprint of the 7 homes we have lived in right there in my heart and my head and all the memories of those years in my 72 photo albums as well. Looking forward to a new phase....

  • User
    8 years ago

    We have been married for 45 years and only had 3 homes, we know this one will be too big for us in years to come, but don't want to loose the garden yet, when we do move it will have to be either a bungalow or an apartment, not sure which, we can see advantages and disadvantages in both sorts of homes, hope your move turns out to be your best yet Leona. We are thinking we might make an extension on the ground floor of our home and employ a full time gardener as we get older, just find it hard to decide what to do, old age is not ideal, but, it beats the other option!

  • bagpuss2
    8 years ago
    I've been trying to bid my own family home farewell since 2007 - but it refuses to sell and has to now be part of my pension as a rental. Since it has had tenants I noticed it no longer holds my memories- these are encompassed by some cherished pieces which move with me. The house I lived in from 2007 sold very fast in contrast and I took photographs to remind me of a place which was my refuge - if I could have lifted it up and put it in my new location 250 miles south it would have been ideal- but I'm building again
  • k11agl
    8 years ago
    I took photos of every single room, before and after furniture were moved out... And then I put the photos on Facebook, gave it a blessing and wish it keeps the future owner safe and happy as it served us, locked the door, and never looked back...
  • annarocks123
    8 years ago
    Campo73 I like the idea of leaving bubbles and a card; the only thing I would add to that is a brand new roll of toilet paper next to each loo!
  • PRO
    Senior Moves
    8 years ago
    In my work helping older people to downsize I see people say good bye to their homes every day. It is really emotional, and it's all about the memories, not just the bricks and mortar or saying goodbye to belongings. One of the most successful thing we do to help is to find family photographs taken in the rooms or of the outside of their existing home and frame them placing them as a group in their new home, so they see both pictures of the home and the memories of happy times with people they love together.

    I come from an army family and we moved home 14 X. My father took pictures of all the homes and framed them together with the dates we lived there. This has been a fabulous reminder for us all, a great talking point and also a prompt for Mum who now has Alzheimer's.
    Tom Flanagan thanked Senior Moves
  • Lorraine Wilson-Brown
    8 years ago

    I'm moving in a few days from the first house that my husband and I shared so that was an important milestone. We have lots of memories from this house where we worked hard to transform it, but we are ready to move onto the next adventure in a new place. A small part of me is sad to leave, but the rest of me is excited about the new house.

  • PRO
    Go Modern Furniture
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I love the comment above from Senior Moves - yes, it is all about the memories and taking photos and putting them up in a new place is a perfect way to remember good times. Also a great way for younger members of the family to see their parents/grandparents/aunts & uncles in their youth, these photos tend to just get stuck in boxes and forgotten about.

    I must also add that when we left our first family home last summer after 15 years, I went round hugging the walls, crying & taking photos desperately wondering if i could ever be happy anywhere else!! (My dear husband was quite worried about me!!)

    And then, when we arrived at our new home, I walked in through the front door and never looked back!!! Our new house is perfect for the family we are now, just as our old house was perfect for the family we were then!!

    Here's to new beginnings at whatever age !!

  • ianthy
    8 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    We are planning to downsize in a couple of years and return to a house that we previously lived in... we moved 15 years ago and left it rented. So the thought of returning is actually very reassuring. I will be sad to leave the larger house - so many good memories. I agree with many posters you need to say your good byes before moving day, as you will be too busy. I like the idea of leaving a bottle of bubbly and welcome card on the mantelpiece. Plus for me, on moving day I have always felt unwell for a few hours - I guess it's the emotion of the move.

  • Laraine Clarke
    8 years ago
    I've moved home a few times, always to something better, but I know the new owners feel the same about moving into the one I'm leaving. I always leave it squeaky clean so the new owners will have a good start.
  • Lila 1410
    8 years ago

    I'm another one who spends the last hours cleaning, so much easier when it's empty. Even though I knew the buyers were going to cut holes through walls which would make much more mess.

