Making a House a Home
Just Moved In
Making a House a Home
My husband and I just moved into our own home this summer!!! What an exciting and exhausting time. We went through many emotions as we settled into our Weaverville home. Moving can be a very stressful time for children and even teens. We become attached to our spaces and rooms, and saying goodbye can be daunting. As a family therapist here in Asheville, NC I help children adjust to new phases of life. Moving does impact their overall emotional and physical well-being. Take a look at how you and your family can make your house a home.
1. Splash of Color:
It is amazing how much a coat of paint can make a space yours. It is hard work, but you will immediately feel ownership of your new space. This will also help your child feel like the room is his/hers too. Let them help pick out the paint color for their room. If your teenager wants to go with a color that makes you cringe; offer a compromise. Consider how much this will help them re-attach to their new space. You owe it to yourself to pick the color you want for your room. Go ahead and have a paint party! Invite your friends over to help and before you know your house feels like your home.
2. Bring Something With You:
When you decide to pack up and leave consider letting your kids take a special token from their old home with them. This will help them to know you understand how difficult it can be to leave a home. Some families will take a trimming or part of a plant that they can transplant to the new yard. Your child may want to take his favorite rock or a picture of his secret hiding place. My grandfather had a willow tree and each time he moved they would take a branch from the tree. They would plant the branch and start a new willow tree in their yard near the home they moved to. If your son or daughter is having a difficult time with the move let them take a sentimental item along.
3. Unpack the Kitchen First
My mother always would say, “Vanessa get the kitchen unpacked first, you will start to feel more settled and at home.” You know, she was right! The kitchen is a place for gathering, food, fun, warm smells, and deep conversations. If your family spends a lot of time in the kitchen focus your energy here and then move to the other rooms. Bake a favorite family dish to help the brain connect the positive memories with the new environment. The sense of smell promotes a neurological connection between memories and feelings, so go ahead make your family’s favorite baked good. As a child therapist, I would like to also recommend getting your son/daughter’s room in order as quickly as possible. When their little world is organized and consistent they will feel calmer inside.
4. Pace Yourself
I am the type of person that will storm through and get everything done in a few days….. And then I will crash feeling exhausted and almost sick. During this move I made a pack with myself, “You will pace yourself, this doesn’t all have to get done in one week, and it will be okay.” If you are finding yourself anxiously trying to get everything done and feeling beyond exhausted at the end of the day…. slow down. Your house will become a home, and enjoy getting to that place. Let yourself stare at the blank walls a few days to see what speaks to you (figuratively not literally). Before you know it you will start to see how you want things to come together. The process shifts from a whirlwind to a slow dance. You will find peace from knowing that it all turned out okay and you didn’t have to become fatigued during the unpacking process. The only thing standing in the way of slowing this process down is you, so give yourself permission to pace yourself. Say, “I don’t have to work myself silly to make this place a home. We will get this done, and I will enjoy it.” Affirmations may seem crazy at first, but you may be surprised how well it can work.
Okay, so there you have it!! 4 practical tips and thoughts as you get settled into your HOME. If your child begins to experience some difficulties from the move don’t hesitate to call an Asheville child therapist or me 828-338-9033 . I am happy to provide a free phone consultation to discuss your situation. Moving is stressful and can sometimes trigger something deeper inside us. At times, one event may open the door to many events that have been locked way down in our hearts or bodies for years. It’s okay to get help and talk to someone in a confidential setting. Visit: contact page to reach me.