If you’re facing a move to a new home, you may be feeling a little—or perhaps a lot—nostalgic, particularly if you don’t want to move but have to for work or are moving with small children. It can be emotionally taxing to pick up and move, but there are ways you can bring a little piece of your old home with you. Here are some suggestions on creative ways to bring your old abode with you come moving day to make the new place feel like home.
Recreate Cherished Memories
It’s hard to leave behind the familiar sights, sounds and memories of one place and start brand new ones in another. But it’s possible to recreate some of those old memories in your new house to make you feel stable and comfortable. When there are kids involved, this becomes even more important, as they likely miss their old friends, neighborhood, school and daily routine—possibly more than you do. Let the kids pick out their own rooms if possible, giving them creative control as to what goes into decorating them. Perhaps they would like their room painted in the same colors or designs as their old one. Encourage a collection of special items to take center stage in a child’s room, such as a stamp or stuffed animal collection, favorite books or toys, or even special art. Good Housekeeping says this is an important step in helping your children feel secure in a world of chaos, as they mark their place in their new room. Hang a special photo in the room of your child and his or her friends, but don’t go overboard on the nostalgia. While it’s good to remember where you came from, kids can actually be held back from making new friends and memories when they’re confronted with images all over the house of their old lives.
Take a Beloved Item Along
Perhaps there was a gorgeous rosebush in your old yard that you just couldn’t part with. Take it with you! Replant it in a special place in your yard to begin a new life right alongside you. Did you tend a garden at your old home? Make a new one and encourage the kids to help you cultivate and harvest it. Hang artwork around the house of the places you’ve been to. If you’ve traveled a lot, you’ll have a virtual museum of artwork representing the stops you’ve made along the way in life. Simply not replacing some items of furniture, like mom and dad’s bed or an old and comfortingly familiar rocking chair, is another great way to incorporate the spirit of the old home into the new house.
Maintain a Familiar Schedule
A move can be traumatic and stressful on a family. Kids and teens won’t necessarily understand why they have to move and may feel resentful. To alleviate the stress of a new home and neighborhood, keep up the same schedule you used to have as much as possible. This includes everything from meal times and after school pickups to bedtime and wake time, but it can also mean lighting the same scented candles, placing the same small bins at the door for wallets and keys, and sitting at the same spots at the dinner table. KidsHealth says maintaining a regular schedule gives kids a sense of familiarity.
That same familiarity that is comforting to kids will also be stabilizing for you. Before you know it, your new house will stop feeling strange and new and you’ll soon be calling this new place home.