  • jak4250
    8 years ago

    Im not quiet sure yet how and when but our home for 24 years, the place we brought our son home to is on the market. I always used to tease my son that once he went off to uni we would sellmthe house and move... Not really thinking that thats what we would do. But im here most of the year in a large house in country village with a big garden to tend to as well as working full time on my own. My husband is away in france 6 months of the year and with infrequant vists from our son reluctantly its time to move on. Although im egar for the house to sell (the constant keepi g it in showhouse condition is a little draining) ive not yet come to terms with moving. This is the house i drew as a child the typical central doorway and 4 windows with the tree in the garden. My head says this is the real ght thing to do but im not sure my heart is convinced yet. Moving on is not an easy thing to do but they say nothing gets better till something changes so may be this is the change i need, wish me luck.

  • Viv Bristow
    8 years ago
    My parents are in the process of selling their home, which they have lived in for 40 years. It's the house they bought when they got married, raised my sister and me in and - as with all families - experienced the ups and downs of life in. I'm thrilled they are moving to a house and area that suits them, as they move to be nearer their grandchildren. There are a mixture of feelings as we are all so excited and happy for them but sad to say goodbye to a house that holds so many memories for us all, the good and the bad. But there's two things I've learnt that... to love and cherish the good things we are given, but to hold on to them all lightly, for they are not ours forever. Love, cherish and look after our houses (and indeed family, friends, jobs and all good things), but don't cling to things which do not last for eternity. And the other thing is that our home on earth is not our home forever. Don't get me wrong, I love interior design! I love cushions and throws sofas and pictures and could while away hours flicking through Houzz and home magazines and love commenting on Houzz design dilemmas! But it is nothing compared to the awesome promise of our heavenly home, which is described as being covered all sorts of the most incredible precious stones and jewels, more amazing than any design project you'll ever see, where there's also no crying or pain and every tear wiped away. That is the home I'm looking forward to, to live in forever!
  • sallynixon80
    8 years ago
    We moved last Wednesday from a wonderful home that was not only special to us but to lots of extended family and friends that had enjoyed many happy occasions there - birthdays, Christmases, even two weddings. We did most of our 'grieving' in the time before we started disposing of excess furniture etc, packing and sorting. By the time moving day came the poignant daydreaming had passed and we were too occupied with practicalities to be too sad. Lots of very happy memories and photos of a great time in our lives but excited now to be in an entirely different new home. Happy days ahead.
  • aleria57
    8 years ago

    We said goodbye to the ghost that inhabited that house because she wanted to come with us and we didn't think that was a good idea.

  • PRO
    Ensign Accessories
    8 years ago

    Agree with huffyboy - if you cannot move forward and you need long goodbyes - do not move. Moving should be happy - new home, new friends, new opportunities, new colour paint, new furniture - yeh.

  • avena001
    8 years ago
    I seem to liken my homes to old ladies.

    We spent 10 yrs in the first one, which was built in the 1930s. The previous owners had added gloss but no depth to her. I came to visualise her as an old lady who has been somewhat neglected and treated to superficial, cheap "jewellery".
    We spent time & money sensitively refurbishing her so that she could last another 70+ years.
    When we decided it was time to move, we gave her a final top-to-toe spruce up and left feeling comfortable that her next occupants would continue to invest in her & look after her.
  • Cheryl Martin
    8 years ago

    I so feel for Jak4250 ! I am in exactly the same position - I live in the house of my dreams but it has definitely become too large for just my husband and I and so it is on the market awaiting the illusive perfect buyer! - Whilst my brain is adamant that downsizing is the right decision for us, my heart is yet to be convinced.


  • bagpuss2
    8 years ago
    I'm just desperate to say hello to my next one- the buyers for my last home wanted early entry and my new build is on an 8 week delay - so rental for me and the fat until September
  • bagpuss2
    8 years ago
    That should read cat
  • Tim Summers
    8 years ago

    I just walked around it one final time - It wasn't our house anymore, it was just a bare shell. I think that I was more 'sad' the day that the For-Sale sign was errected out the front. As for leaving, I walked out, shut the door, posted the keys through the letterbox, jumped in my car and drove off. Even though we were in that house for 11 years I've not given it a second thought since we left. Maybe it was because it was the correct decision - we've moved into our forever house, and one that we really REALLY wanted, so I know that it was the right decision.

