Moving House: An Empty Shell


As mentioned on the previous post, after two long gruelling years, we have finally sold our house and we are scheduled to move on the 22nd of this month.

I started packing last Saturday and managed to pack all of the books on the shelves in our lounge and some of little T’s toys and books too.  There are still a few books to pack in our bedroom, but that shouldn’t be too difficult to pack.

Our house is looking empty – empty shelves that was once piled up with books.  It’s looking like an empty shell, a carcass of what was once our home.  While we are glad that we have finally sold it, especially after all the drama and everything that has happened, it feels a bit like it is a bitter-sweet feeling. T says it all, “I’m going to miss my old house mum”.  

Of course she’ll miss this house.  This is the only house she’s ever known, ever lived in.  We took her home from the hospital in Exeter to this house.  She learned to do everything here, walk, talk, and run.  This house saw her off on her first day of school.

I’m glad though that she’ll be in school when we move.  Otherwise I have a feeling it will just end in tears.  When she comes home on Tuesday two weeks form now, she’ll be going home to a different house.  And I’m hoping the excitement of the new house will prevail over the sadness of leaving the old one.

As for me, of course I’ll miss this house too.  We never had any intentions of moving down to Cornwall, it was just convenient for us to come down here when we landed from Africa where my husband and I first met as volunteers.  He worked with the Ministry of Education and I was a Communications officer for an NGO in West Africa.  But I won’t bore you lovely folks with all the boring details of how we met, all I want to say is that, this little two-bed-terraced house was my first home in England almost a decade ago.  Our little family is closing an important chapter in our lives and hoping the next one will be as good, or even better than the one we are closing.  I almost feel like breaking into song “Should Old Acquaintance be forgot, and never brought upon, the flames of love extinguished and fully past and gone ….”   It certainly isn’t the new year, even the Chinese new year is over and done with, but we, our little family of three (four if you include Doc, five if you include Boots, our cat whom-we-have-yet-to-claim-back) is embarking on a new beginning.

Have you ever felt this way?

Ending a chapter in your life and opening another one?

Do share.

My word of the week is: Beginnings.

The Reading Residence


  1. We moved not long ago and I always find among all the planning and busyness that I hardly have time to think about missing the old house until we close the door. It’s an exciting adventure though.

    • I’m trying to focus on the exciting side of it. But you’re right, all this packing actually and being busy has sort of pushed the “sadness” part away. x

  2. When I moved out of my family to move in with my husband I was really sad. I lived in that house my whole life but since then I’ve never really settled. I think that’s the thing about renting though.

    • That’s what I felt about our current home. Never really felt settled, even though we did own it. Maybe because it’s not a house we both chose as husband and wife. This new house on the other hand, it’s something that we have both chosen.x

  3. Moving house is such an emotional upheaval – I was quite overwhelmed when we moved two years ago, and that wasn’t a house that we’d brought up a child in, or had any of those kind of attachments to. As a child though I don’t remember being particularly bothered by our house moves – I was just so excited to get my new bedroom! Best of luck with the move (and the unpacking at the other end!)

  4. I hope you will be happy in your new home….Moving is such a big deal especially when your old house holds so many memories x

  5. When we moved to our current house it was largely excitement that I felt and I felt at home straight-away here. We only moved a mile, so it wasn’t a huge upheaval either! I hope your move goes smoothly, exciting times ahead of you x Thanks for sharing with #WotW

    • We are only moving also within the area, so no major upheaval either. T will still go to the same school, thank goodness for that 🙂 The new house also feels like home already 🙂 x

  6. We will have moved house a year ago at the end of this month. I remember all to well the mixed feelings, boxes everywhere, fear mixed with excitement. It is a whole new adventure for you all. It probably won’t be without it’s ups and downs but what an exciting time you are all facing xx #wotw

    • I read all about that 😉 We are also going to do some renovations but not now. Will have to save up for it first 😉 x Love your bedroom renovation btw 🙂

  7. We moved every three years when I was a child. I don’t remember ever minding. In contrast, we have not moved house with the children at all. I do move the furniture around every year or so, so I guess old habits don’t die! Packing the books up was my favourite job. #WotW

    • I like to move furniture around too 🙂 I like packing the books too, but I dread unpacking!

