by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best
Moving is tough—notwithstanding the situation, any time you must pack up all your cherished possessions (read--old magazines, items you have been meaning to repair, kids’ popcicle stick snowflakes) and move them to a new residence is mind-boggling for even the most chipper and hopeful among us. When you have landed your dream job—four states away--and your significant other will have to leave their career, when life has tossed you a big surprise and you are essentially given no choice but to move, when living by yourself is no longer safe---you've got to handle a rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs at the same time as the stress of the actual move to Austin.
One of the biggest stressors in moving is getting a handle on the whims of the real estate business. You're a successful adult, esteemed in your town, and your life is completely in the hands of several people you have never met--what if your house does not sell? What if the people buying your house change their minds? Suppose they ask you to leave the curtains and the kids' sandbox? What if the appraiser notices the crevice in the foundation that is sort of unseen behind the landscaping? Suppose the home inspector uncovers your new house has a leaky roof or there's a mall and travel plaza planned for across the road from your new addition? Here is the reality. You have no say over any of these items. The best you can do is to make sure that the realtor helping with your house and the realtor helping you with the new house are competent and do what they are supposed to do--and communicate with both to have a emergency plan should something get askew.
Think about real estate transactions as a long run of dominoes--closings usually are dependent upon another closing happening as scheduled. One snafu six steps down the line can have an impact on your buyers timetable, and a similar thing goes for the house you are moving to—unexpected setback might mean you cannot close when you had planned, and you're up all night pondering how you will handle being homeless for a few days, or if you might just move into one of the moving company’s moving trucks and set up camp.
Calm down. One of the benefits of the recession is that real estate regulations have changed and there aren't quite as many down-to-the-wire surprises with your closings. You should discover any potential issues days before your closing date, and in case that something does change, moving companies are wonderfully adept at working with changing timetables. If a setback does slow things down, you may have the alternative of moving in a few days before you actually close--again, a good realtor thinks about contingencies, so you do not have to fret about them.
Communicate with your realtors and lender once a week leading up to your scheduled closing to be sure all the inspections and repairs and whatnot are going as they should; staying in the know maintains at least a feeling of control, and if there is a speedbump you are not blindsided.
If something dreadful does take place, like if you are building and an out-of-stock supply has delayed inspections and you do not have the occupancy certificate three days prior to closing because the electrical isn't completed, AND you've got fixed closing date on your old home and the movers are booked up, do not freak out. Most moving companies have temporary or long-term storage until you can move in your new house, and your realtor may be able to assist you in finding short-term housing until your residence is ready. Snafus like these are not likely, but when they do arise your anxiety levels skyrocket--so count on your team to help you deal with it.
The Emotional Stages of Moving
So, you're moving to Austin--and it may be desirable, it could be a challenge. You could be going four blocks or five hundred miles away. Everybody's scenario is different, but people are very much alike--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from residence to residence. Some are kiddie sized, with happy animated cars to ride in, and others mirror a gravity-defying, nausea-inducing Loch Ness monster. The accomplishment is to turn that roller coaster into a smooth ride with happy little people humming "It's A Small World" as you sail through your closets.
Some researchers and psychologists have likened moving--in any situation--to the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief model. In other words, you feel denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and then acceptance.
When you have built a life in a single place, it is absolutely natural to have mixed feelings about leaving the home where you called home after your honeymoon, where you brought your kiddos home, where you observed all those birthdays and anniversaries. If your move is not choice but a requirement, it is fine to rage at the state of affairs that have deposited you at the crossroads where you are moving from your residence because there are no other choices. Get mad, shriek and holler at the walls and lean on your family and friends for assistance. Spend some time trying to figure out how to not have to relocate—maybe your significant other could commute, or rent a crash pad in the new locale; if you require assistance keeping up with your house, you might consider getting live in help. Working through your options, as far out as they might be, helps you work through the reality of moving so that it's a bit easier to accept it.
Then, you can spend a couple days or weeks in denial, of sorts. This is when your friends ask if they should stop over and help you go through stuff, and you fudge a little and say you are almost finished, when in actuality 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 are really wrestling with the details of purging and packing, have your family help you. Or, ask your moving company to pack things up 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 will accept the transition and change. It could not be the moment the moving trucks get there, it could take several months. But the human spirit is a resilient thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new abode in Austin. That's not to pretend it will be easy, but being accepting to start a new life and doing new activities can ease the nostalgia for your old house and your old life.
Your family members could all cope with similar feelings, although with fluctuating degrees of passion--teenagers’ reactions will probably be a bit more bold than that of a child. If you're vacating your family house for senior living because one spouse is not doing well, then the more active spouse may feel more anger and denial. The important thing is to keep in mind that the emotional twists and turns are normal and it would be weird if you did not get sad or angry or a little anxious during the process.
Keeping your move in perspective is vital to arriving to the new home in one piece. Your life is not contained in the rooms of your old home, your life is in the memories you have made there. Remember that you will not lose old friends, and that you will meet new ones. And one day soon, you will step in the front door and think to yourself, "I am home."
Easing the Transition
People are creatures of habit--even young children pick their favorite stuffed animal and there’ll be a small catastrophe if it's nowhere to be found at nap time. Likewise, when you move, you're lots of times changing up most of your habits in place and even if you are excited about the new home, the new life you have got to evolve around it is challenging to even the most even keel person. When you are moving and worried about establishing a new life for you and your family in Austin, here are some ways to help with the transition.
Get your family enthusiastic about the relocation to Austin. If this means agreeing that your teenage daughter can paint her favorite rock band’s newest album on her wall, grit your teeth and go buy the paint. It could mean that at last you have enough yard for a dog—think about what sort of dog you want, and as soon as everything is unpacked, go to the local shelter and find your new best friend. Plan to bring home two, as your new furry friend could use a pal. Let your kids put up tents and camp out in that new yard. Of course, it's bribery of a sort, but it's all for the greater good and the thrill of new privileges and besides, puppies are hard to beat. And, if you're the one having a difficult time with it, seeing your family settling in goes a long way to helping your state of mind.
When you are moving, the information superhighway (if you are older that expression means something to you) makes the trip a lot easier. You most likely used real estate websites to search for your new residence and analyze schools and neighborhoods, so you have a decent idea already of your new area. Use social media to link up with people--towns big and small have mom groups that suggest everything from dentist reviews to the best piano lessons--and don’t 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, getting them into new activities is much more vital to them than that pediatrician. Being able to get right back into volleyball or piano lessons or gymnastics keeps them on a schedule and helps them fit into their new surroundings-the last thing you want is to have pouting children around the home grumbling that they hate you and do not have anything to do. And here's a fun fact—studies show that moving during the school year can be easier on kids than moving over the summer break. If you start a new school at the start of the year it's easier to get looked over in the turmoil of the new year , but when you come in when school's in session, it's more likely your kids will find friends more quickly and get more involved in school.
The loss of a sense of security can be a tough part of a relocation for the adults. When you're in the habit of swinging into a neighbor's abode just because it’s part of your routine, going to a new place where you don't know a soul is hard. Remember that your new neighbors are probably interested in being friends with you, because they have possibly said adios 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 good way to meet the neighbors--their eagerness to learn about you is high, and this provides you a simple way to get to know everyone.
Most churches and synagogues have newcomers’ classes that you and your family can be a part of, and aid you to discover how you fit within that community. Many schools welcome volunteers, so ponder getting involved. And, if you are part of a national club like Rotary or Junior League your membership transfer immediately brings you into a group.
Life changes are hard, but by granting yourself and your loved ones the okay to be a bit sad about the past will assist 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 Austin as smooth as possible.