The Psychology of Moving to Austin

by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

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

Moving is stressful—no matter the circumstances, any time you have to pack up all your cherished goods (read--old magazines, lamps you've been meaning to repair, kids’ drawings) and move them to a new home is overwhelming for even the most chipper and hopeful among us. When you have obtained your dream job—four states away--and your significant other will have to say goodbye to their career, when life has thrown you a big roadblock and you are essentially forced to move, when living alone is no longer possible---you have to handle a rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs at the same time as the anxiety of the actual move to Austin.

One of the biggest stressors in moving is understanding the whims of the real estate business. You are a grown person, esteemed in your community, and your life is completely in the hands of a bunch of people you've never met--what if your home doesn't sell? What if the buyers with the contract on your house decide they want to buy another house? What if they ask you to leave the washer & dryer and the kids' playset? Suppose the appraiser takes note of the crack in the foundation that is sort of unseen behind the landscaping? What if the home inspector discovers your new home has a wornout roof or there is a new bowling alley and travel plaza projected for across the road from your new neighborhood? Here's the reality. You have little say over any of these items. The best thing is to make sure that the realtor selling your house and the realtor helping you with the new house are capable and do their jobs--and communicate with both to have a back-up plan should something unexpected happen.

Real estate transactions are like a giant run of dominoes--closings usually are dependent upon another closing happening as scheduled. One hiccup six steps up the line can impact your buyers timetable, and a similar thing goes for the home you're purchasing—unexpected snag may mean you cannot close at the time that you had planned, and you're up at night pondering how it's going to feel to be 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.

Take a deep breath. One of the benefits of the recession is that real estate standards have changed and there aren't nearly as many last-minute surprises with your closings. You should find out about any probable problems far ahead of your closing time, and in the event something does vary, moving companies are super adept at working with changing schedules. If a setback does slow your move down, you could have the choice of moving in a few days before you actually close--again, a good realtor plans for contingencies, so you do not have to stress about them.

Talk to your realtors and lender once a week prior to your closing date to be sure all the inspections and repairs and specifics are going as they should; being in the know provides you at least a feeling of control, and if there is a glitch you're not hit unexpectedly.

If the worst does happen, like if you are building and weather has delayed inspections and you do not have the occupancy certificate several days prior to closing because the plumbing isn't finished, AND you've got fixed closing date on your old home and the movers are lined up, don't freak out. Most moving companies have temporary or long-term storage until you can get in your new home, and your realtor may be able to help you find short-term housing until your house is ready. Issues like these are unlikely, but when they do crop up your stress levels skyrocket--so rely on your team to help you deal with it.

Moving - Moving BoxesThe Emotional Stages of Moving

So, you are moving to Austin--and it could be desirable, it could be a challenge. You might be relocating four blocks or four hundred miles away. Everybody's situation is distinct, but people are pretty much similar--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from residence to house. Some are kiddie sized, with happy Disney cars to ride in, and others mirror a death-defying, nausea-producing Loch Ness monster. The accomplishment is to change that roller coaster into a mellow ride with cheerful little people humming "It's A Small World" as you float through your closets.

Some researchers and psychologists have likened moving--in any condition--to the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief model. Meaning, you encounter denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and then acceptance.

When you have created a life in one place, it is absolutely normal to have regrets about selling the house 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 a requirement, it's fine to rage at the state of affairs that have brought you to the location where you're leaving your house because there are no other choices. Be mad, shriek and whoop at the walls and ask your family and friends for encouragement. Take some time trying to formulate how to not have to move—maybe your significant other could commute, or rent a room in the new city; if you require help keeping house, you might consider getting live in help. Going through your options, as crazy as they might be, helps you think through the reality of moving so that it's a tad easier to accept it.

Then, you may spend a few days or weeks in denial, of sorts. This is when your friends ask if they can swing by and help you sort through your belongings, and you fabricate a tad and say you're nearly completed, when in fact you have pitched two old socks and a broken spatula and haven’t picked up the first box for packing. If you're really having a hard time with the details of purging and packing, allow your friends to assist. Or, ask your moving company to box things up for you—most full-service movers have professional packers who can either get you going or do the entire job for you.

In the end, you'll accept the transition and change. It might not be the day the trucks pull up, it might take a few months. But the human spirit is an adaptable thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new locale in Austin. That's not to pretend it will be easy, but being open to start a new life and attempting new things can ease the nostalgia for your old house and your old life.

Your family members might all have congruent feelings, although with varying degrees of ferocity--teenagers’ reactions will most likely a little more aggressive than that of a child. If you are vacating your family home for senior living because one spouse's health has declined more rapidly, then the more active spouse may go through more anger and denial. The important thing is to not forget that the emotional swings are normal and it would be weird if you didn't get sad or mad or a little upset during the process.

Keeping your move in perspective is critical to arriving to the new home in one piece. Your life isn't kept in the rooms of your old residence, 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 someday, you'll step inside of the front door and think to yourself, "I'm home."

Moving - Moving BoxesEasing the Transition

Most people are intrenched in habits--even toddlers pick their favorite stuffed animal and you’ll be in trouble if it's nowhere to be found at nap time. Likewise, when you move, you are most of the time changing up all your habits in place and even if you are pleased about the new house, the new life you have got to construct around it is challenging to even the most adventurous. When you're moving and concerned about establishing a new life for you and your family in Austin, here are some tips to help with the transition.

Get your family excited about the relocation to Austin. If this translates to agreeing that your teenage daughter can paint a life-size elephant on her wall, put a smile on your face and go purchase the paint. It may mean that at last you have enough yard for a dog—think about what kind of dog you want, and as soon as the last box is unpacked, head to the local shelter and find your new best friend. While you are at it, adopt two dogs, as your new furry friend could use a pal. Let your kids set up tents and camp out in that big backyard. Of course, it its bribery of a sort, but it's all for the best and the thrill of new privileges and besides, puppies are hard to beat. And, if you're the one having a tough time with it, seeing your family settling in goes a long way to helping your state of mind.

When you're moving, the world-wide web (if you're older that terminology means something to you) makes the trip a lot easier. You possibly used real estate websites to search for your new residence and analyze 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 suggest all kinds of things from pediatrician reviews to the best swim lessons--and remember that your new neighbors can be very helpful. Many neighborhoods have social media pages and online directories that tell you whose kids babysit, dog walk and mow grass.

If you have kiddos, transitioning activities is lots more crucial to them than that orthodontist. Being able to get right back into volleyball or piano lessons or ballet keeps them active and helps them fit into their new surroundings-the last thing you want is to have pouting children around the house complaining that they hate you and do not have any friends. And here is a fun tidbit—findings show that moving during the school year can be less stressful for children than moving over during the summer months. If you commence a new school at the beginning of the year it's more likely to get lost in the craziness of the new year , but when you come in in the middle of the school year, it is more likely your kids will find friends faster and get more interested in school.

The loss of a sense of community can be a tough part of a relocation for the grown-ups. When you're used to swinging into a neighbor's home just because it’s part of your routine, moving to a new locality where you don't know anyone is rough. Bear in mind that your new neighbors are probably interested in being friends with you, because they've 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 inquisitiveness about you is high, and this gives you an easy way to get to know everybody.

The majority of 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 welcome volunteers, so ponder getting involved. And, if you are an affiliate of a national club like Rotary or Junior League your membership transfer immediately brings you into a group.

Life changes are tough, but by granting yourself and your family the okay to be a little sad about the past will assist everyone accept the future.

If you are planning 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 seamless as possible.