family,  homes

What Makes a House a Home? – On The Move Series

I’ve been wrestling with this question a lot here lately. What makes a house a home? We have been in our London home for 14 years now. 



We adopted our girls and started a family, launched careers, paused careers, watched, helped, travelled, threw dozens of birthday parties and created moments to remember. We got sick, then got better. We made friends, lost friends, saw loved ones pass away. We planned, we sang, we cooked, we celebrated and we grieved. We grew together.

Now, we have grown to the point where we need to move.

We have outgrown out neighbourhood and our starter house. Actually, we stayed longer than we ever thought we would, but sometimes staying is more comfortable than the other option.

Right now, we need a bit more space, dedicated home business office space.  So about one month ago we committed to the process of moving. We’d been thinking about it for a couple of years, but life kept us busy and honestly moving is such an overwhelming task physically and emotionally.

In the past five years, since Thrifty Mommas Tips was launched, this home has been the backdrop for so many of my posts. Now it is in transition. I shared with you last month how we hired someone to gut the kitchen and renovate it so it will be ready for sale. I showed you my kitchen renovation reveal.

Now I am bringing you, dear readers, inside for a closer look at how we are getting ready for sale.

On the Move

What’s to know about that, you ask?

How can that possibly make a series? Well, here’s the scoop…when we started hunting for a new space I was randomly driving around town and scouting out homes we could move to – places I liked and could see us growing into. I had a few on my list before I connected with a real estate agent who informed me I was doing it backwards.

(Sometimes I get a wee bit excited and race forward regardless of the usual steps. That’s my journalism background. LOL) 

Finding Our Real Estate Agent

This same agent came through and asked for a time line. I told him I want my house sold by Christmas. Fingers crossed that may still be doable. I am hopeful.

Cosmetic Updates to Our Old House

Today we are painting. I hired someone to help paint all the bedrooms. All my earthly belongings are in the living room, and the basement, which are the only rooms we won’t touch here really. My house is in total disarray. It is very disorganizing to say the least. It kind of feels like the house is being deconstructed….then again maybe that’s just me feeling displaced and in transition. I spend a lot of time contemplating what makes a house a home lately. 


So follow along as I share what we are doing and how we are getting ready for sale. I have a few local partners who are helping us transition. StorageWorx in London is giving us a free month and a very good deal on a storage locker for the extras that were cluttering up our house. So I now have a 10 by 8 storage space there loaded up with our books and extra clothing. In fact, I have moved several of my Mom’s items there too. She had a fireplace we couldn’t sell, a bench and a loveseat.

Moving Chunky Pieces Out

This past week, One Extra Guy came by as part of StorageWorx package and moved the chunky furniture items to the storage locker. I went with StorageWorx because I knew them from a post I did earlier this year and I like the new, clean south London facility. Plus I love that this is a business place, with WiFi, conference space and some social media savvy. 

Memories Flooding Back

So what makes a house a home?

There are many more steps in the process, so stay tuned as I wrestle with moving my family. Sometimes, there are moments where I am gobsmacked still finding little traces of my Mom here in my house. Over the years she gifted me hundreds of cards. Hundreds. I have found every single one as I pack my clothing and books, photos, and furniture.

I am reminded at least twice a day still of how much she loved me and valued me as her daughter. These are both heartbreaking, comforting, and beautiful and I will never ever part with them. I found a pile of newspaper clippings my mother-in-law kept also of my very first bylines from when I started writing at The Kitchener-Waterloo Record. 


Life happens inside homes and the thing is, I can move my family and my memories, but little traces of each one of us remain here in the objects we bought and the rooms we shared. I know we are making the right choice for our family, and for career as well. But right isn’t always easy, is it?


Have you moved recently, with kids?

What tip do you have to share? 


This What Makes a House a Home – On the Move series will continue through 2014 and as long as it takes, so if you are a brand or a local business who wants to connect here to sponsor a post, or be part of this series please email me at I can give you some ideas of ways we can partner, or I can send you my rates for posting here. 

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Turning the Clock Back

    my husband and I were just talking about this last night. I am looking forward to retiring and moving to a new place but husband says he would miss living in the house we raised our kids in. Amazing how attached we get to our home!

  • Amiyrah Martin

    Moving is one of my least favorite things to do. We still don’t own our own home, but are looking forward to home ownership in 2014. I can’t wait to read your series and see how home selling works.


    We move a lot with formerly being in the Military and now the husband is finishing his last semester of college, so we are looking at another movie in the next few months. It can be hard on the family. But we always make sure we get the bedrooms set up quickly and the main living room. Once we have our refuge set up and our family space where we will spend time as a family together, it really helps to bring the place we are living to become more like our home.

  • Jenny Hodges

    We’re in the same boat. We’ve been in our house for 12 years and our babies were born AT HOME so I’m so attached to the house. But we’ve outgrown it and have just started getting bids for some remodeling so we can get it ready for sale!