    The new buyers had messed us around so much for months previous, I didn't even bother to completely tidy it up - left stuff everywhere, things still in the shed, and a couple of bins full of rubbish. I know that I shoud feel bad about that, but guess what? I don't in the slightest.

    I had 1/2 expetected to be contacted by the Estate Agents actually, saying something about how I left it, but I didn't.

    It's back on the market as a rental property anyway so I guess as soon as they bought it they got a team in to paint it, so they weren't fussed about how we left it. Saying that though, they still have our curtains and blinds etc up - and they were dead cheep in order for us to sell it.

  • unamatrix0
    8 years ago

    Not sure if anyone else has said this but it's only a home where you are - without you its just a house. x

  • plato498
    8 years ago

    After my divorce I had to leave the family house after 25 years of lovingly making it into a home. I admit I cried as I walked around on the last day. Every room was full of light with large Edwardian windows and bright annex and conservatory. Every room had happy memories. I was so blessed to have lived there and raised the family. Now another family are there, they have taken down the front stone wall, cut down the ivy covering the annex and side of the house and removed the pretty fencing which made me realise I had no choice but to move on. I have a little cottage now which I have totally refurbished. It is easy to clean, costs less money to maintain and the reality is I only have one bottom so how many sofas do I need! Happy days!


  • Jan Johnson
    8 years ago

    Some people get so depressed about moving. I went to a warmer climate and a nicer house (once it was altered. no looking back for me.

  • astartestar
    8 years ago

    I managed to rent a place to live after just under a year of homelessness during which time I was sitting challenging professional exams. The houe was let to me as an Assured shorthold Tenancy but the tacit conditions were that the rent would stay slightly on the low side so long as I did not bother the owner and landlord about anything. During the 16 years I lived there I furnished it myself, replastered some ceilings and walls, replaced 3 floors, decorated, floored the loft, and, after the 1996 Housing Act, passed up the opportunity to have the lease we'd agreed checked for technical errors such as those which would have led to a protected tenancy by default - as it almost certainly was - because I was so grateful to have a home in one of Britain's most expensive cities, and so grateful to the owner.

    Who showed some of her metal when there was one substantial expensive, which was replacing the boiler. This was to have been done in a day but took a week in November, during which time I had no hot water and no heating. I was at that time painting the outside of a house, one of the many low-paid jobs I did to keep going. This £1k bill was raised whenever there was trouble, which was occasionally if the owner was asked to make an improvement but far more often when I kept being reminded how much the rental value of the property was. There were three of us in there by this stage and it was years before I understood that what the landlord wanted to do was get us all out and let every room except the kitchen and the bathroom as standalone tenancies in an HMO, at £400+ pcm each. This was what the "You cost me THOUSANDS!" rant meant.

    I thought we were always friends, though I did wonder why I was never invited to the owner's for so much as a glass of water, when the owner came to my place for meals, parties, and all sorts of occasions. I thought all my efforts were appreciated. I did say, from time to time, if ever you give us notice, please give as long as you can.

    The house was sold over me and my co-tenant's head with 17 extra days tacked onto the 2 months' permitted under an AST. The owner wept crocodile tears on giving us notice, which dried up when we pleaded for more time. We were told the owner desperately needed to move in as the owner's mid-60s approached, and that the owner could not afford to sell because of the £30k or more tariff payable under Capital Gains Tax. We were told to leave substantial items of furniture in the place so that it would look occupied, before the owner moved in.

    Later some of these items were dismantled and left out as rubbish - a pre-war walnut wardrobe, for instance. The washer-dryer went to the new owner, who moved in 6 months later but who had bought it whilst we were still there. The profit on the property was £150,000 . The new owner was seen letting herself in and out of the property within four weeks of our departure.

    My co-tenant lives in a room about 3m square, with treasures from our home around him. He has the nice bed, mattress, bookcases and chair I gave him as birthday presents over the years. He works in local givernment and cycles to work. His allowance for food and sundries is £10 a day. The rest of his money goes on the rent £425 pcm - plus bills. His present landlord is even more dozy, selfish and negligent than the last.

