How to Say Good-Bye to a House

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Join in Slice of Life Story writing on Tuesdays! Add your link at Two Writing Teachers.

How do you say good-bye to a house?

Do you write a poem about the house, in the style and structure of Good Night Moon, one of your most favorite bedtime stories?  In this great old house, there was a pink playroom and a cute kitchen.  Good-bye, playroom.  Good-bye, kitchen…

No, that feels forced and a little cheesy.

Do you write a letter to the new owner?  Dear New Owner,  We hope you love this house as much as we did.  You know that square of paint that you see when you’re walking down the stairs from the bedrooms?  That section that is slightly off-color?  We used to have our handprints hanging up there, and we would high-five them as we walked down after bath time…

No, he doesn’t care about our sappy memories.  This is his house now.

Do you blog about it?  Do you blog about your favorite memories?  Your first memory?  Summer of 1992, it was.  Maybe you blog about all the things you won’t miss about this house.  The laundry room.  The cramped entry way.  The lack of a coat closet.

No, blogging doesn’t feel right either.  Words just won’t convey the sentiments in your heart.

Do you take a photo of your family standing outside the house?  Maybe your daughter will say it is a good idea, and maybe she’ll say you can put the picture in your “rememory box”, which will make you smile.  Maybe you’ll look at the photo and you will realize your youngest daughter will probably never remember that she ever lived here at all, and that realization will make you cry.

No, then the picture will only make you sad.

How do you say good-bye to a house?  You don’t, I guess.  You pack and pack and pack.  You are so busy packing and planning for the big move that you don’t even have much time to think about saying good-bye.  You are so excited about your new house that you don’t even think much about this old house, actually.

You pack and you pack and you pack and then moving day comes and it is so busy and hustling and bustling and there are people everywhere and suddenly it’s time to go, so you take one last look at the empty house and you shut the door and you drive away towards your new home and you just cry.

Good-bye, house.


We took the picture anyway. For our “rememories.”

16 thoughts on “How to Say Good-Bye to a House

  1. What a beautiful piece of writing. I think you should put it in your “rememory box” along with the picture. I know you will enjoy your new house and will soon be making lots of memories there!

  2. The rememories is so precious. I am sure that you will make plenty of rememories in your new home. Don’t be so sure they won’t remember. My son just took his son to see the house that he lived in for the first five years of his life.

  3. Oh Dana I am in the same situation . . . my house is under contract! I don’t think it’s the “house” that will be so missed but the memories it holds in every room every space. Good luck in your new home and may it bring as much joy as your “old” house seems to have.

  4. It’s been a great house! I’ve been in my new house for 8 years and I still think of it as the new house. Sometimes, I drive past the old one, just for old time’s sake.

  5. Its so true, Dana. You pack and pack and pack….and only when you pull away for the last time do you think about it and cry. This brought me back to our move last year. The good part about the move is that the closer you get to the new house, the sadness becomes excitement. You will make a million memories in your new place! It is an exciting time!!!! Enjoy the feeling of walking into your new house for the first time…the endless possibilities….

  6. Saying good-bye to a house is hard. After 23 years when we drive by our old house we still say “Hello house” to it and remember the great times we had there.

  7. That photo of you all out the front of your home is everything you need and it will be cherished. You have every memory tucked up firmly and safely in your heart with lots of room to make new memories in the new house which will soon be your home, that’s because you will all be there, in those 4 walls just like the old home, together.

  8. We moved when my sons were 4 and 2 –we drew, wrote poems, took pictures and wrote our memories. It is the stories we tell that seem to be the most important to all of us. Make sure you find a way to capture the memories so you can remember them and share them. They will remember the house through your stories because the house is part of your story together.
    Thanks for helping me remember my story through your slice.

  9. I love your memory of high-fiving the handprints on the wall!
    What a lovely post – and the end – so powerful. (I’m sure I’d cry like that, too!) Great, great writing.

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