by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best
Moving is stressful—regardless of the conditions, any time you are packing up all your treasured belongings (read--old books, things you have been meaning to fix, kids’ art projects) and move them to a new home is mind-boggling for even the most lively and optimistic among us. When you have obtained your dream job—five states away--and your spouse has to leave their career, when life has thrown you a huge curveball and you're essentially forced to move, when living alone is no longer possible---you must handle a lot of emotional ups and downs at the same time as the stress of the physical move to Little Rock.
One of the biggest stressors in moving is understanding the whims of the real estate business. You're a mature adult, esteemed in your town, and your life is totally in the balance of some people you have never met--what if your residence doesn't sell quickly? Suppose the buyers who put an offer on your house find a different house that they like better? What if they decide they want you to leave the refrigerator and the kids' sandbox? What if the appraiser sees the rift in the foundation that is kind of hidden behind the shrubbery? What if the inspector discovers your new house has a leaky roof or there is a gas station and travel plaza projected for across the road from your new neighborhood? Here is the deal. You have little control over any of these items. The best plan of attack is to ensure that the realtor helping with your residence and the realtor helping you buy the new residence are competent and do what they are supposed to do--and work with both to have a back-up plan should something go off course.
Think about real estate transactions as a huge run of dominoes--closings usually depend on another closing happening on time. One blunder six steps down the line can impact your buyers timeline, and a similar thing goes for the home you're purchasing—a last minute glitch might mean you can't close on the day that you were planning on, and you're up at night wondering how you are going to cope when you are homeless for a a couple days, or if you might just move into one of the moving company’s moving vans and set up camp.
Relax. One of the advantages of the recession is that real estate standards have changed and there are not quite as many eleventh hour changes with your closings. You should discover any potential problems far ahead of your closing date, and in the event something does change, moving companies are super adept at working with changing time frames. If an issue does slow your move down, you could have the option of moving in a few days prior to when you actually close--again, a good realtor plans for contingencies, so you do not have to fret about these things.
Communicate with your realtors and lender once per week leading up to your closing date to be sure all the inspections and repairs and whatnot are going as they should; staying in the know provides you at least a feeling of control, and if there is a glitch you're not surprised.
If something unexpected does happen, like if you're building and an out-of-stock supply has pushed back inspections and you do not have the occupancy certificate several days before you close because the plumbing is not completed, AND you have a rock solid close on your old house and the movers are slammed, do not panic. Most moving companies offer temporary or long-term storage until you can move in your new house, and your realtor can help you find short-term housing until your house is accessible. Issues like these are very common, but when they do arise your anxiety levels skyrocket--so trust your team to help you find a remedy.
The Emotional Stages of Moving
So, you're moving to Little Rock--and it might be desirable, it may be a challenge. You might be moving three blocks or three hundred miles away. Everyone’s situation is unique, but people are very much similar--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from house to home. Some are kiddie sized, with happy animated characters to ride in, and others resemble a gravity-defying, nausea-producing Loch Ness monster. The feat is to change that roller coaster into a mellow ride with cheerful little people humming "It's A Small World" as you pass through your closets.
Some researchers and psychologists have equated moving--in any situation--to the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief model. That is, you experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.
When you've created a life in a single place, it's totally standard to have regrets about moving from the home where you called home after your honeymoon, where you brought your kids home, where you celebrated all those birthdays and graduations. If your move is not choice but an essentiality, it is okay to get mad at the circumstances that have deposited you at the crossroads where you are vacating your residence because you have no other options. Get mad, shriek and scream at the walls and ask your family and friends for assistance. Spend some time attempting to think about how to not have to relocate—perhaps your spouse could commute, or rent a room in the new town; if you require help taking care of your house, you might be able to get live in help. Going through your alternatives, as far out as they might be, helps you think through the reality of moving so that it's a bit more pleasant to accept it.
Then, you might spend a few days or weeks in denial, of sorts. This is when your relatives ask if they can come over and help you sift through stuff, and you fabricate a tad and say you are nearly finished, when in fact you've thrown out two dried up ink pens and one pair of those disposable pedicure flip flops and do not own a single box, yet. If you're really wrestling with the nitty gritty of purging and packing, have your family help you. Or, ask your moving company to pack for you—the majority of full-service movers have professional packers who can either get you started or do the full job for you.
