Childhood Home- When It’s Time to Say Goodbye


My mom still lives in my childhood home.

She won’t be there for long, though. By next year, she will be moving into a new place, in a new town, with my brother and sister-in-law. The house is nothing special in and of itself. It hasn’t been in the family for generations and it wasn’t built by a relative. It’s just an average house, but it’s where I spent my entire childhood. It feels so strange to know that my family won’t live there anymore.

memories from a childhood home

I didn’t think I would care at all about my mom moving out of her house.

After all, I moved out when I went to college at the age of 18. Sure, I came back on weekends and holidays, but I mostly lived in dorms and apartments. Then I moved from Ohio to Vermont at the age of 22, immediately after graduating from college and marrying. However, I always knew that home was still back there in Ohio. My kids know my childhood home as “Grammy’s House” from all of our visits.

I think I will actually miss the house when it belongs to someone else.

The majority of my childhood memories were created there, after all. It always felt like home base. I do think that letting go will be easier since so many things have changed over time. The bathroom no longer has its original shag carpet from the 70s. The living room no longer has orange carpet or orange walls. It almost feels like the house is growing and changing with the times just like all of its occupants.

The process of moving brings up a lot of questions about what is truly important.

What possessions are worth the time and effort to move? When is it time to let go of physical things? I have a hard time letting things go. I’m always afraid that I will want them again after I have let them go. Even though I have plenty of life experience that suggests that I won’t miss all these things, I’m still reluctant to get rid of stuff. Once I make up my mind to make space in my house, I have to get rid of things quickly, like ripping off a bandage. If I don’t have time to overthink everything, it tends to go much more smoothly.

I am making the choice that any possessions I have left in my childhood home should just be donated to charity.

After all, I haven’t lived in my childhood home for nearly 20 years now. Clearly, if I have abandoned anything for that long, it isn’t important in my life. Thanks to two children and a husband, my home is already crowded with possessions. It’s a better choice for the whole family to not bring in more things that we don’t really need.

black and white photos in a pile

In the end, I just remind myself that just because I don’t own a physical object doesn’t mean that I don’t still have all the memories. Those are the most important of all.


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