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—no matter the conditions, any time you have to pack up all your cherished possessions (read--old college papers, lamps you have been meaning to fix, kids’ popcicle stick snowflakes) and move them to a new residence is mind-boggling for even the most organized and optimistic 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 huge curveball and you are basically forced to move, when living alone is no longer an option---you have to manage a bunch of emotional ups and downs along with 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 grown person, valued in your community, and your life is totally in the balance of several people you've never met--what if your house doesn't sell quickly? 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 crevice in the foundation that's sort of unseen behind the hedge? Suppose the inspector uncovers your new residence has a bad roof or there's a new bowling alley and travel plaza planned for across the road from your new addition? 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 back-up 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 have an impact on 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 thought you could, 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 advantages 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 issues days ahead of your closing date, and in the event something does change, moving companies are wonderfully adept at working with changing time frames. If something does slow your move down, you should have the alternative 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.

Call your realtors and lender once a week before 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 hit unexpectedly.

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 booked up, 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 accessible. Issues like these are very common, but when they do arise your stress 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 could be welcome, it might be a challenge. You might be relocating three blocks or five hundred miles away. Everybody's scenario 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-generating 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 sail 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 built a life in one place, it is totally normal to have mixed emotions about leaving the house where you called home after your honeymoon, where you brought your kids home, where you observed all those birthdays and anniversaries. If your move is not an option but a requirement, it's okay to rage at the circumstances that have brought you to the crossroads where you're moving from your house because you have no other options. Be furious, wail 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 city; if you need assistance keeping up with your house, you could get live in help. Thinking through your options, as insane as they might be, helps you work through the reality of moving so that it is a tad easier to accept it.

Then, you may 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 fabricate a bit 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 struggling 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 may not be the moment the moving vans arrive, it may take several months. But the human spirit is a resilient thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new locale in El Paso. That is not to say it will be without angst, but being willing to create a new life and trying new things can ease the nostalgia for your old house and your old life.

Your family members could all have similar feelings, although with different degrees of intensity--teenagers’ reactions are going to be a bit more bold than that of a toddler. If you're leaving 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 keep in mind that the emotional twists and turns are normal and it would be strange 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 housed in the rooms of your old house, your life is in the memories you've made there. Keep in mind that you will not lose old friends, and that you'll make new ones. And someday, you will step in the front door and think to yourself, "I'm home."

Moving - Moving BoxesEasing the Transition

Most people are intrenched in habits--even young children choose their favorite 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 changing up all your habits in place and even when you're pleased about the new home, the new life you have got to assemble around it is demanding to even the most even keel person. When you're moving and worried about creating a new life for you and your family in El Paso, here are some tips to help with the transition.

Get your family excited about the move to El Paso. If this means agreeing that your teenage daughter can paint a life-size elephant on her wall, put a smile on your face and go buy the paint. It could mean you finally have a big enough backyard for a dog—figure out 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 set 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 hard to beat. 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 utilized real estate websites to find your new house and investigate schools and neighborhoods, so you have a pretty good perception already of your new area. Use social media to connect with people--towns of all sizes have mom groups that suggest all kinds of things from pediatrician reviews to the best piano lessons--and do not forget that your new neighbors are great resources. Many neighborhoods have websites and online listings that tell you whose kids babysit, dog walk and rake leaves.

If you have kiddos, transitioning activities is lots more crucial to them than that pediatrician. Being able to hop right back into soccer or karate or dance keeps them active and helps them assimilate into their new community-the last thing you need is to have sulking kiddos around the home whining that they hate you and don't have anyone to hang out with. And here's a fascinating tidbit—findings show that moving during the school year can be less stressful for kids than moving over the summer break. If you begin a new school at the start of the year it is easier to get overlooked in the craziness of the new year , but when you come in in the middle of the school year, it's more possible your kids will find 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 you see her car in the driveway, 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 meeting you, because they have likely said goodbye to their drive-by buddies and are wanting to meet the new neighbors (aka – you!). Walking your dog is a great way to run into the neighbors--their curiosity about you is high, and this gives you a low-key way to meet everyone.

Many 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. Many 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 will transfer from one city to the next.

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

If you are contemplating 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.