How to prepare yourself for the emotional impact of moving home

If you are moving to a new house in your retirement, then you will have a lot of things that need sorting out. From finding boxes, to the electricity bill – the administration involved in moving house is huge. However, it is not just the practicalities that you need to consider, but also the emotional impact of moving house.

No matter how excited you are to move, moving to a new home in a new area is a big step, especially if you are downsizing, or it has been many years since your last move. At Homewise, we have helped 1000s of people to move and we understand that coping with the emotional impact of moving is just as difficult as the practicalities. But with the right understanding and preparation, moving can be a completely positive experience and you can start enjoying your new home straight away.

Possessions and downsizing

Although some people use the Home for  Life plan to buy a larger, dream property, many people will downsize in their retirement. Although this is a positive step, which will free up money and leave you with less cleaning and maintenance, working out what to do with all your possessions can be challenging.

Most of us hoard to some extent, collecting possessions from large pieces of furniture to small ornaments and far too many pairs of shoes. Each thing carries memories that we don’t want to lose. Having to get rid of some of your possessions in order to enjoy a clutter-free home can be distressing.

Make sure you do your research and are realistic about how much you need to shed. Measure up your new home and investigate the storage, such as the attic or a garage so you know how much will fit. This will give you a clear guideline to work within. You may be surprised at how much you can fit in your new home.

Don’t put pressure on yourself to throw away items that you are emotionally attached to and allow yourself to hold onto anything precious. Giving unwanted items to charity makes many people feel better about letting them go, otherwise there are many ways to sell items and you can then spend the money on your new home.

If you are struggling with this task, then there is help out there, such as Marie Kando’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. An encouraging guide will help you through the process of de-cluttering.

New friends and old memories

Moving to a new area where you know few or no people is daunting, especially when you have plenty of good friends where you are, but modern technology can be a real help here.

You can research everything that happens in your new area before you go. You should be able to find groups or forums for any hobbies or sports that you enjoy. Contact people before you arrive and set up meetings, or sign up to classes. Volunteering or community projects are also a great way to meet new people. Ensure you have something social to dive straight into when you arrive and you will be amazed at how quickly you will make friends in your new community.

Although moving home means a fresh start, it doesn’t mean leaving your old life behind. It has never been easier to stay in touch with friends and family, whether you use Skype, Facebook, email, WhatsApp, or a good old fashioned letter, make sure you have ways to communicate with your old friends.

If you know you are going to miss your old area greatly, plan visits back and make it an annual holiday destination. Knowing that you can go back and visit whenever you want makes enjoying your new home much easier.  

Treat yourself

When you arrive at your new home, give yourself some time to treat yourself. It can be tempting to spend the first few weeks engrossed in unpacking and home improvements. However, be sure to fit some fun into those first few weeks to remind yourself of why you moved. Book into your favourite restaurant, buy tickets to the theatre, map out some long walks – whatever you are moving there for, fit it in as soon as possible and start enjoying your new home.