What do you do when you move house and you are so, soooo homesick for your old home? I'm not just talking about the first few days now (though if that's you, see my last post here).
I should start by saying that my homesickness for our old house has now passed and I'm truly loving the process of bringing our new home to life....BUT I really struggled when we first moved. Not only in the first week or so...but for several months. The rest of our family were absolutely in their element from day one but I'd say it took me a good five or six months to find my feet here.
This is what helped me through that time....and I hope these ideas help you if you're going through the same feelings in your new house.
Concentrate on your thoughts, rather than your feelings. You've chosen to move for good reasons. Hold on to those unchanging facts when your feelings sway all over the place. So, for me, that was holding onto the fact that our new home is a long hoped-for dream-come-true. Although it's a wonderful thing, that very fact also made me put pressure onto myself to feel that this was my forever home. I couldn't do that whilst I was still pining for our old house and still geting lost in our new one!. I've had to gradually allow that process to creep up on me. I slowly started finding myself thinking more and more fondly, and then lovingly, about our new home, as well as thinking less and less about the old house..... Give it time, and be gentle with yourself in the process.
Don't jump into the decorating part. Give yourself six months or so just to relax, to nest...for your feelings of panic to subside, and for you to realise that life carries on as normal, only better! This will give you enough time to for any any urgent jobs which weren't uncovered in the survey house to reveal themselves. Plus, it allows you to get on with those boring but essential tasks. For us, this has worked exceptionally well. For example, we needed to organise the removal of nine, yes, nine, different electricity meters and three different gas meters! Crazy! One of the perils of moving to an older house is uncovering the unexpected.....and then the fear of further uncovering the even more unexpected! We've been very lucky in that regard, our home is in great structural condition...but it's been good to bide our time to allow for this to happen.
Once the dust has settled (and been thoroughly swept away!!), it's time to begin putting your stamp on things. Start by arranging and rearranging each room so that it feels as pleasing as it can within the constraints of what you have bought with you. This will highlight what needs to go on your shopping list, and help you to really understand what it is that each room needs.
One thing that helped me so much was my husband's beautiful idea. He brought me, one sunny day, into our new home with my eyes covered and said he'd bought me a present...a gorgeous new house! And then he took me round, room by room, as though I was viewing it again for the first time, pointing out all the features, the highlights and the potential. It was magical! It completely unwound the negative connotations that I had connected to moving day, which was a complete nightmare, and allowed me to start afresh. Completely recommended!
I know there are some advocates of diving straight in and changing things as soon as possible but I've found that period of slow bedding in invaluable.
Then, and only, then should you allow yourself to begin decorating. This process that has been wonderful.....the emotional and financial investment in our house on the lovely, pretty things is what helped to chase away any last traces of homesickness.
Please rest assured that what made your old house a home can be recreated in your new place. The feelings of sadness and grief will pass....and you can get on with the delicious process of loving your home, your street and your life!
And now? Now, we've well and truly begun the journey of restoration and, as said at the start of this post, I feel fully recovered. Yes, I've fully found my mojo and I can't wait to share with you the process of bringing this old house back to life!
Images via Marie Claire, The Telegraph, Tak Removals