by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best
Moving is stressful—notwithstanding the conditions, any time you have to pack up all your cherished possessions (read--old magazines, lamps you have 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've landed your dream job—five states away--and your significant other has to leave their career, when life has thrown you a huge surprise and you are more or less forced to move, when living by yourself is no longer safe---you must handle a rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs along with the stress of the actual move to Little Rock.
One aggravation in moving is understanding the whims of the real estate business. You are a mature adult, valued in your community, and your life is utterly at the mercy of a bunch of people you have never met--what if your home does not sell when you want it to? What if the folks buying your house find a different house that they like better? What if they demand you to leave the curtains and the kids' swingset? What if the appraiser notices the rift in the foundation that's kind of covered behind the landscaping? Suppose the inspector uncovers your new home has a wornout roof or there's a gas station and travel plaza slotted for across the street from your new addition? Here is the deal. You have no say over any of these items. The best thing is to be sure that the realtor helping with your house and the realtor helping you buy the new residence are competent and do their jobs--and communicate with both to have a emergency plan should something get askew.
Real estate transactions are like a huge run of dominoes--closings usually depend on another closing happening on time. One blunder five steps up the timeline can have an impact on your buyers timeline, and a similar thing goes for the residence you are buying—a last minute snag might mean you cannot close when you were planning on, and you're up at 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 trucks and set up camp.
Calm down. One of the advantages of the recession is that real estate rules have changed and there are not the number of down-to-the-wire changes with your closings. You should learn of any potential problems far before your closing time, and if something does fluctuate, moving companies are very capable of working with changing timetables. If something does slow your move down, you may have the alternative of moving in a few days before you actually close--again, a good realtor plans for contingencies, so you do not have to fret about them.
Touch base with your realtors and lender once per week before your scheduled closing to make sure all the inspections and repairs and other details are going as planned; staying in the know gives you at least a feeling of control, and if there is a speedbump you're not caught unaware.
If something unexpected does occur, like if you are building and an out-of-stock supply has pushed back inspections and you don't have the occupancy certificate a few days prior to closing because the wiring is not completed, AND you have fixed closing date on your old house and the movers are slammed, don't panic. Most moving companies have temporary or long-term storage until you can get into your new residence, and your realtor may be able to assist you in finding short-term housing until your home is available. Problems like these are unlikely, but when they do occur your stress levels skyrocket--so trust your team to help you find a remedy.
The Emotional Stages of Moving
So, you are moving to Little Rock--and it could be welcome, it may be a challenge. You could be moving three blocks or five hundred miles away. Everyone’s circumstances are unique, but people are very much alike--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from home to house. Some are kiddie sized, with happy animated characters to ride in, and others parallel a death-defying, nausea-generating Loch Ness monster. The trick is to turn that roller coaster into a peaceful ride with happy little people singing "It's A Small World" as you sail through your closets.
Some researchers and psychologists have equated moving--in any circumstance--to the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief model. Meaning, you encounter denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.
When you've constructed a life in a single place, it is very natural to have mixed emotions about selling the residence where you called home after your honeymoon, where you brought your babies home, where you commemorated all those birthdays and graduations. If your move is not an option but necessity, it is okay to rage at the fates that have brought you to the location where you're moving from your residence because you have no other options. Be mad, wail and holler at the walls and rely on your family and friends for encouragement. Take some time attempting to figure out how to not have to move—maybe your spouse could commute, or get a crash pad in the new town; if you need help keeping house, you might consider getting live in help. Thinking through your choices, as crazy as they might be, helps you think through the reality of moving so that it's a tad more pleasant to accept it.
Then, you might spend a few days or weeks in denial, of sorts. This is when your friends ask if they might stop over and help you sort through stuff, and you fabricate a tad and say you are almost done, when in reality you have thrown out two matchbooks and an empty bottle of hand soap and haven’t picked up the first box for packing. If you are really having a hard time with the specifics of purging and packing, let your friends help. Or, ask your moving company to pack things up for you—many full-service movers have professional packers who can either get you started or do the entire job for you.
In the end, you will accept the transition and change. It could not be the day the moving vans pull up, it may take several months. But the human spirit is an adaptable thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new locale in Little Rock. That's not to say it will be simple, but being agreeable to create a new life and attempting new things can ease the nostalgia for your old residence and your old life.
Your family members could all cope with the same feelings, although with varying degrees of ferocity--teenagers’ reactions are going to be a little more bold than that of a child. If you're leaving your family abode 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 ups and downs are normal and it would be strange 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 housed in the walls of your old residence, your life is in the memories you have made there. Remember that you won't lose old friends, and that you'll make new ones. And someday, you'll open the front door and think to yourself, "I'm home."
Easing the Transition
People are creatures of habit--even young children pick their snuggly stuffed animal and you’ll be in trouble if it's in the wash at nap time. Likewise, when you move, you are usually changing up most of your habits in place and even when you are looking forward to the new house, the new life you've got to evolve around it is challenging to even the most even keel person. When you are moving and concerned about establishing a new life for you and your family in Little Rock, here are some tips to help with the transition.
Get your family enthusiastic about the move to Little Rock. 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 get the paint. It might mean that at last you have enough yard for a dog—figure out what sort of dog you want, and as soon as the last box is unpacked, head to the local shelter and get a new furry family member. While you are at it, adopt two dogs, as everybody needs a pal. Let your kids put up tents and camp out in that big backyard. Of course, it's bribery of a sort, but it's all for the greater good and the excitement of new experiences and besides, puppies are hard to beat. And, if you're the one having a hard time with it, seeing your family settling in goes a long way to improving your state of mind.
When you are moving, the world-wide web (if you are older that expression means something to you) makes the move a lot smoother. You most likely scoured real estate websites to search for your new home and analyze schools and neighborhoods, so you have a decent perception already of your new area. Use social media to connect with people--towns big and small have mom groups that provide all kinds of things from dermatologist reviews to the best yoga classes--and don’t forget 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 rake leaves.
If you have children, getting them into new activities is lots more vital to them than that pediatrician. Being able to hop right back into soccer or karate or dance keeps them on a schedule and helps them feel a part of their new community-the last thing you need is to have moping children around the home whining that they hate you and do not have anything to do. And here is a fascinating tidbit—findings show that moving in the middle of the school year is less stressful for children than moving over the summer break. If you begin a new school at the start of the year it's easier to get lost in the craziness of the new year , but when you arrive in the middle of the school year, it is more likely your kids will make friends more quickly and be more involved in school.
The loss of a feeling of community can be the hardest part of a relocation for the adults. When you are accustomed to stopping by a neighbor's abode just because you know that she’s home, going to a new place where you don't know anyone is hard. Remember that your new neighbors are most likely interested in meeting you, because they have probably 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 curiosity about you is high, and this provides you a simple way to get to know everybody.
Many churches and synagogues have newcomers’ groups that that you can join, and aid you to figure out how you fit within that community. Most schools love volunteers, so ponder getting involved. And, if you are a member of a national organization like Rotary or Junior League your membership will transfer from one city to the next.
Life changes are difficult, but by granting yourself and your family the okay to be a bit sad about the past will help everyone look forward to the future.
If you are contemplating 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.