A Mourner’s Guide to Moving: How to Handle a Move While Grieving

Posted on July 1, 2020

silhouetteAre you looking for a fresh start after losing someone close to you? While it’s not a decision to rush into, moving after the loss of a loved one can be a great way to give yourself a new lease on life.

Whether you move to be closer to your support system or move into a home that’s better suited to your family’s size, a new environment can be just what you need to start rebuilding life after loss. However, it’s not as simple as packing your bags and hitting the road. Once the dust has settled and you’re ready to think about what’s next, these steps will help guide you through the moving process with minimal stress.

1. Get Ready to Sell
The right preparations make the selling process much easier. Before listing your home, collect all the paperwork you’ll need to sell, including the title report and deed, sale agreement, property tax statements, and mortgage documents. Once you have everything in order, meet with your real estate agent to discuss your home’s market value and set the right listing price.

You also need to prepare the house itself. First impressions go a long way when it comes to getting a good price for your home, so spend time making repairs, decluttering, and improving your home’s curb appeal.

2. Prepare to Buy
Selling your home is only one part of the equation. You also need to think about what you want in a new home. However, don’t get too caught up in wishlists before setting a budget. The urge to treat yourself could lead you to spend more than you can manage. 

After setting a monthly housing budget, compare mortgage options to determine how much home you can afford. While low down payment mortgages like FHA loans are appealing, they leave you paying more per month. That means you’ll need to set your price range lower. With a conventional mortgage, you can secure a lower interest rate and avoid mortgage insurance once you have 20 percent equity, allowing you to get more house for your money.

3. Sort Through Things
For most people, decluttering and packing is the most dreaded part of a move. For homeowners moving after the death of a family member, that’s doubly true. Sorting through a loved one’s things can be emotionally overwhelming, especially if you’re unsure what they would want for their belongings. 

That’s why it’s so important to talk about your wishes while alive, including naming charities you’d like to benefit from collectibles and other valuables. However, if you never had this conversation with your loved one, do your best to identify organizations that fit with their values. That way, you can part with items knowing they’re going to a good cause in your loved one’s name.

4. Hire Movers
Once your home is pared down to only what you’re keeping, it’s time to look for moving help. Don’t shy away from moving companies assuming it’s out of your budget. Hiring movers is the best way to take the stress out of a move, and if you do your research, you can hire only the help you needhands heart and nothing more. That may be a full crew and a cross-country moving truck or just some extra hands to load your own vehicle.

Next Stop...
Moving can be a monumental undertaking. It may not be something to tackle while you’re still living in the fog of grief, when daily tasks can feel overwhelming. Give yourself the time to move and hopefully make it a less stressful change, so when you arrive at your new destination, you’ll feel ready for what may lie ahead.


By Laura Carlson - endurabilities.com


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End With Care Corp is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization helping to provide end-of-life information and access to resources found
throughout Massachusetts.

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