    I hung on in said expensive city as long as I could, staying the rest of that year at in total about 20 addresses, working as a private tutor and simultaneously as a live-in carer. Finally I had to go somewhere where the rents were much lower, 135 miles away. For 18 months I commuted back to continue working, cramming the hours together so the work was all in 3 days a week, staying on floors, sofas, at backpackers' hostels - until that ended.

    There is almost no work here, of course. All the household goods are locked up in a garage in the former city - there's no storage where I live now, as a licensee on a one month notice period. I now live in a seaside reosrt where the wealth divide is staggering - where many properties, many very large properties, are empty almost all the year round. Opposite, for instance, live a couple in a house with 5 bedrooms, two kitchens, two bathrooms, and a wet-room. They live in it 3 months of the year.

    I volunteer, I've been very ill, and I've experienced the worst of the Work Programme. I do what I can. I'm very grateful to this landlord, the only friend with a spare room. I've done a lot of work on his place, using skills I learnt during those 16 years.

    I remember every inch of my former home. The feel of every surface, the colour of every surface, the invaluable sense of freedom and autonomy, although it was only a small ex-council-house built in the 20s, with a garden built over a dump. but people used to tell us how lovely it was. How charming, how cottagey - all put together with stuff from skips and freecycle and local community exchange initiatives, and swaps. With work paid for in kind. All gone. And, I don't think, ever coming back. I think that's it. That was my home. Gone.











  • Jan Johnson
    8 years ago

    Not a good idea to make a rental your forever home, just use as a stop gap. I know many people who have done exactly what you did and the owners had it good.. Did you think to keep a diary?

  • ameliaelizabethp
    8 years ago

    We had two weeks after taking on the keys to our temporary rental house before our house sold so we moved into the rental straight away and I spent two weeks going from unpacking to cleaning the house we sold. I decided to paint some of the rooms as the furniture has left marks and I cleaned the carpets. I knew I would be seeing the owners in the local primary school every day and wanted to know I was giving the house to them in a good condition.

    For my children we went around each room and said goodbye to the rooms and took photos of the rooms they wanted to.

    When we got the keys to our next mortgaged property four months later we made sure the children's bedrooms were set up for them when they returned from school.

    My smallest was aged 3 when we left the house and when we drove past the she would ask when they were going to give it back and this happened for a year thankfully she accepted it. My son however preferred the modern rental house and pined after that.

    After four years of living in a draughty period home we are about to build the improvements to our home and that should stop the moans from our son. Who has vowed to buy a modern home when he grows up!!

  • Janice McLoughlin
    8 years ago

    I still go on Rightmove to look at the photos of the home we sold two years ago. It's greyed out now as the property is no longer available for sale. A couple of weeks after we moved I went back there to pick up some post. The new younger owners had kept the essence of the house the same, not yet redecorated it already looked different with their funky pieces of furniture and large pictures. I drove away with a happy tear in my eye that somebody else was breathing new life into the place.

  • Laura Thomas
    8 years ago
    We have accepted an offer on our house and I know I'm going to be sad and cry when we complete and it is no longer ours. It was our 1st property, where we lived when we married, and the home we bought our 2 daughters home after being born, so it holds lots of happy memories.
    I haven't taken any additional photos, but it is there in the background of numerous baby and birthday party photos.
    Sadly we have outgrown it and have been renovating a larger property in the same village.

    We have repainted where furniture had left marks and had all the carpets cleaned as I'm sure we will bump into the new owners being in a small village.
    I like the idea of leaving a bottle of fizz and a welcome card, as long as they don't mess us around during the sale.
  • suesigngirl
    8 years ago

    Sadly for so many people rental homes have to be forever homes, because the boom in housing prices has excluded so many from buying a house of their own. There seems to be so many buy to let landlords now, and I suspect it contributes to pushing up prices at the bottom/first time buyers end of market. The rent that tenants pay is generally a lot more than the mortgage, which ensures they can't save to buy a home of their own.

    My partner and I have spent years and years saving and can only just afford to start looking now.

