The Psychology of Moving to El Paso

by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

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

Moving is difficult—regardless of the conditions, any time you have to pack up all your cherished belongings (read--old magazines, lamps you have been meaning to fix, kids’ art projects) and move them to a new home is staggering for even the most organized and positive among us. When you have obtained your dream job—five states away--and your significant other will have to vacate their career, when life has tossed you a big curveball and you are more or less forced to move, when living by yourself is no longer safe---you must handle a bunch of emotional ups and downs at the same time as the anxiety of the physical move to El Paso.

One of the biggest stressors 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 utterly in the balance of several people you've never met--what if your house doesn't sell when you want it to? Suppose the people who put an offer on your house decide they want to buy another house? Suppose they demand you to leave the refrigerator and the kids' playset? What if the appraiser takes note of the crack in the foundation that's sort of hidden behind the hedge? Suppose the inspector uncovers your new residence has a bad roof or there's a new bowling alley and travel plaza slotted for across the road from your new subdivision? Here's the reality. You have little authority over any of these items. The best thing is to ensure that the realtor selling your house and the realtor helping you with the new home are skilled and do their jobs--and talk with both to have a emergency plan should something get askew.

Think about real estate transactions as a giant run of dominoes--closings usually depend on another closing going as planned. One snafu several steps up the timeline can impact your buyers timetable, and the same thing goes for the house you're purchasing—unexpected mishap might mean you can't close on the day that you had planned, and you're up all night wondering how you are going to cope when you are homeless for a few days, or if you could just move into one of the moving company’s trucks and set up camp.

Relax. One of the perks of the recession is that real estate rules have changed and there aren't quite as many down-to-the-wire surprises with your closings. You should discover any probable concerns days ahead of your closing date, and in the event something does change, moving companies are wonderfully adept at working with changing schedules. If something does slow things down, you should have the choice of moving in a few days prior to when you actually close--again, a good realtor thinks about contingencies, so you do not have to fret about these things.

Communicate with your realtors and lender once a week prior to your scheduled closing to be sure all the inspections and repairs and whatnot are on schedule; keeping in the know provides you at least a feeling of control, and if there is a hiccup you're not caught unaware.

If the worst does occur, like if you are building and weather has pushed back inspections and you don't have the occupancy certificate a few days prior to closing because the wiring isn't completed, AND you've got fixed closing date on your old house and the movers are slammed, don't lose it. Most moving companies have temporary or long-term storage until you can get in your new house, and your realtor can aid you in finding short-term housing until your residence is available. Issues like these are very common, but when they do occur your anxiety levels skyrocket--so depend on your team to help you figure it out.

Moving - Moving BoxesThe Emotional Stages of Moving

So, you're moving to El Paso--and it might be welcome, it might be a challenge. You may be moving three blocks or four hundred miles away. Everybody's situation is different, but people are pretty much the same--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from house to house. Some are kiddie sized, with happy Disney cars to ride in, and others resemble a gravity-defying, nausea-producing 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 float through your closets.

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

When you've built a life in one place, it is totally normal to have mixed emotions about leaving the residence where you called home after your honeymoon, where you brought your kids home, where you commemorated all those birthdays and graduations. If your move is not an option but a requirement, it's okay to be angry with the state of affairs that have brought you to the crossroads where you're moving from your house because you have no other options. Be mad, shriek and whoop at the walls and rely on your family and friends for support. Take some time attempting to figure out how to not have to move—maybe your spouse could commute, or rent a crash pad in the new town; if you need assistance keeping up with your house, you might be able to get live in help. Thinking through your options, as insane as they could be, helps you work through the reality of moving so that it is a bit easier to accept it.

Then, you might spend a couple days or weeks in denial, of sorts. This is when your relatives ask if they can stop over and help you go through your things, and you fib a tad and say you are almost completed, when in reality you've pitched two old socks and a broken spatula and haven’t picked up the first box for packing. If you are really having a hard time with the details of purging and packing, let your friends help. 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 entire job for you.

Finally, you will accept the transition and change. It could not be the moment the moving trucks arrive, it may take several months. But the human spirit is a resilient thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new abode in El Paso. That is not to say it will be simple, but being willing to create a new life and doing new things can ease the nostalgia for your old house and your old life.

Your family members could all experience congruent feelings, although with varying degrees of intensity--teenagers’ reactions will most likely a bit more forceful than that of a toddler. If you're moving from your family home for senior living because one spouse's health has declined more rapidly, then the more active spouse may experience more anger and denial. The important thing is to not forget that the emotional twists and turns are normal and it would be odd if you didn't feel sad or angry or a little upset during the process.

Keeping your move in perspective is vital 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 created there. Don’t forget that you will not lose old friends, and that you'll make new ones. And one day soon, you will step in the front door and think to yourself, "I'm home."

Moving - Moving BoxesEasing the Transition

People have habitual behavior ingrained in them--even toddlers choose their cuddly stuffed animal and there’ll be a small catastrophe if it's in the washing machine at nap time. So, when you move, you're usually shaking up all your habits in place and even when you're pleased about the new home, the new life you have got to build around it is difficult to even the most courageous. When you're moving and worried about establishing a new life for you and your family in El Paso, here are some tips to assist with the transition.

Get your family excited about the move to El Paso. If this translates to agreeing that your teenage daughter can paint her room black, put a smile on your face and go purchase the paint. It could mean that at last you have enough yard for a dog—think about what kind of dog you want, and as soon as everything is unpacked, drive to the local shelter and pick one out. Plan to bring home two, as everybody needs a pal. Let your kids put up tents and camp out in that big backyard. Of course, it its bribery of a sort, but it's all for the greater good and the excitement of new experiences and besides, puppies are a surefire way to put a smile on everyone’s face. And, if you are the one having a tough time with it, seeing your family settling in goes a long way to improving your mood.

When you're moving, the information superhighway (if you're older that terminology means something to you) makes the trip a lot easier. You most likely scoured real estate websites to find your new house and investigate schools and neighborhoods, so you have a decent perception already of your new area. Use social media to connect with people--towns of all sizes have mom groups that provide everything from dentist reviews to the best piano lessons--and remember that your new neighbors can be very helpful. A lot of neighborhoods have websites and online listings that tell you whose kids babysit, dog walk and rake leaves.

If you have kiddos, transitioning activities is much more vital to them than that pediatrician. Being able to hop right back into soccer or swimming lessons or dance keeps them on a schedule and helps them assimilate into their new community-the last thing you need is to have sulking children around the home whining that they hate you and don't have anyone to hang out with. And here's a fascinating tidbit—research shows that moving during the school year can be easier on new students than moving over the summer break. If you commence a new school at the start of the year it is easier to get overlooked in the crowd , but when you come in in the middle of the school year, it's more likely your kids will make friends faster and get more interested in school.

The loss of a sense of belonging can be a tough part of a relocation for the grown-ups. When you're accustomed to stopping by a neighbor's house just because it’s part of your routine, moving to a new area where you don't know a soul is hard. Keep in mind that your new neighbors are most likely interested in being friends with you, because they have likely said adios to their drive-by buddies and are wanting to meet the new neighbors (aka – you!). Walking your dog is a great way to meet the neighbors--their eagerness to learn about you is high, and this gives you a low-key way to meet everyone.

Most churches and synagogues have newcomers’ classes that you and your family can be a part of, and help you to work out how you fit within that community. The majority of schools welcome volunteers, so think about getting involved. And, if you are a member of a national organization such as Rotary or Junior League your membership transfer immediately brings you into a group.

Life changes are hard, but by giving yourself and your loved ones the okay to be a tad 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 El Paso as stress-free as possible.