While it can be exciting to move to a new place, it can also oftentimes be bittersweet. From coordinating logistics to packing up your belongings and finding the right movers, staying on top of everything is a tall order.
Planning aside, you’ll also have to say goodbye to your dear neighbors and friends. And no doubt, you’ll experience mixed emotions. For many of us, our neighbors end up becoming an extension of our families, and it can be incredibly sad to leave them when you move away.
To make this part a little less painful, carve out time to properly say goodbye to those near and dear.
Host a Dinner
Before the craziness of packing consumes your time, host an intimate, casual dinner party to bid a farewell to your closest friends and neighbors. If you can swing it, host it in your home. If that’s too much for you, consider moving the gaiety to a different spot. Ask your neighbors if they can host a potluck dinner.
Throw a Party
Don’t have time to say goodbye to everyone individually? Have a party. If your house is a mess from all of the packing, rent out space at a local restaurant or bar, or ask your neighbors if you can have your going-away party there.
Dine at Your Favorite Restaurant
Part of leaving your old stomping grounds also means bidding adieu to some of your favorite eateries and local haunts. Kill two birds with one stone by booking a reservation at your favorite eatery for a small group of your friends. A smaller group makes it easier to have meaningful conversations with all of your friends. Plus, it’s lighter on your wallet.
Organize a Picnic
For something a tad more casual, invite your friends and neighbors to your local park for a picnic. Coordinate so everyone brings a tasty few dishes to share, libations, blankets, chairs, along with some activities for the kids. Bubbles, balls, and sticks of chalk are easy, fun, and lightweight options. It’ll keep the little ones occupied while you’re spending quality time with the grown-ups.
Schedule a Fun Activity
The majority of moving experiences are pretty grueling, with a never-ending to-do list. Create a plan with your neighbors to enjoy a fun activity together. This can be anything from an afternoon spent bowling, seeing a movie, or enjoying a wine-tasting together. It’s a great way to relieve any moving-day stress and have a blast with your neighbors.
Organize a Packing Party
We know, we know. Getting people to come over and work in their free time? Come on now. This one is really reserved for those really tight-knit neighbors. Invite your friends to come over where they can help you pack.
A little tip: Before they head over, have the items you’ll be donating or tossing away in separate piles. That way your friends can effectively help you to pack. Once the packing is done, order some takeout or invite them to your local diner to hang out and thank them for all of their hard work.
Host a Playdate for the Kids
Leaving friends is really hard for children, especially if you’ve lived in the same place for a long time. While it will take your little ones time to adjust to the move and to their new life, you can alleviate their sadness through a series of playdates prior to moving day. Figuring out a realistic plan with their friends’ parents could also help to ease up any sad or anxious feelings about your upcoming move.
Gift a Photo Album
If you’ve lived in the same place for a while, you’ll likely have tons of pictures or videos from shared moments. Organize a simple, keepsake photo album from Flickr or Shutterstock, and consider purchasing several books: one for you, and the others as gifts for your neighbors.
Write a Thoughtful Email
You may be super busy with the move, you might not have enough time to say goodbye to your buds in person. If that’s the case, writing a heartfelt, meaningful email or letter to your friends can be equally effective. Be sure to share your new contact details with everyone!
Plan to Meet Soon
No matter how you decide to say goodbye, it’s important to drum up ways to keep in touch. In today’s digital landscape, it’s easier than ever to continue to stay connected through social media and e-correspondence. If you won’t be moving terribly far away, put a date on the calendar to meet in the middle for coffee or drinks. Relocating cross-country? Make a point to plan an annual in-person meetup. Or, pick a regular time to Skype and/or FaceTime.
One of the more emotionally charged facets to moving is leaving dear neighbors behind. While it’s a sad part of any move, properly saying goodbye is a wonderful way to have some closure and celebrate your amazing friendship. It’s also a promise to enjoy new adventures together.