The Psychology of Moving to Dallas

by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

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

Moving is tough—notwithstanding the circumstances, any time you must pack up all your worldly possessions (read--old magazines, lamps you have been meaning to repair, kids’ art projects) and move them to a new house is mind-boggling for even the most chipper and positive among us. When you've obtained your dream job—three states away--and your spouse has to vacate their career, when life has thrown you a huge roadblock and you are more or less forced to move, when living alone is no longer safe---you've got to deal with a bunch of emotional ups and downs along with the stress of the actual move to Dallas.

One of the biggest stressors in moving is coping with the whims of the real estate business. You're a grown person, valued in your community, and your life is totally at the mercy of a bunch of people you've never met--what if your home does not sell quickly? Suppose the folks who put an offer on your house find a different house that they like better? What if they decide they want you to leave the refrigerator and the kids' playset? Suppose the appraiser sees the rift in the foundation that's kind of hidden behind the hedge? Suppose the home inspector uncovers your new home has a wornout roof or there's a mall and travel plaza slotted for across the road from your new addition? Here is the deal. You have no control over any of these things. The best you can do is to ensure that the realtor selling your residence and the realtor helping you with the new house are skilled and do what they are supposed to do--and work with both to have a back-up plan should something get askew.

Consider real estate transactions a long run of dominoes--closings usually depend on another closing happening as scheduled. One snafu five steps down the timeline can have an impact on your buyers timeline, and a similar thing goes for the residence you're moving to—unforeseen glitch might mean you can't close when you were planning on, and you're up all 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 moving 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 last-minute updates with your closings. You should learn of any possible issues far in advance of your closing date, and in the event something does fluctuate, moving companies are very capable of working with changing timetables. If something does slow things down, you may have the option of moving in a few days prior to when you actually close--again, a good realtor plans for contingencies, so you do not have to fret about them.

Call your realtors and lender once per week before your scheduled closing to make sure all the inspections and repairs and other details are on schedule; keeping in the know gives you at least a feeling of control, and if there is a speedbump you are not caught unaware.

If something dreadful does happen, like if you're building and weather has postponed inspections and you do not have the occupancy certificate a few days before you close because the electrical isn't completed, AND you have fixed closing date on your old house and the movers are booked up, don't freak out. Most moving companies can provide temporary or long-term storage until you can get in your new residence, and your realtor can assist you in finding short-term housing until your home is available. Problems like these are not likely, but when they do arise your anxiety levels skyrocket--so depend on your team to help you find a remedy.

Moving - Moving BoxesThe Emotional Stages of Moving

So, you are moving to Dallas--and it could be desirable, it may be a challenge. You might be going three blocks or three hundred miles away. Everybody's situation is distinct, but people are pretty much similar--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from home to residence. Some are kiddie sized, with happy animated characters to ride in, and others parallel a death-defying, nausea-inducing Loch Ness monster. The trick is to turn that roller coaster into a mellow ride with happy little people singing "It's A Small World" as you float through your closets.

Some researchers and psychologists have equated moving--in any circumstance--to the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief model. In other words, you encounter denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.

When you have created a life in a single place, it is very normal to have regrets about leaving 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 anniversaries. If your move is not an option but a requirement, it is okay to rage at the fates that have brought you to the place where you are vacating your residence because there are no other choices. Be mad, yell and whoop at the walls and rely on your family and friends for encouragement. Take some time attempting to think about how to not have to move—maybe your spouse could commute, or get an apartment in the new town; if you require assistance keeping house, you might consider getting live in help. Working through your choices, as insane as they might be, helps you think through the reality of moving so that it is a tad less painful to accept it.

Then, you might spend several days or weeks in denial, of sorts. This is when your friends ask if they can stop over and help you sift through your belongings, and you fabricate a bit and say you're nearly done, when in reality you have pitched two matchbooks and a broken spatula and haven’t picked up the first box for packing. If you are really having a hard time with the nitty gritty of purging and packing, let your friends help. Or, ask your moving company to box things up for you—the majority of full-service movers have professional packers who can either get you going or do the whole job for you.

Finally, you'll 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 an adaptable thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new locale in Dallas. That's not to pretend it will be without angst, but being willing to making a new life and doing new things can ease the nostalgia for your old house and your old life.

Your family members will all experience similar feelings, although with varying degrees of passion--teenagers’ reactions are going to be a bit more forceful than that of a toddler. If you are moving from your family home for senior living because one spouse is not doing well, then the more active spouse may go through more anger and denial. The important thing is to not forget that the emotional swings are normal and it would be weird if you did not feel sad or angry or a little anxious during the process.

Keeping your move in perspective is critical to arriving to the new residence relatively unscathed. Your life is not housed in the walls of your old house, your life is in the memories you have made there. Keep in mind that you won't lose old friends, and that you'll make new ones. And one day soon, you'll open the front door and say to yourself, "I am home."

Moving - Moving BoxesEasing the Transition

People are creatures of habit--even babies select their cuddly stuffed animal and there’ll be a small catastrophe if it is nowhere to be found at nap time. Likewise, when you move, you are usually giving up many of your habits in place and even when you're pleased about the new residence, the new life you have got to evolve around it is difficult to even the most courageous. When you're moving and concerned about creating a new life for you and your family in Dallas, here are some suggestions to assist with the transition.

Get your family pumped up about the move to Dallas. 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 that finally you have a big enough backyard for a dog—decide what sort of dog you want, and as soon as the last box is unpacked, go to the local shelter and pick one out. Plan to bring home two, 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 its bribery of a sort, but it is all for the greater good and the delight of new activities and besides, puppies are a surefire way to put a smile on everyone’s face. And, if you are the one having a hard time with it, seeing your family doing well goes a long way to fixing your state of mind.

When you're moving, the world-wide web (if you're older that expression means something to you) makes the move a lot smoother. You probably used real estate websites to find your new residence and analyze schools and neighborhoods, so you have a decent perception already of your new bubble. Use social media to link up with people--towns of every size have mom groups that provide all types of things from dermatologist reviews to the best piano lessons--and remember that your new neighbors are great resources. Lots of neighborhoods have social media pages 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 dentist. Being able to get right back into volleyball or piano lessons or ballet keeps them on a schedule and helps them assimilate into their new area-the last thing you need is to have pouting kids around the home grumbling that they hate you and do not have anyone to hang out with. And here's a fun fact—research shows that moving in the middle of the school year can be less stressful for children than moving over the summer break. If you begin a new school at the start of the year it's more likely to get lost in the turmoil of the new year , but when you arrive when school's in session, it's more probable your kids will find friends faster and get more interested in school.

The loss of a feeling of acceptance can be a difficult part of a relocation for the adults. When you are accustomed to stopping by a neighbor's home just because you see her car in the driveway, moving to a new place where you do not know a soul is rough. Keep in mind that your new neighbors are most likely interested in getting to know you, because they've possibly said goodbye to their drive-by buddies and are looking forward to getting to know the new neighbors (aka – you!). Playing with the dog outside is a great way to say hello to the neighbors--their eagerness to learn about you is high, and this provides you an easy way to meet everyone.

The majority of churches and synagogues have newcomers’ classes that that you can join, and assist you to figure out how you fit within that community. Many schools would love to have more volunteers, so ponder getting involved. And, if you're a member of a national organization like Rotary or Junior League your membership transfer immediately brings you into a group.

Life changes are hard, but by allowing yourself and your loved ones the okay to be a little sad about the past will help everyone accept 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 Dallas as seamless as possible.