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Saying goodbye to your childhood home

It's not always easy to move on. Whether your parents are preparing to relocate or already have, the sale of the family home can be a sad and surreal experience. Bidding farewell to the dwelling you grew up in is bittersweet.

Whether your family has decided to move on, you're selling the house yourself, or your parents have made the decision to downsize, it's strange to imagine your home in the hands of strangers. We take a look at endings and beginnings: how to say goodbye to a house full of experiences, and how to move on with the memories you've taken with you.

Let yourself grieve

All things pass – but that doesn't make it any less painful when they do. For some people, the sale of their childhood home can feel like an ending to the first act of life. You might feel dislocated or distressed, or even have strange dreams.

It's normal to feel a sense of emotional ownership over a house you grew up in. Letting go of the home you have so many memories in is challenging. Grieve that loss, but remember that letting go of the home doesn't mean saying goodbye to the memories, too.

Be kind to yourself

Times of transition can worsen tensions that are already there. Be mindful that you might be little bit shaken for a while, and try to go easy on the rest of your family. Odds are they're feeling just as conflicted about saying goodbye to the house as you are. Sharing your feelings with your family is a great way to reflect on the wonderful memories you have, but don't pass on the burden of guilt.

Look ahead

This whole process may exacerbate any anxieties you have about mortgages or the housing market. If this is the case, just remember that all things take time to grow.

If you are moving out of your childhood home and onto bigger and better things, remember to protect your project-of-a-lifetime with home insurance. That way, you have one less thing to worry about, which can take some of the pressure off. The Suncorp Insurance Building Calculator can help you determine your sum insured, and estimate the replacement cost of your home building.

Talk things through

Although it's common to feel sad about the sale of a family house, many people are embarrassed about grieving a home – especially if they no longer live there. Remember that your feelings are normal and okay. An important step in processing emotions is to accept them. Talk to loved ones or your partner about what you're going through, or seek out friends who've been through a similar experience.

Bid farewell

Some psychologists suggest creating a ritual to say goodbye. Spend some time walking through each room and reflecting. You could take a little fragment of the house with you, like a piece of furniture, a pebble or a plant from the garden.

Choose Keepsakes

Saying goodbye to your childhood home might mean going through old possessions, and this can lead to lot of tough choices. You might be surprised by what you unearth: adorable drawings from when you were six, old sport trophies and angsty teenage diaries. All this can be a blast from the past, and there'll probably be a few treasures you want to keep. But if you haven't thought about something since it was shoved in the cupboard last decade, it might be time to let it go.

Remember, if you're taking valuable objects from your family home, you'll want to ensure they're protected from theft or loss. Take out the right home and contents insurance for any beloved heirlooms, or update your existing policy.

Take photos

Memories shift and change over the years. If you want to remember your family house exactly as it was, it can be useful to take pictures. One day you might be able to show them to your children (though don't bank on them being as interested as you are!). Having photographs of your former home can help when you're feeling nostalgic down the track – you could even be in for a shock a few years from now, when you realise how quickly everything dates!

Make peace with change

It's great to have keepsakes, but it can be useful to practice not being too attached. Like many things, photos and mementoes get lost and destroyed. Remembering that all things are impermanent can bring you comfort in times of change. Change doesn't only mean loss – it also makes space in your life for new things. Once you've accepted that life isn't static, you'll find yourself open to a wealth of new opportunities.

Start afresh

Homes aren't made of bricks and mortar – they're made from memories and relationships. You can bring those with you, and create a family of your own filled with brand new memories.

It's important to get the right home insurance policy to protect and support your family. Of course, saying goodbye to your old home will always be challenging. But it's also an opportunity to start afresh. Start investing in the memories you're bound to create in your new home – and invest in home and contents insurance to protect your sentimental mementoes.

To find out more, compare Suncorp Home Insurance policies online or speak to a Suncorp Insurance Specialist now on 13 11 55 (Mon-Fri 7am-9pm, Sat-Sun 8am-6pm).

Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Information provided is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision regarding this product.

Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product

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