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Moving for a Fresh Start After Losing a Loved One

Guest blog by Lucille Rosetti

The death of a close loved one like a spouse, child, or parent is one of the most stressful life events a person will experience. When a person goes through an event like this, typically they shouldn’t make a major life decision for months, even a year, after. However, once an appropriate amount of time has passed, many people look around and realize that their house is not a home anymore. They may even want to move to another town for a total fresh start.

Before you make such a major life decision, ask yourself:

  • Do you have the financial resources to move?

  • Where could you go to feel comfortable and supported?

  • Do you want something smaller and easier to manage?

  • Are you searching for something new or running from the old?

It’s important you ask yourself these questions in order to get your priorities straight. You want to be sure you are moving for the right reasons, or you will be spending a lot of time and resources only to find yourself still stuck in grief. If you are certain relocating is a smart move for your life, try the following tips to make the process easier.

Downsizing Belongings

One of the hardest things you’ll have to do after the death of a loved one is figure out what to do with all their belongings. While you may feel like hanging on to things as a way to hang on to them, it’s important to realize that things are just that– things. While it’s okay to hold on to a few mementos, you want to clear out as much as you can.

That being said, there’s really no rush. You can take your time cleaning out sentimental items and deciding what is important enough to keep. You may find it helpful to find a local charity that you can donate clothes and other items to. Knowing their stuff is going to a good cause can help alleviate some of the sting you may feel.

Preparing Your Home for Market

If you are selling your house, you want to make sure you get as much as you can for it. Staging your house makes it more attractive to potential buyers. The first rule of staging is you want the place to be as clean and clutter free as possible. If you’ve been working on downsizing belongings, you are probably good with clutter. The cleaning part may take some assistance. Consider hiring a professional housekeeper to really deep clean and take care of areas you may not normally think of (the mind can be pretty distracted while grieving). Set aside some money and an afternoon for the task. The average price for a one-time interior house cleaning is around $116 to $222 and takes about four hours time. 

 Moving Day

The one thing you have to learn to do after the loss of someone you are really close to is how to accept help. When it is finally time to move out of your house, you are going to need assistance. Ask friends or family to join you for emotional support and hire movers that can help you with organizing, packing, and moving your belongings to your new location. When picking a moving company, ask friends and neighbors for recommendations then call around and get price quotes to make sure you are using the best company.

Sometimes after the loss of a close loved one, you need a fresh start. If you think moving is right for you, start by downsizing their belongings. Take your time with sentimental items and consider donating to a charitable organization to make things easier. Before putting your house on the market, make sure it is clean and decluttered. Finally, when moving day finally arrives, don’t neglect accepting help when and where you need it.


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