In the end, you'll acknowledge the transition and change. It could not be the day the moving trucks pull up, it might take several months. But the human spirit is an adaptable thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new abode in Little Rock. That is not to say it will be easy, but being agreeable to start a new life and trying new activities can ease the nostalgia for your old home and your old life.
Your family members could all experience similar feelings, although with fluctuating degrees of fervor--teenagers’ reactions are going to be a little more aggressive than that of a child. If you are leaving your family abode for senior living because one spouse's health has declined more rapidly, then the more active spouse may feel more anger and denial. The important thing is to not forget that the emotional twists and turns are normal and it would be odd if you did not feel sad or angry or a little upset during the move.
Keeping your move in perspective is critical to getting to the new house relatively unscathed. Your life isn't housed in the walls of your old house, your life is in the memories you have created there. Remember that you won't lose old friends, and that you will meet new ones. And one day, you'll open the front door and say to yourself, "I'm home."
Easing the Transition
People have habitual behavior ingrained in them--even young children choose their cuddly stuffed animal and you’ll be in trouble if it is in the wash at nap time. Likewise, when you move, you're usually changing up most of your habits in place and even when you are looking forward to the new house, the new life you have got to construct around it is difficult to even the most adventurous. When you are moving and worried about establishing a new life for you and your family in Little Rock, here are some tips to ease the transition.
Get your family enthusiastic about the relocation to Little Rock. If this means agreeing that your teenage daughter can paint her room black, grit your teeth and go buy the paint. It could mean that finally you have a big enough backyard for a dog—think about what sort of dog you want, and as soon as the last box is unpacked, drive to the local shelter and pick one out. While you are at it, adopt two dogs, as everybody needs a pal. Let your boys set up tents and camp out in that big backyard. Yes, it its bribery of a sort, but it is all for the best and the thrill of new privileges and besides, puppies are a surefire way to put a smile on everyone’s face. And, if you are the one having a hard time with it, seeing your family settling in goes a long way to fixing your spirits.
When you're moving, the world-wide web (if you're older that expression makes sense to you) makes the move a lot easier. You most likely scoured real estate websites to search for your new house and research schools and neighborhoods, so you have a decent view already of your new area. Use social media to connect with people--towns of every size have mom groups that provide all kinds of things from dermatologist reviews to the best yoga classes--and do not forget that your new neighbors are great resources. Lots of neighborhoods have websites and online listings that tell you whose kids babysit, dog walk and shovel snow.
If you have children, transitioning activities is much more crucial to them than that dentist. Being able to get right back into volleyball or karate or dance keeps them in a routine and helps them assimilate into their new area-the last thing you need is to have sulking children around the house grumbling that they hate you and do not have anyone to hang out with. And here is a fascinating fact—studies show that moving in the middle of the school year is smoother for children than moving over the summer break. When you commence a new school at the start of the year it is easier to get looked over in the crowd , but when you start when school's in session, it is more likely your kids will find friends faster and be more involved in school.
The loss of a feeling of security can be a tough part of a relocation for the adults. When you're in the habit of stopping by a neighbor's home just because you know that she’s home, moving to a new place where you don't know anyone is hard. Remember that your new neighbors are probably interested in getting to know you, because they've possibly said goodbye to their drive-by buddies and are looking forward to getting to know the new neighbors (aka – you!). Taking the dog for a walk is a great way to run into the neighbors--their eagerness to learn about you is high, and this gives you a simple way to get to know everyone.
Most churches and synagogues have newcomers’ gatherings that you and your family can be a part of, and aid you to discover how you fit within that community. Many schools love volunteers, so ponder getting involved. And, if you're a member of a national club such as Rotary or Junior League your membership can be easily transferred.
Life changes are difficult, but by giving yourself and your family the okay to be a tad sad about the past will help everyone embrace the future.
If you are getting ready for a move, contact A-1 Freeman Moving Group to get started on your free in-home estimate. We promise to do our part to make your move to Little Rock as smooth as possible.