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 circumstances, any time you are packing up all your worldly goods (read--old magazines, lamps you have been meaning to fix, kids’ drawings) and move them to a new residence is mind-boggling for even the most chipper and positive among us. When you've obtained your dream job—four states away--and your significant other has to leave their career, when life has tossed you a big curveball and you are essentially forced to move, when living independently is no longer possible---you must manage a lot of emotional ups and downs at the same time as the anxiety of the physical move to Little Rock.

One aggravation in moving is coping with the whims of the real estate business. You are a grown person, esteemed in your community, and your life is completely in the balance of several people you have never met--what if your home does not sell when you want it to? What if the people who put an offer on your house change their minds? What if they ask you to leave the washer & dryer and the kids' playset? What if the appraiser takes note of the crevice in the foundation that is kind of unseen behind the landscaping? What if the home inspector finds your new residence has a bad roof or there is a mall and travel plaza slotted for across the street from your new subdivision? Here is the reality. You have no control over any of these items. The best thing is to be sure that the realtor helping with your home and the realtor helping you with the new home are capable and do their jobs--and talk with both to have a back-up plan should something unexpected happen.

Consider real estate transactions a huge run of dominoes--closings usually depend on another closing happening as scheduled. One snafu several steps down the timeline can mess up your buyers timing, and the same thing goes for the residence you're buying—a last minute setback could mean you can't close when you were planning on, and you are up at night pondering how you are going to cope when you are homeless for a a couple days, or if you might be able to move into one of the moving company’s 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 nearly as many last-minute updates with your closings. You should learn of any potential concerns far ahead of your closing time, and in the event something does change, moving companies are very capable of working with changing time frames. If something 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 stress about these things.

Call your realtors and lender once a week prior to your scheduled closing to be sure all the inspections and repairs and other details are going as they should; being on top of it maintains at least a feeling of control, and if there is a hiccup you're not blindsided.

If something unexpected does occur, like if you're building and an out-of-stock supply has pushed back inspections and you don't have the occupancy certificate several days ahead of closing because the electrical isn't completed, AND you've got a rock solid close on your old home and the movers are lined up, don't panic. Most moving companies offer temporary or long-term storage until you can get into your new home, and your realtor can help you find short-term housing until your home is ready. Snafus like these are very common, but when they do crop up your stress levels skyrocket--so trust your team to help you find a remedy.

Moving - Moving BoxesThe Emotional Stages of Moving

So, you are moving to Little Rock--and it may be welcome, it could be a challenge. You might be going four blocks or three hundred miles away. Everybody's circumstances are unique, but people are pretty much the same--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from home to home. Some are kiddie sized, with happy animated cars to ride in, and others mirror a death-defying, nausea-inducing Loch Ness monster. The trick is to change that roller coaster into a peaceful ride with cheerful little people singing "It's A Small World" as you pass through your closets.

Some researchers and psychologists have linked 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 constructed a life in one place, it is very standard to have mixed emotions about selling the residence where you lovingly painted every room just the right color, where you brought your kiddos home, where you celebrated all those birthdays and other special occasions. If your move is not choice but an essentiality, it's fine to get mad at the state of affairs that have brought you to the location where you're vacating your house because you have no choice. Get mad, yell and scream at the walls and ask your family and friends for encouragement. Take some time attempting to formulate how to not have to relocate—perhaps your significant other could commute, or get an apartment in the new city; if you require assistance taking care of your house, you might consider getting live in help. Going through your options, as crazy as they could be, helps you work through the reality of moving so that it is a tad easier to accept it.

Then, you might spend a few 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 fudge a tad and say you are almost finished, when in actuality you've pitched two old socks and an empty bottle of hand soap and do not own a single box, yet. If you are really wrestling with the nitty gritty of purging and packing, allow your friends to assist. Or, ask your moving company to pack for you—many full-service movers have professional packers who can either get you going or do the full job for you.

Finally, you'll acknowledge the transition and change. It could not be the day the trucks get there, it might take a few months. But the human spirit is a resilient thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new locale in Little Rock. That's not to pretend it will be easy, but being accepting to start a new life and doing new things can ease the nostalgia for your old home and your old life.

Your family members will all cope with congruent feelings, although with fluctuating degrees of passion--teenagers’ reactions will most likely a bit more forceful than that of a toddler. If you're vacating your family home 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 remember that the emotional ups and downs are normal and it would be odd if you didn't get sad or angry or a little upset during the process.

Keeping your move in perspective is key to arriving to the new residence safe and sound. Your life isn't housed in the walls of your old house, your life is in the memories you've formed there. Don’t forget that you won't lose old friends, and that you'll meet new ones. And one day soon, you'll step in the front door and think to yourself, "I'm home."

Moving - Moving BoxesEasing the Transition

People are creatures of habit--even toddlers choose their cuddly stuffed animal and woe to you if it's in the washing machine at nap time. So, when you move, you are usually giving up many of your habits in place and even when you're looking forward to the new residence, the new life you have got to build around it is difficult to even the most even keel person. When you are moving and worried about creating a new life for you and your family in Little Rock, here are some suggestions to assist with the transition.

Get your family excited about the move to Little Rock. If this means agreeing that your teenage daughter can paint her favorite rock band’s newest album on her wall, put a smile on your face and get the paint. It may mean you finally have enough space for a dog—decide what sort of dog you would like, and as soon as the last box is unpacked, drive to the local shelter and find your new best friend. While you are at it, adopt two dogs, as the only thing better than saving one life, is saving two. Let your kids put up tents and camp out in that new yard. Of course, it's bribery of a sort, but it is all for the best and the thrill of new privileges and besides, puppies are hard to beat. And, if you are the one having a tough time with it, seeing your family doing well goes a long way to helping your mood.

When you're moving, the world-wide web (if you are older that expression means something to you) makes the trip a lot simplier. You probably scoured real estate websites to search for your new house and research schools and neighborhoods, so you have a adequate idea already of your new locale. Use social media to connect with people--towns of all sizes have mom groups that offer all kinds of things from dermatologist reviews to the best piano lessons--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 mow grass.

If you have kids, transitioning activities is lots more important to them than that orthodontist. Being able to hop right back into soccer or swimming lessons or dance keeps them in a routine and helps them assimilate into their new surroundings-the last thing you need is to have sulking children around the house grumbling that they hate you and don't have anyone to hang out with. And here is a fun bit of information—studies show that moving during the school year can be less stressful for new students than moving over the summer break. When you begin a new school at the start of the year it's easier to get looked over in the craziness of the new year , but when you start in the middle of the school year, it's more likely your kids will find friends more quickly and be more involved in school.

The loss of a sense of community can be the hardest part of a relocation for the adults. When you are used to swinging into a neighbor's house just because you know that she’s home, being in a new place where you do not know anyone is hard. Keep in mind that your new neighbors are probably interested in getting to know you, because they've likely said bye to their drive-by buddies and are looking forward to getting to know the new neighbors (aka – you!). Walking your dog is a good way to say hello to the neighbors--their curiosity about you is high, and this gives you a simple way to meet everyone.

Many 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. Most schools would love to have more volunteers, so ponder getting involved. And, if you're an affiliate of a national association like Rotary or Junior League your membership can be easily transferred.

Life changes are difficult, but by giving yourself and your loved ones the okay to be a bit sad about the past will aid everyone accept the future.

If you are planning 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.