The Psychology of Moving to Little Rock

by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Moving - Moving BoxesPrepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best

Moving is stressful—notwithstanding the conditions, any time you are packing up all your treasured goods (read--old college papers, lamps you've been meaning to repair, kids’ popcicle stick snowflakes) and move them to a new house is overwhelming for even the most organized and positive among us. When you've obtained your dream job—five states away--and your spouse has to say goodbye to their career, when life has thrown you a big surprise and you're basically forced to move, when living alone is no longer possible---you have to handle a rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs alongside the tension of the actual move to Little Rock.

One of the biggest stressors in moving is understanding the whims of the real estate business. You're a grown person, valued in your community, and your life is utterly in the hands of some people you have never met--what if your home doesn't sell quickly? Suppose the buyers who put an offer on your house change their minds? What if they decide they want you to leave the washer & dryer and the kids' playset? What if the appraiser sees the crevice in the foundation that is kind of hidden behind the shrubs? Suppose the home inspector finds your new residence has a bad roof or there's a mall and travel plaza planned for across the street from your new neighborhood? Here's the deal. You have no control over any of these things. The best you can do is to ensure that the realtor selling your residence and the realtor helping you buy the new home are knowledgeable and do what they are supposed to do--and talk with both to have a back-up plan should something go awry.

Real estate transactions are like a long run of dominoes--closings usually are dependent upon another closing happening on time. One snafu several steps up the timeline can impact your buyers timing, and the same thing goes for the residence you are purchasing—unforeseen glitch may mean you can't close at the time that you had planned, and you are up all night thinking about how you will handle being homeless for a a couple days, or if you could just move into one of the moving company’s moving trucks and set up camp.

Take a deep breath. One of the perks of the recession is that real estate standards have changed and there are not quite as many last-minute updates with your closings. You should learn of any probable issues far in advance of your closing time, and in the event something does vary, moving companies are wonderfully capable of working with changing timetables. If an issue does slow your move down, you could have the choice of moving in a few days before you actually close--again, a good realtor thinks about contingencies, so you don't have to worry about these things.

Talk to your realtors and lender once per week prior to your closing date to make sure all the inspections and repairs and other details are going as planned; being in the know maintains at least a feeling of control, and if there is a speedbump you're not surprised.

If something dreadful does occur, like if you are building and an out-of-stock supply has postponed inspections and you do not have the occupancy certificate several days ahead of closing because the plumbing isn't completed, AND you have a rock solid close on your old residence and the movers are slammed, do not lose it. Most moving companies have temporary or long-term storage until you can get in your new residence, and your realtor can help you find short-term housing until your residence is available. Snafus like these are not likely, but when they do occur your anxiety levels skyrocket--so trust your team to help you figure it out.

Moving - Moving BoxesThe Emotional Stages of Moving

So, you're moving to Little Rock--and it may be an exciting time, it might be a challenge. You might be relocating five blocks or four hundred miles away. Everybody's circumstances are different, but people are mostly the same--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from residence to home. Some are kiddie sized, with happy animated characters to ride in, and others mirror a gravity-defying, nausea-producing Loch Ness monster. The feat is to change that roller coaster into a mellow ride with happy little people humming "It's A Small World" as you float through your closets.

Some researchers and psychologists have equated moving--in any condition--to the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief model. That is, you experience denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.

When you have created a life in one place, it's totally standard to have regrets about moving from the home where you lovingly painted every room just the right color, where you brought your kids home, where you observed all those birthdays and graduations. If your move is not choice but necessity, it is alright to get mad at the circumstances that have brought you to the crossroads where you're leaving your home because you have no choice. Get furious, wail and scream at the walls and rely on your family and friends for assistance. Take some time attempting to formulate how to not have to move—maybe your spouse could commute, or rent an apartment in the new city; if you need assistance keeping house, you could get live in help. Working through your choices, as far out as they may be, helps you work through the reality of moving so that it's a bit easier to accept it.

Then, you might spend a couple days or weeks in denial, of sorts. This is when your friends ask if they can swing by and help you sift through stuff, and you fib a tad and say you're nearly done, when in reality you have tossed out two dried up ink pens and an empty bottle of hand soap and don't have a box to your name. If you're really wrestling with the nitty gritty of purging and packing, let your friends help. Or, ask your moving company to pack things up for you—most full-service movers have professional packers who can either get you going or do the full job for you.

