Changing Pace: Relocation After Loss


People move for many reasons, and the loss of a spouse or other family member is one of these. If you find yourself in this situation, you should know that moving is an excellent way to give yourself a new start. But it is a challenging and emotional process. The Purple Vine shares a few tips on how to get through making the decision and prepping your current home for sale.


The only real advice to give here is that no one can tell you if you are making the right decision, though it’s easier to leave if you have a remote job that allows you to work from home. However, it is probably best to stay put for at least six months to a year after your loss, which should give you time to adjust in your grieving process and to really think about your future. The worst thing you can do now is make a hasty decision that you will regret later. Keep in mind that it is difficult to back out of a contract if you change your mind once the home has sold.



Before you do anything, you need to determine how you’re going to afford your new house. If you sell your old home and have your eye on a less expensive property, you can use that money to finance your new house.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to family and friends during this time to assist you through this process. Dealing with the financial aspects of purchasing a home can be complicated on its own, but when you’re grieving the loss of a loved one, it can be entirely overwhelming.



When you decide the time is right, you can focus your attention on practical matters of moving to a new house. However, even the most mundane part of the process can trigger an emotional upheaval and put the pain front and center. Most notably, sorting your loved one’s personal belongings, which is a necessary step before putting your home up for sale. Take your time and be realistic about what you can – and should – keep. Going through your loved one’s things will bring back memories. Don’t be ashamed if you begin to cry or have trouble letting go of even the smallest trinket. Enlist the help of family and friends, and let each pick a special memento before you pack the rest to sell or donate.



As you begin to thin out the contents of your home, it’s time to start cleaning. Consider hiring a professional service to deep clean the entire home. This will give you more time to focus on tying up other loose ends or spend time with nearby friends and family before you relocate. If you have pets or if you or your deceased loved one smoked, you will also need to clean the curtains and carpets before you put your home on the market.


You will also need to address any necessary repairs, though you don’t necessarily need to make significant updates. Your realtor can guide you along. But items like torn screens, loose handrails, sagging gutters and broken or damaged windows are important to have fixed. Eliminate stress by hiring out a local professional to handle necessary repairs. Use a home service site like Angi to connect you with experts who have top ratings, the necessary credentials, and qualifications.


Next comes staging, which can help your house stand out against other homes in your area. Home staging is essentially the process of rearranging your property so that it looks its best. Unfortunately, this means you will need to eliminate personal family photos and keepsakes, which, like clearing out your loved one’s belongings, may be an emotional task. If you can’t stand the thought of not having your family photos out in the open, invest in a digital photo frame and change the picture when your home is scheduled for showing.


Moving after a loss is never easy, but there are many reasons when doing so may be necessary. In addition to the emotional aspect of living in a home where you no longer share laughter with your loved one, you may face financial difficulties or have gotten to an age where you can no longer care for yourself. Whatever your reason, whether it’s by choice or necessity, a new home gives you a chance to move on, and that may be the best way to honor the memory of your loved one.

Article by Lucille Rosetti

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Image via Pixabay

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I am an author, speaker, caregiver, and Grammy. The latter is by far the most fun! Having been a primary caregiver 3x, I realized so many lessons were learned too late to benefit my Dad who passed of Parkinson's Disease. I resolved to write a book to make life easier and safer for other caregivers that would get them ideas, inspiration, and lessons learned. It's called "Caregiving: How To Hold On While Letting Go" available on Amazon. I am a Certified Caregiver Consultant and Advocate as well as a Community Educator for the Alzheimer's Assoc. and Founder of The PurpleVine LLC

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