  8. I think that I will feel the same when we eventally move ( we have been trying to move for over a year) The home we live in now use to be my late mums home and it is the house all three of my children came home from hospital too and took their first steps too. I think when a home has so many happy memories it is hard to leave, even when you are leaving for good reasons xx

    • That is so true about the happy memories. At the moment though I’m trying to focus on the excitement and thankful that being busy with packing will keep my mind off it for now at least. x

  9. Houses play such an important part in our lives I can understand why this is so significant for you. Good luck with the move, I hope it goes well

  10. There’s always mixed feelings when you move house. Houses are so much more than just bricks and mortar, they’re our sanctuaries and hold so many memories. Good luck with the move X

    • Thank you. I agree with you about it being a sanctuary and more than just a pile of bricks. That’s precisely the reason why I have bitter sweet feelings about the move. x

  11. I finally moved into my own home six years ago and am thankful every day 🙂 It is so exciting for you – I hope it all goes well. Kaz x

  12. When I was 16 we moved from my childhood home and I was devastated. It was the home I grew up in and even now (16 YEARS later) I still feel nostalgic for it. On paper it’s actually a pretty crappy house. The conservatory leaked and there was no central heating at all so you could see your breath in the winter and climbed into beds that felt slightly damp. However, the memories are what makes it so important. Since leaving that house I have never felt “at home” in another property. I always feel we could be moving on next year (and I’m right, private renting is uncertain). In fact, up to the age of 16 I had never moved. Now at 32 I have moved 10 times. I don’t think I will ever find a “home” again.

    Sorry. Didn’t mean to write an essay.

    • No worries at all! 🙂 The home you described certainly sounds like a childhood home – one that is special and filled with memories. Hopefully my daughter will remember the house she lived till she was 5. I think she will, especially since we’re not really moving far. Still in the area 🙂 x

  13. Awww yeah, as a child I felt like we were always moving.. and never managed to settle somewhere for too long. Been trying to resist my kids experiencing too much moving as I know that I didn’t like it, making friends, loosing friends, then having to make new ones again. Its suppose to be one of the most stressful things you an do ‘moving’. I hope it goes well for you guys hun xx

    • Thanks Sarah. That’s one of the reasons why we’re only moving in the area (apart from of course, we love it here). We don’t really want our daughter to change schools and have to start all over again. We don’t intend to move again till my husband retires and that’s a long time from now. He says he doesn’t plan to retire 😉 x

  14. Yay for moving! but it’s always bittersweet! you always get to keep the memories from your first house – make sure you dont forget to take photos before you leave!

    • Thanks for reminding me Charlotte! I’ve certainly taken pictures over the years, and a bit while packing. But will definitely take more 🙂 x

  15. It’s a chapter, isn’t it? We had three house moves in a little over four years due to a period of renting, but we’ve now got our own home. Each previous home was a stepping stone in our life / marriage. I hope this new chapter brings much happiness to you and your family!

  16. It’s such a strange feeling ending a chapter of our life isn’t it. You both mourn that life and have excitement for the new. It can be hard to adjust. Especially when you’ve made so many happy memories there and seen so many firsts. But your new house will be a place to make new memories and you’ll love it equally as much. I hope you one day get to move to Cornwall. (I may be biased as I live here) but it’s such a stunning family friendly place to live. xx

    • Oh Chloe, we do live in Cornwall… Not in the West, but North Cornwall 🙂 x

  17. I hate moving house with a passion so don’t envy you. We have been in our house 11 years now and its got to the stage where moving is necessity as we have no room for everyone

    • I dread unpacking. But like you said, we’re moving out of necessity too. Our current house is only a two-bed. While we only have one child, we desperately need the extra bedroom for a study. x

  18. My youngest has only lived in this house and she asks if we can move because she wants to see what it is like! I think it is because her siblings have lived somewhere else! I keep telling her this is our forever home!

    • The new house isn’t going to be our forever home. We’re planning one final move after this and then that’s it 😉

  19. Best of luck in your new home! We’re in the process of buying a house and are currently in limbo, not knowing whether we’ll have moved by the time baby girl arrives or not! We’ve started packing in order to be able to focus on baby when the time comes so I know what you mean about the empty shell xx

    • Oh no, best of luck! Hope the move is done before the baby arrives. xx

  20. Oh wishing you lots of luck with the move hun, I always found it so stressful, so I hope it is plain sailing for you x

  21. Aaah bless you lovely — it IS mixed isn’t it? I’ve always felt that with all the houses we’ve moved from — but mostly there’s an overriding feeling of excitement. Picking up the keys to a new house is SO exciting!! Running round all the rooms and exploring is one of my favourite things 🙂 Wishing you and your family lots of happiness in your new home!

  22. Best of luck with the new chapter in your life. I can relate to this post so very much as we left the house which we got engaged in, married in and then had our children in and up-sticks to a completely different part of the country. It is a new chapter, a new beginning.
    I hope yours all goes well and you’ll embark on some amazing adventures along the way

    • Thank you. I hope so too, although ours isn’t as drastic as yours. We’re just moving within the area. But so looking forward to making new memories in a new house. xx

  23. ah i completely understand.. New beginnings can be scary too.. and its such a big step x i wish you nothing but happiness in your new home x

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