Memories, finances, practicality and career prospects all affect when and where people move home. Sometimes the love for your current house isn’t strong enough to stop the need to change city or country. Sometimes the familiarity of the same surroundings every day can stop being a comfort, and start to drive you mad.
Whether you want to move or have to move, the biggest benefit of uprooting your belongings and settling somewhere else is the opportunity to start anew. Here are some helpful tips for preparing to move and wiping the slate clean.
One: Be Ruthless with Your Possessions – Now is the time to take an honest look at your belongings and decide whether or not each item deserves the effort of moving it from your old house to the new one. Over the years it is frighteningly easy to accumulate unwanted possessions that become an invisible part of your surroundings. When given the chance to curate your life, seize it with both hands. Even if you are a keen collector of unusual objects you can still make your life easier – and the lives of the moving companies you hire to help – by only taking your most wanted items to your new home.
This might sound like being pushed into minimalism and saying goodbye to your treasures for no good reason. Don’t think that getting rid of everything you love will make your move simpler. Divide your possessions into ‘need’, ‘want’ and ‘don’t care’. The things you need and want are equally important so make sure to have them with you when you move home. However, don’t be afraid to take this chance to let go of items that you associate with sentimental memories. For example, if your grandmother gave you that table but you never liked it (or her), then don’t punish yourself with guilt for giving it to someone who’ll appreciate it more. Objects that outlive their use or sentimentality will only serve to irritate you in your new home.
Two: Rethink Your Habits – Moving home comes with a whole variety of often unexpected changes to your habits and routine. From big things like your daily commute to smaller things like where you put your keys in the evening is all new to you. Your muscle memory for the layout of your new home has yet to sink in. Take the time to evaluate your life as it is. Examine the best and worst parts about it. Did you always want to get fit but never lived near a gym? Had you wanted a pet but couldn’t find the space? Avoid letting the habits formed in your old home dictate what your life should be like now. Look for the parts of your life that make you happiest and see if living in your new home is better suited to accommodating them. Although change is scary and unsettling, it can bring many unexpected opportunities for improvement.
Three: Reinvent Yourself – Staying in the same place for years can subdue the desire for excitement. Having friends simply because of the convenient proximity limits your growth as a person and moving home lets you shed the aspects of your old self that you don’t want to bring with you. Without the expectations set by your past self you are free to enjoy new things and be more authentic. Try different foods in your new neighborhood. Wear clothes you were too frightened to before. Leap on the fact that your new neighbors and friends will have nothing to base your new self upon and will easily accept you without reacting surprised by your change of style or attitude. Daunting though it may be to leave the familiar behind, it is equally freeing to venture into the unknown.
Four: Make Your New Home Perfect – Whatever the reason for your move, you should take this chance to give yourself the best. Style your new house around your personal tastes and requirements. These things might have changed over the years since you first moved into your old home, so make sure not to blindly copy what you did last time. Allow yourself to think about your current needs instead of those from the past. Perhaps your children were much younger, and you needed to fill every room with their toys – now they’ve grown up and left home, you can downsize to somewhere that suits you better or even use those empty rooms to accommodate your other interests. Perhaps you have a new job that lets you work from home occasionally – set up a comfortable, efficient home office to encourage you to work hard while also wearing your slippers. Being in a new neighborhood can be intimidating so make sure your home is a place of comfort to you. There’s no reason to fear the blank slate that comes with moving home. Embrace the chance to tailor it to your new needs and desires.
Five: Appreciate the Old to Appreciate the New – Just because you’ve moved and left your old life behind doesn’t mean you have to forget all the good things. Not only would it be unnecessarily painful to ignore the happy times you had before moving but it would also prevent you from fully appreciating your new surroundings. Revisit old neighborhoods or friends to remind you of the fun you had there while also helping you see the contrast between the past and the present. Sometimes a fresh start can feel a bit stale until you take a closer look at what came before.
Moving home doesn’t have to be scary – it can be a great chance to learn more about yourself and pursue the kind of life you want most. Remember to only bring the most important things to your new home and leave the junk behind. Forget your old bad habits to make room for new, good ones. Let yourself change in whichever direction you choose and turn your new home into a sanctuary. A fresh start is all about taking advantage of new opportunities.