Experiences in a few different situations recently reminded me how important it is to get closure when selling your home… especially one that has been a soul center and source of wonderful memories for you. Not saying goodbye can even cause recurring dreams as your subconscious attempts to let go.
It made me think of how I have said goodbye to homes over the years, never giving it thought to how important it was in the process of moving on.
Whether your time in your home has been long or short, that particular place can hold deep-seated memories and emotions.
Some ideas to help you through the closure process…
Take photos throughout the house before you start to dismantle and stage it
As you prepare your home before listing it for sale and declutter, clean and move your furnishings about it morphs from a 'real' house for living into a 'pretend' house for showing to potential buyers. This is an important part of the letting go process, as you disconnect from your personal connection. When your home is staged and ready, it is no longer "your home" but a de-personalized house ready to become someone else's home. Your photos will document and help you remember what was "your home."
Select the personal treasures you want to keep
Whether you plan to down-size, up-size or cross-size there will be things you want to keep and things you should give away or discard… there is no sense moving things you will no longer use or that no longer have meaning for you. Again, this can be an important part of the process… a cathartic cleansing as you let go of things that no longer hold meaning for you and an embracing of those things that do.
Write a 'house story' about what made it special to you
When I work with sellers, I ask them to put pen to paper and actually write about what they liked about living in their home and neighborhood. I encourage them to tell their 'house story'. This can help potential buyers envision what it would actually be like living there… but it can also become a tangible memory of the sellers' time living in that place.
When everything is cleared out, walk through and mentally say good-bye to every room
This may sound goofy, but this is something I have done in every home I have lived in (even rentals). It really creates closure to walk through mentally saying good-bye to every room… then back out of the front door, and lock it behind you for the last time, extending good thoughts and wishes for the new owners.