Leaving a home you love after living there for many years can take an emotional toll. Whether you’ve downsized to a smaller home, left for a job in another town, or moved after a loss of a loved one, the memories held there can be bittersweet, especially once the home is emptied of the things you’ve loved.
But sometimes acknowledging that the house could make more memories for its new inhabitants can ease the sting a bit. And leaving a little of yourself behind in the form of a gift or handwritten letter can bring joy as the new homeowners settle in. Here are a few ideas to consider that can make your housing transition a little easier while bringing some practical help and joy to the new homeowners:
- Print up return addresses – this small gift is a thoughtful gesture, since it’s probably not something the new homeowners have thought of doing for themselves in the busyness of the move.
- Records of importance – if you’ve built your home, it’s a good idea to leave the blueprints behind for the new homeowners, in case at some future point they wish to make structural changes to the home. Plus, it’s nice to have a piece of the history of the house.
- Plot map – a simple drawing of the home showing the location of things like gas mains, power boxes and main water turn offs can be a useful guide when emergencies occur.
- Warranties – leave behind warranties for items that are conveyed with the home, like furnaces, any appliances, garage doors, etc.
- List of local home services – a list of recommended home service providers is especially useful for any unexpected repairs that may spring up.
- Personalized gifts – items like a monogrammed doormat, door knocker, or house key ring are very nice gestures for the new homeowners by re-affirming the ownership of the home.
- A neighborhood guide – write up a short list of fun things to do around the community, including annual festivals, parades, small parks, good restaurants, etc., to give the new homeowners a head start on exploring the area.
- Gift card – things can get hectic during those first few days of unpacking so a gift card to a local restaurant or carry out is a thoughtful gift that can be used right away. Likewise, a hardware store gift card can be used for small things that may not be easily accessible in the packing boxes, like batteries, picture hangers, etc.
- A letter from the heart – writing about some fond memories can be cathartic for you, as well as a kind gesture for the new homeowner. Knowing that their new home was a place of fond memories for the former residents can engender a sense of connection to the house to begin to make new memories.
- Organizing services – a gift certificate for a few hours of organizing from a professional organizer is a generous gift that can be used to set up a new kitchen or closet – a great way to start a new chapter in a new home.