Image shows - What does home mean to you?

Moving on

Image shows - What does home mean to you?
What does home mean to you?

Moving house can be stressful. But, I am trying to focus on the fun of packing up our happy memories…and looking forward to making more in our new home.

“Don’t get too emotionally involved… it will only lead to heartbreak!” It was sterling advice from a very good (and often quite wise friend). And she wasn’t talking about a new love interest, well not in the ‘two legs, two arms and a winning smile’ sense at least.

We were talking about houses. And my inability to stop picturing my family and myself in the house we want to buy. For me to put in an offer on a house, I need to mentally move in. In the first few days after an offer is accepted my mind swirls with future family pictures, happy occasions to be marked under our soon-to-be new roof.

Falling in love with bricks and mortar

I know my friend is right. In this country, until contracts are signed everything can (and often does) go wrong. It’s a crazy system, if it can even be called a system. But, unless you fall in love with a house why would you invest all that time and money trying to make it your home.

There’s just too much faff involved in moving house to do it unless you have to – or unless you really want to.

Which means in my book that you have to love the house you are buying long before you start packing up the first box in your current home.

It’s not surprising then that for me, leaving one home for another is like the end of a relationship.

Our homes are filled with memories, great and not so great. Even as I box up something as simple as books every one tells a story… there are birthday presents, antique shop finds and classics that I am definitely going to find time to read (some day).

Taking down the family picture wall that climbs our stairs at head height makes me smile deep in my tummy.

I remember each photo of our daughter being taken. I marvel at the sight of grandparents’ deliberately non-smiling faces in old wedding photos. And I snigger when I remember how many years the picture wall took to create (for which read, ‘for my nearly-husband to finish’). The last nail went in the day before we welcomed the first viewing on our house.

Image shows - Our picture wall is a patchwork of captured memories.
Our picture wall is a patchwork of captured memories.

There’s nothing like the deadline of having other people’s eyes booked in to appraise your house to motivate you into transforming it into the home you always wanted for yourself. I’ve painted a skirting board in my bedroom that has been on a mental to do list since September 2009. It looks so much better. As I always knew it would.

Magical moments

Nearly seven years ago, when we brought our shiny new baby daughter home from hospital we laid the car seat on the floor in front of the sofa. She snoozed oblivious to our exhausted grins and our, “How the hell do we keep this little human alive?”

That old Argos sofa is long gone. We watched it sail off down the street on the roof of our builder’s car. The raggedy carpet we laid her on went to the tip and we stained and polished the floorboards we found underneath. But the walls of our sitting room framed that most special of moments, and I do believe they absorbed some of the magic.

When we move we will take our memories with us – neatly boxed and ready to unpack in a new home. The walls of this house, our home for nearly 10 years, will hold onto theirs. Yet another layer in this little house’s long history.