How our new home taught us to let go

With the new year underway, it makes me realize that we have been in our current home more than a year now. Well, that, and the words “Established 12-16-15” chalked on the board hanging near our front door.

Those first days in our new home are still pretty clear. We moved in just a few days before Christmas. It was a hectic time with barely a tree put up and cardboard boxes in every corner. Heather and I had a lot of thoughts… Did we make the right choice? Was it worth all that effort? Did we really need to move?

I remember sitting in our old 100-year-old home watching Fixer Upper and Property Bros, imagining knocking out a wall here and there. We could make this work… This is our first home. It’s where we brought our little baby boy home to. We had put a lot of sweat and blood in to that place. Literally. Sure, it was on a busy street, but Heather and I really enjoyed the neighborhood.

The truth, though, is it really wasn’t about the location. Yes, the old home was on a busy street, but we had a big fenced in backyard. There was an excellent elementary school just a few houses down. The charm of the old neighborhood was great. What moving was all about was giving ourselves a fresh start.

It was a difficult choice, and an even more difficult journey.

Three moving truckloads, two U-Haul rentals, a couple carloads, some arguments about what to take and what to trash. Oh, and let’s not forget the stress of selling a home and buying a home at the same time. It was a struggle for sure, but it was worth it.

Our pitfall ended up being our garage in the old home. It was halfway converted in to an apartment, and we had high hopes of finishing it up and renting it out. After Russell, that apartment plan turned in to making a craft room. The reality was the garage became a dumping ground for whatever projects we acquired and put by the wayside. It wasn’t necessarily our fault though. The way the house was set up, we had to practically navigate a narrow maze of turns and opening doors just to get out there, and by the time we dropped in whatever we needed to we were exhausted and didn’t want to make the journey back out there.

We began to realize that the home itself was an obstacle, a roadblock to our dreams.

It had an odd layout that made every day tasks like doing laundry or taking out the trash difficult. It was a strange awakening, but it was knowledge that we took with us when we finally searched for a new home. We studied the layout of the homes as we looked. This one is too maze-like. That one feels cramped. This one is just dark.

The home we found is just right. It’s open, has a spectacular circular layout and sports some very big and bright windows. It really changes our daily mood, and inspires us.

It gave us that fresh start.

Sure, we still have a garage full of things, but it’s not tucked away but instead right up front. We’re motivated now, and we’ve taken a few carloads to Goodwill the past few weekends so we can finally get our cars in there. It was hard to separate ourselves from our first home, but the memories are still there.

Heather’s parents also made a move this past year, although under quite different circumstances, but I can see it’s provided them a new start as well. They had spoken of moving, but there was a lot of hesitation. They had lived in that home 18 years. Their children had grown up there. Family friends lived just a few houses down. Memories were packed away in the closets and under the beds. Due to a house fire, they were given the unlikely opportunity to move. When we visit, I can tell their new home has been a mood changer for them. It is more open, and they were able to leave a lot of baggage behind and keep the good memories.

Sometimes we become attached to something simply because it’s our first, or because it’s been with us so many years, or because the thought of not having it is frightening.

But out there, there might be something so much better.

Don’t be afraid to go out looking! Find your new home, whatever it may be.


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