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 difficult—notwithstanding the circumstances, any time you must pack up all your worldly goods (read--old college papers, lamps you have been meaning to fix, kids’ drawings) and move them to a new residence is staggering for even the most organized and positive among us. When you've obtained your dream job—five states away--and your significant other has to say goodbye to their career, when life has thrown you a huge 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 mature adult, valued in your community, and your life is completely in the balance of several people you have never met--what if your residence 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 demand 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 hidden behind the shrubbery? What if the home inspector discovers your new residence has a bad roof or there is a mall and travel plaza slotted for across the street from your new addition? Here is the truth. You have no say over any of these items. The best plan of attack is to make 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 emergency plan should something unexpected happen.

Real estate transactions are like 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 timeline, and the same thing goes for the residence you're buying—unexpected glitch may mean you can't close when you were planning on, and you are up at night thinking about 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.

Take a deep breath. One of the benefits of the recession is that real estate regulations have changed and there aren't nearly as many down-to-the-wire updates with your closings. You should learn of any possible concerns far before your closing time, and in the event something does change, moving companies are very adept at working with changing schedules. If something does slow your move down, you could have the alternative 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 make 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 dreadful 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 prior to closing because the plumbing isn't completed, AND you've got an immovable closing date on your old residence and the movers are lined up, don't panic. Most moving companies can provide 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 anxiety levels skyrocket--so trust your team to help you deal with it.

Moving - Moving BoxesThe Emotional Stages of Moving

So, you are moving to Little Rock--and it may be an exciting time, it could be a challenge. You may be going four blocks or three hundred miles away. Everybody's circumstances are different, but people are pretty much similar--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from residence 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 likened 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 created a life in one place, it is very natural to have regrets about moving from the house 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 a requirement, 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 assistance. Take some time attempting to figure out how to not have to relocate—perhaps your significant other could commute, or get an apartment in the new city; if you require assistance keeping house, you might consider getting live in help. Thinking through your options, as crazy as they could be, helps you work through the reality of moving so that it is a tad less painful 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 bit and say you are almost finished, when in actuality you've pitched two old socks and an empty bottle of hand soap and don't have a box to your name. If you are really wrestling with the nitty gritty of purging and packing, allow your friends to assist. Or, ask your moving company to box things up 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 an adaptable 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 create a new life and doing new things can ease the nostalgia for your old home and your old life.

Your family members might all cope with congruent feelings, although with fluctuating degrees of passion--teenagers’ reactions will most likely a tad 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 experience 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 contained 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 you’ll be in trouble if it's in the washing machine at nap time. So, when you move, you are most of the time giving up most of your habits in place and even when you're looking forward to the new home, the new life you have got to assemble around it is demanding to even the most courageous. When you are moving and worried about creating a new life for you and your family in Little Rock, here are some ways to help 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 could mean that at last you have enough space for a dog—decide what sort of dog would fit best with your family, 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 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 fixing 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 swim lessons--and don’t forget that your new neighbors are great resources. A lot of 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 dentist. 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 area-the last thing you need is to have sulking kiddos around the house grumbling that they hate you and don't have anyone to hang out with. And here is an interesting bit of information—studies show that moving during the school year can be easier on kids than moving over the summer break. When you commence 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 arrive 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 accustomed to swinging into a neighbor's home just because you know that she’s home, moving to 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 eagerness to learn about you is high, and this gives you a low-key way to meet everyone.

Many churches and synagogues have newcomers’ classes that welcome you and your family, and aid you to figure out 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 club 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 tad sad about the past will assist everyone look forward to 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 smooth as possible.