Written by Lucille Rosetti
Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences in life, and the event can be even more emotional if you shared a home with the person who passed away. While it might be tempting to keep your home exactly as it was before, it’s probably not practical and may not even be possible depending on factors including finances, health, and your ability to maintain the property. If a move is approached in a planned and thoughtful way, the change in scenery may be beneficial in helping you cope with the changes in your life, especially if it brings you closer to friends and family who can offer their love and support.
Set Your Own Schedule
Giving yourself time to grieve is also critical to minimizing stress. Unless you must move by a certain date, try to approach tasks such as attending open houses and downsizing your belongings when the time feels right to you. Resisting the urge to snap into action immediately will help you avoid hasty choices when it comes to selling your current home, selecting a new place to live, discarding items you regret getting rid of later, or hanging onto everything in your home — including all your lost loved ones’ possessions.
Indeed, taking the time to evaluate and organize everything could inspire you to create meaningful memorabilia of your loved one and give his or her possessions a second life. For instance, you could digitize a collection of photos and postcards and use it to create an electronic scrapbook to share with all your friends and family. Or perhaps, you could have your loved one’s collection of vintage party dresses transformed into a quilt to hang on the wall in your new home.
It can also be helpful to give some of those prized possessions to others who can appreciate or use them as much as your loved one did, according to Next Avenue. Maybe that means passing on an extensive collection of tools to a favorite nephew who just bought his first house or donating big, antique furniture pieces that might not fit into your new home to a worthy nonprofit that can sell the antiques to support its mission. Paring possessions down in a thoughtful way might lessen your sense of loss while honoring your loved one’s memory.
Consider Hiring Help
Consulting with a real estate agent early in the process could also help you make solid decisions about how to sell your home, choose a new place to live, downsize possessions, and stage your property in a way that puts it in its best light. For instance, an agent might suggest moving some furnishings out of a room and arranging the remaining pieces differently to showcase the space better, according to an article on Money magazine’s site. A property pro can also help you get a firm idea of how much space you can afford and maintain in your new home, which will go a long way toward deciding how you might need to pare your possessions before you move.
To give yourself ample time to tackle these tasks, you might want to hire help packing and moving once you do set a date, especially if you’re making the transition on your own. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles offered by a full-service moving company, one good money-saving option might be renting and driving a truck on your own, but hiring help to pack, load, and unload boxes, furniture, and other bulky items.
Give yourself enough time to evaluate your needs so you can best decide on a moving day option that suits your situation.
Thinking through a transition before making any big decisions and seeking help from trusted professionals can help you make the right moves after the loss of a loved one.
Find more information about grief and coping by Lucille at thebereaved.org/