Between break-ups, lease shake-ups and all the condos that are being built in my city, I can't tell you how many times I've had to be dragged from a beloved apartment I wasn't ready to leave yet. When it's not your first choice to move — leaving home can be even more stressful. If you find yourself in the position of having to say goodbye to a home, here are five things to try and make the parting a little better.
1. Make sure you really have to move
No really, is moving your only option? If it's a dispute with a roommate pushing you out the door, consider trying a little harder to smooth the relationship over. If it's a rent increase, there might be ways to negotiate staying a little longer at the same price. If you really love your home — see if there's a way to fight for it (though that's easier said than done for anyone who's ever had to leave an apartment).
2. Take pictures
My first apartment ever was this cute little wood-floored studio in a four-plex with a wall of windows that overlooked the verdant canopy of a gorgeous live oak tree. When I had to leave it after only a year (condos), I grabbed everything I owned and left in a huff. I can't tell you how many times I regret not having any photos from that space. Capture the moment in time of this home you love so you can relish it long after you have to pack up.
3. Give it a send off
If there's time and the ability, throw your beloved home a party you'll never forget! Invite your favorite friends to enjoy your space one last time. Reminiscence about favorite memories.
4. Remember you'll love again — and it might even be better
Every time I have to leave an apartment I love, I'm convinced it'll be the last beautiful home I ever live in and love again. But, like fish in the sea, there are plenty of homes out there. And as long as you adopt the an attitude of gratefulness, you'll no doubt appreciate all your future homes in different ways.
It might not be your choice to move, but you're still moving, which means you've got an excellent opportunity to get rid of stuff that no longer serves you before you get to the next place. If you haven't seen it in six months, forgot you had it or don't absolutely love it, chuck it.
Have you ever had to leave a home you loved before you were ready? How did you cope?