Almost all of us move house at least once in our lives. Many of us will slot right into the new house but what do you do if your new home feel strange? Feeling like a fish out of water? Read on, my poppet....
When we very first moved into our old house, I absolutely LOVED it. From the moment it was ours I couldn't believe our luck. The location, the garden, the house itself filled me with love and joy.
And when we first viewed our current house? I felt the same....plus all the excitement of having a new project! A rambling period home to make my own? What could be better? ...or so I thought.
You see, I've come to realise that it's a whole different kettle of fish moving out of somewhere you can't wait to move on from than it is wrenching yourself out of a home you love and cherish, even if you are moving to a place that's actually a better fit for your family.
I've ummed and aaahed about whether to share this little mini-series. I don't normally get up close and personal here on Modern Country Style but I wanted to reach out to the many people that I know have had the same struggles and just need someone to give them a virtual hug and tell them everything is going to be all right. That's what I wanted, what I needed...so I'm here to do that for you. You will get there....
Let me take you back to the day we were officially given the keys to our beautiful Georgian home. I felt as high as a kite, tail soaring in the warm wind...until, that is, I stepped over the threshold. It was at that moment that, out of the blue, this huge surge of reluctance and fear and adrenalin and nerves and the feeling of being waaaaay out of my comfort zone hit me at full force. I felt sick, I felt afraid, I felt as though I wanted to run away and hide. Now, nothing had changed in those few footsteps, nothing at all...but, let me tell you, I was shaken to the core.
Having been through that experience, and emerged the other side alive and not just well but dancing, I'd like to give you some tips to haul you through those first few days, weeks and months. These are ideas that really helped me when I felt at sea, and I know have helped many others too...
Number one....Get stuff done. I can't emphasise this enough. In those first days of uncertainty and chaos, don't just sit there crying...get your furniture up and ready and unpack. As fast as you can, especially the kitchen and the bedrooms. It doesn't matter if everything is not in its final position. Just get your treasured possessions out of those ugly and impersonal cardboard boxes.
Secondly, concentrate on making one room or at least one area feel as similar to your previous home as you can. It's the lack of the familiar that can leave you feeling completely at sea but, let me make this clear, you can and should create this familiarity as much as you are able, even if it feels a little artificial. So put out your best pillows, prop up lovely pictures, play your favourite music and see it as a little retreat to escape to when it's all getting a bit much.
Following on from my last point, make it a priority to clean like you've never cleaned before. Not only will this help your new house smell like home, it'll psychologically help you make your mark, as well as making each room a pleasure to enter.
Be picky about who you invite into your home in the early days. You want to choose friends and family who will be enthusiastic and joyful on your behalf. Not those who'll drag you further down ("How will you manage the cleaning?/Won't you miss the short walk to school?/Your heating will cost a fortune/blah, blah/blah"). Slightly insensitive comments can lodge like a thorn in your heart and fester there in your vulnerable state. Be on your guard.
It's worth getting hold of all the fairy lights and lamps you can and turn them on as soon as dusk shows the first hint of falling each evening. Soft lighting covers a multitude of sins, my friends, helping you to look past the cracks, the bumps and previous people's decorating choices and to enjoy the intimate pockets of warmth you've created.
And, lastly, I know this seems contradictorym but make time to do lovely things in your new home in those first few days. Watch films with popcorn at the ready, enjoy dinner dates and generally get on with your life. Treat it this new place as your home, even if it doesn't feel like one...yet.
But what to do if lasts longer than a few weeks? You're all unpacked and it still doesn't feel like home?
Let's look at that next time...
Images va Transferwise, The Times, Your Home