Losing a loved one is one of the worst possible events in life. Particularly if your home or the surrounding area calls to mind memories of your loved one, you may benefit from a change of scenery. Relocating to a new location, whether that be down the street or in a different state, can help with the healing process.
Why Consider Relocating
Whether it was expected or not, when a loved one passes away, it can be difficult to cope. Their possessions, clothes, and even movie and music preferences often carry with them memories of shared experiences. Your house can also carry powerful associations that may, with their loss, become painful — in many cases, these associations are extremely difficult to live with every day. This is why many people decide to relocate after the loss of a loved one. A new setting can allow you to start fresh and begin dealing with your grief, remembering the good memories without them being quite as painful. If your income situation has changed, relocating may also be a good idea because you may be able to find a less expensive home in a new area.
Selling Your Home and Preparing to Move
The First Step
To sell your house, you should hire a trustworthy real estate agent who can do most of the legwork for you. Make sure you know how much your home is worth by comparing it to similar homes with similar amenities in the area (homes in Richmond have a median sales price of $225,000). This will help ensure you get the best deal possible as you prepare to relocate. Be sure to give your home a one-time deep cleaning before listing it (this should cost you between $121 and $209 in Richmond). Finally, when it is time to move, you’ll need to go through your loved one’s belongings. Pack up your things, little by little if necessary, and take your time saying goodbye.
How to Go Through Your Loved One’s Possessions
Staging Your Home
If you have recently experienced the death of a loved one, it may be tempting to make rash judgments and you may want to sell your house to the first buyer who comes along. However, even in your emotional state, you should still take the time to consider the selling process. Potentially, the most difficult part is the staging process, which involves removing any personal touches from the house to make it more appealing to buyers. This can feel like you are packing up the memory of your loved one in a box; however, this can give you the opportunity to go through your loved one’s things and decide which pieces to keep and which to discard. Remember, don’t rush the process — if you don’t feel like you are ready to go through their possessions, don’t be afraid to wait. It can be one of life’s most emotionally draining and stressful experiences, so take your time.
Packing and Labeling
Once you’re ready, it can become easier if you clearly label boxes to keep and to give away to charity. That way, keepsakes won’t become intermingled with items to give away, and each decision will be a little less difficult. Make sure to draw a clear line between pieces that were important to them and are heavily emotionally charged, such as a photo album or an heirloom ring, and pieces that were more serviceable, without an emotional connection. It can also be helpful if you set a limit on how many pieces you’d like to keep.
Keep It Manageable
Finally, don’t do it all in one go. Take on as much as you can in one sitting — a single desk or drawer will suffice — and let yourself rest and recharge before attempting it again. To make it easier, collect all papers, postcards, and writings into one stack to go through later so that you won’t be slowed down by reading letters.
Even as you prepare to move, you may feel like you are leaving behind certain memories and experiences. Remember, though, that a house is simply a house, and nothing can be of greater value than your memories of the time you shared with your loved one.
This post was written by: Lucille Rosetti and published by the RVA Homes with Jess blog.