In the end, you'll accept the transition and change. It may not be the day the moving vans arrive, it could take a couple months. But the human spirit is buoyant thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new surroundings in Little Rock. That's not to pretend it will be simple, but being accepting to start a new life and doing new activities can ease the nostalgia for your old home and your old life.

The members of your family will all have the same feelings, although with different degrees of fervor--teenagers’ reactions will probably be a bit more bold than that of a younger child. If you are moving from your family home for senior living because one spouse is not doing well, then the more active spouse may go through more anger and denial. The important thing is to not forget that the emotional twists and turns are normal and it would be strange if you didn't feel sad or angry or a little crazy during the move.

Keeping your move in perspective is vital to arriving to the new residence in one piece. Your life isn't kept in the walls of your old home, your life is in the memories you have formed there. Don’t forget that you will not lose old friends, and that you'll make new ones. And one day soon, you'll step in the front door and say to yourself, "I'm home."

Moving - Moving BoxesEasing the Transition

Most people are intrenched in habits--even young children pick their snuggly stuffed animal and there’ll be a small catastrophe if it is nowhere to be found at nap time. So, when you move, you're usually shaking up all your habits in place and even when you are pleased about the new house, the new life you have got to assemble around it is difficult to even the most adventurous. When you're moving and concerned about forging a new life for you and your family in Little Rock, here are some tips to assist with the transition.

Get your family pumped up about the move to Little Rock. If this deciphers to agreeing that your teenage daughter can paint a life-size elephant on her wall, grit your teeth and go purchase the paint. It could mean you finally have enough yard for a dog—think about what sort of dog would fit best with your family, 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 the only thing better than saving one life, is saving two. Let your boys pitch tents and camp out in that new yard. Yes, it's bribery of a sort, but it is all for the greater good and the thrill of new privileges and besides, puppies are a surefire way to put a smile on everyone’s face. And, if you're the one having a difficult time with it, seeing your family settling in goes a long way to improving your mood.

When you're moving, the world-wide web (if you're older that expression makes sense to you) makes the trip a lot smoother. You probably utilized real estate websites to find your new home and analyze schools and neighborhoods, so you have a pretty good idea already of your new bubble. Use social media to connect with people--towns of every size have mom groups that offer all types of things from pediatrician reviews to the best swim lessons--and do not forget that your new neighbors are great resources. A lot of neighborhoods have websites and online directories that tell you whose kids babysit, dog walk and mow grass.

If you have kiddos, finding new activities is a lot more important to them than that orthodontist. Being able to get right back into volleyball or piano lessons or gymnastics keeps them on a schedule and helps them feel a part of their new surroundings-the last thing you need is to have moping children around the house complaining that they hate you and don't have anything to do. And here's an interesting bit of information—findings show that moving in the middle of the school year is easier on kids than moving over during the summer months. If you commence a new school at the beginning of the year it's easier to get lost in the crowd , but when you start in the middle of the school year, it's more probable your kids will meet friends more quickly and be more involved in school.

The loss of a sense of acceptance can be a tough part of a relocation for the adults. When you're in the habit of swinging into a neighbor's house just because it’s part of your routine, being in a new locality where you do not know anyone is rough. Keep in mind that your new neighbors are probably interested in being friends with you, because they've probably said adios to their drive-by buddies and are wanting to meet the new neighbors (aka – you!). Taking the dog for a walk is a sure-fire way to say hello to the neighbors--their curiosity about you is high, and this gives you an easy way to get to know everyone.

The majority of churches and synagogues have newcomers’ classes that welcome you and your family, and assist you to figure out how you fit within that community. The majority of schools love volunteers, so think about getting involved. And, if you're an affiliate of a national association like Rotary or Junior League your membership transfer immediately brings you into a group.

Life changes are hard, but by granting yourself and your family the okay to be a bit sad about the past will aid everyone embrace the future.

If you are getting ready for a move, contact A-1 Freeman Moving Group to begin on your free in-home estimate. We promise to do our part to make your move to Little Rock as seamless as possible.