    I'll be very sad to leave our council flat as we've made memories there, but certainly won't miss the antisocial antics of our 43 other neighbours!

  • astartestar
    8 years ago

    Susangirl, thank you for your understanding. It is not merely that you show some basic human sympathy and decency, though; it is that you have identified the some of the practicalities. I'd like to know what Jan Johnson thinks I should have done instead. I was very well aware of the risk of feathering the owner's nest, but because I was grateful to have any place to stay, as I have said, I worked on the house.

    And there is also the issue which JJ hads not picked up on, which is that we did not have any choice. The place was essentially unfirnished and in a terrible state. Should we have abandoned any hope of a decent quality of life in case we were finally mistreated? This place was our home. Should we have applied the same approach wherever we went thereafter? What kind of life is that? Not so far from the kind of life people led in the shacks and tied-cottages in pre-war WWII plantations in Louisiana, perhaps, which I'm reading about just now.

    The comment "Did you think to keep a diary?" is seeking to blame the victims of greed and utter lack of scruple, and indeed conceivably downright fraud. I think about many things, Jan Johnson! A diary does not cut a lot of ice evidentially. What's your point?

    The kind of fraud which, as the Inland Revenue told me, does not get investigated as often as it should because there is so much of it - I refer to the avoidance of CBT, which is why we were told to leave furniture items behind. So that the house looked occupied.

    Note too that it was an ex-council house. The owner had bought it from council tenants who had themselves bought it. That's one more affordable property removed from the system.


  • suesigngirl
    8 years ago

    I just feel everyone should have a home, regardless of their finances and all homes should meet basic standards of safety and cleanliness and be affordable. Surely decent shelter is a human right? We have the ability to put people on the moon but we can't put roofs over everyone's head..insane isn't it?

    We've put a fair bit of work into our flat but someone else will benefit, but it'll be someone in real need so I'm glad. Where we live it's very likely to be someone getting their first home, and they'll not have much to bring to it. Before we go, I'll be giving all the walls a lick of paint and doing my absolute best to make sure that whoever follows us have an easier ride than we did when we first moved in.




  • judisimpo
    8 years ago

    We lived in our house for 9 years and it saw lots of changes in our lives: we got married, both of our sons were born and my parents and grandfather died. It was sad to leave, as it was the only home the boys knew and it was also the last place I'd been with my family. Our next door neighbour was a fantastic woman and it was a wrench to leave her too. If it hadn't been for the poor secondary schooling (it had deteriorated in the years we'd lived there) we would probably still be there, but it's all worked out for the best. The boys were very happy in their new schools, made some great friends and got good grades which enabled them both to go to university. I don't believe they would have had that opportunity if we'd stayed where we were. The day we left, I promised myself I wouldn't cry, but I did. It was hard not to, as so much had happened while we lived there, but at the end of the day it's just a house and you take the memories and the people you love with you.

  • appel_emilie
    8 years ago

    I said goodbye to many homes so far as I'm an expatriate. I always spend few minutes in each room remembering the best moments - I always leave with a smile then :)

  • wendy_bell83
    8 years ago

    I always leave the house sparkling clean with a bottle of wine, some cookies/chocolates and a card to welcome the new owners. I like the new owners to walk into a clean, fresh home so that they can instantly feel the love of the home.

  • Drumlin
    7 years ago

    I said goodbye to my lovely South Lakeland barn conversion last December, just over two years since my husband died. I thought it was going to be awful but then we had the awful wet winter and it looked at one point as if I may never get out of there, so in the end it was a relief. Every cloud ....

  • Tom Flanagan
    Original Author
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thank you everyone for your comments - it's nice to see that we all share some common feeling on this. @SeniorHomes your comment really grabbed me - what a wonderful idea and very touching

    Perhaps the moral of this story is never look back - just glance and smile.

United Kingdom
Tailor my experience with cookies

Houzz uses cookies and similar technologies to personalise my experience, serve me relevant content, and improve Houzz products and services. By clicking ‘Accept’ I agree to this, as further described in the Houzz Cookie Policy. I can reject non-essential cookies by clicking ‘Manage Preferences’.