Letting Go – How to Prepare Yourself (and Your Home) for a Move
No matter how excited you are about moving to a new home, it’s never an easy proposition. From the physical work of choosing what to take, what to leave, and what to sell or give away, to severing any emotional attachment you have to the place where you have spent a part of your life, there’s likely to be some rough spots even if your new home is everything you’ve dreamed it could be.
Here are a few of the expert tips we’ve collected on preparing your home to sell, and preparing yourself to leave it behind.
Change Your Focus
Easier said than done, but so important when you’re going through all the steps to sell one home and purchase the next. You’ll have lots of details to attend to and hoops to jump through (although if we’re handling the financing on your next home you can be sure our licensed loan officers are doing everything in their power to make that part easy for you!) so you’ll need to be fully focused on your future.
Start visualizing yourself in a new home, collect pictures that inspire you to think of all the possibilities a new home offers. (We’ve shared quite a few tips for remodeling, decorating, and making the most of your space over on our Facebook page so you can check that out for ideas too.) Just putting your energy into what’s next will help you let go of what was.
Out of Sight Out of Mind
If there are items you know you don’t need, and “should” have gotten rid of long ago start purging now. The longer you wait the harder it gets. If it’s easier to sell it or give it away than it would be to pack it and unpack it, or if you haven’t used it in a year or more, or if you just don’t really like it that much, it can go on Craig’s List, to your favorite charity, or out to the garage (for a sale, not for storage!) If it was a gift, your upcoming move will be the perfect excuse for not having it around any more.
It’s also easier to say goodbye to a space when it doesn’t hold your favorite stuff. Go ahead and pack up the personal mementos that aren’t useful. A few bare spots where the family pictures used to be or an empty china cabinet will help you detach from the house you’re in and get even more ready for the home you’re moving into.
Tidy Up and Touch Up
Before you put that house on the market (or immediately if you’ve already got it listed) take stock of any minor repairs that would make your house more attractive if you were considering buying it again. Touch up the paint, make sure faucets don’t drip and toilets don’t run, replace any light bulbs that are burnt out, give decks and sidewalks a good spray and scrub, and pay special attention to the view from the curb which might mean adding some landscaping or washing the windows.
It’s human nature to assume that people who keep a tidy house also keep a well-maintained house, even though it’s not always true. So pack up any unnecessary clutter, buy some plastic storage bins and hide everything neatly away.
Generic is Good
Ultimately the less your house feels like your home the easier it will be to leave it. And the more inviting you make it to strangers the faster you’ll have money coming your way. Even if you’ve loved that purple wall, paint it a nice neutral cream. The custom light fixture needs to be replaced now unless you’re sure buyers will love it and you aren’t planning on taking it with you. Style your home for the general public, not to your personal taste.
Say Goodbye with Gratitude
Whatever the situation, your home has been a part of your life. And it’s going to be an asset to the next owners while you move into the next phase of your life.
So if you’re feeling a little sad, it’s natural. But as you prepare for your next home it’s natural to feel a lot happy too!
Photo: Flickr/Cambodia4kids.org Beth Kanter