by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group
Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best
Moving is tough—notwithstanding the situation, any time you must pack up all your worldly goods (read--old books, lamps you have been meaning to repair, kids’ popcicle stick snowflakes) and move them to a new house is staggering for even the most organized and hopeful among us. When you have secured your dream job—four states away--and your significant other has to leave their career, when life has served you a big surprise and you are basically forced to move, when living independently is no longer an option---you have to deal with a rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs at the same time as the tension of the actual move to Atlanta.
A big stressor in moving is getting a handle on the whims of the real estate business. You are a mature adult, valued in your community, and your life is completely at the mercy of a bunch of people you have never met--what if your house doesn't sell when you want it to? Suppose the people buying your house decide they want to buy another house? What if they demand you to leave the refrigerator and the kids' swingset? What if the appraiser notices the rift in the foundation that is sort of covered behind the hedge? Suppose the inspector uncovers your new house has a wornout roof or there is a mall and travel plaza projected for across the road from your new subdivision? Here's the reality. You have no authority over any of these things. The best thing is to be sure that the realtor helping with your house and the realtor helping you buy the new residence are skilled and do what they are supposed to do--and work with both to have a emergency plan should something go off course.
Real estate transactions are like a giant run of dominoes--closings usually are dependent upon another closing happening as scheduled. One hiccup several steps down the line can have an impact on your buyers timetable, and the same thing goes for the house you're moving to—unforeseen setback might mean you can't close when you thought you could, and you are up all night thinking about how you are going to cope when you are homeless for a a couple 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 standards have changed and there are not nearly as many eleventh hour updates with your closings. You should learn of any potential issues far in advance of your closing date, and if something does change, moving companies are wonderfully capable of working with changing time frames. If something does slow things down, you should have the choice of moving in a few days before you actually close--again, a good realtor thinks about contingencies, so you do not have to stress about these things.
Call your realtors and lender once a week leading up to your scheduled closing to ensure all the inspections and repairs and specifics are going as planned; keeping on top of it provides you at least a feeling of control, and if there is a hiccup you are not blindsided.
If the worst does take place, like if you are building and weather has postponed inspections and you don't have the occupancy certificate a few days ahead of closing because the electrical is not done, AND you have fixed closing date on your old residence and the movers are slammed, don't lose it. Most moving companies can provide temporary or long-term storage until you can move in your new residence, and your realtor may be able to assist you in finding short-term housing until your house is available. Issues like these are unlikely, but when they do happen your anxiety levels skyrocket--so rely on your team to help you find a remedy.
The Emotional Stages of Moving
So, you're moving to Atlanta--and it might be desirable, it may be a challenge. You might be moving three blocks or four hundred miles away. Everybody's circumstances are different, but people are mostly similar--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from home to house. Some are kiddie sized, with happy animated characters to ride in, and others parallel a death-defying, nausea-generating Loch Ness monster. The trick is to turn that roller coaster into a peaceful ride with happy little people singing "It's A Small World" as you sail through your closets.
Some researchers and psychologists have likened moving--in any situation--to the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief model. Meaning, you encounter denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance.
When you have constructed a life in one place, it is absolutely natural to have mixed emotions about moving from the home where you lovingly painted every room just the right color, where you brought your babies home, where you celebrated all those birthdays and anniversaries. If your move is not choice but necessity, it's fine to be angry with the fates that have brought you to the place where you are vacating your residence because you have no choice. Be angry, wail and holler at the walls and lean on your family and friends for assistance. Spend some time trying to formulate how to not have to move—maybe your significant other could commute, or rent a room in the new locale; if you need assistance keeping house, you might be able to get live in help. Going through your options, as crazy as they may be, helps you work through the reality of moving so that it's a bit more pleasant to accept it.
Then, you may spend several days or weeks in denial, of sorts. This is when your friends ask if they can come over and help you sift through your belongings, and you fib a tad and say you're almost done, when in reality you have tossed out two old socks and one pair of those disposable pedicure flip flops 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, allow your friends to assist. Or, ask your moving company to pack things up for you—the majority of full-service movers have professional packers who can either get you going or do the full job for you.
In the end, you will acknowledge the transition and change. It might not be the day the moving trucks pull up, it could take a couple months. But the human spirit is buoyant thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new abode in Atlanta. That is not to pretend it will be easy, but being accepting to making a new life and doing new things can ease the nostalgia for your old residence and your old life.
Your family members might all experience congruent feelings, although with varying degrees of intensity--teenagers’ reactions will most likely a tad more forceful than that of a child. If you're vacating your family house for senior living because one spouse's health has declined more rapidly, then the more active spouse may go through more anger and denial. The important thing is to keep in mind that the emotional swings are normal and it would be odd if you didn't get sad or mad or a little anxious during the process.
Keeping your move in perspective is vital to getting to the new house in one piece. Your life is not kept in the rooms of your old house, your life is in the memories you've created there. Keep in mind that you won't lose old friends, and that you'll meet new ones. And someday, you'll step inside of the front door and think to yourself, "I am home."
Easing the Transition
Most people are intrenched in habits--even toddlers select their snuggly stuffed animal and woe to you if it is in the washing machine at nap time. Similarly, when you move, you're lots of times shaking up all your habits in place and even if you are looking forward to the new house, the new life you have got to build around it is demanding to even the most even keel person. When you're moving and anxious about creating a new life for you and your family in Atlanta, here are some suggestions to ease the transition.
Get your family enthusiastic about the move to Atlanta. If this means agreeing that your teenage daughter can paint her room black, grit your teeth and go purchase the paint. It may mean that at last you have enough yard for a dog—think about what sort of dog would fit best with your family, and as soon as the last box is unpacked, drive to the local shelter and get a new furry family member. Plan to bring home two, as your new furry friend could use a pal. Let your boys pitch tents and camp out in that new yard. Of course, it's bribery of a sort, but it is all for the greater good and the excitement 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 spirits.
When you're moving, the world-wide web (if you're older that phrase means something to you) makes the move a lot easier. You most likely used real estate websites to search for your new residence and investigate schools and neighborhoods, so you have a adequate perception already of your new locale. Use social media to link up with people--towns of all sizes have mom groups that provide everything from dermatologist reviews to the best swim lessons--and don’t forget that your new neighbors can be very helpful. Lots of neighborhoods have social media pages and online directories that tell you whose kids babysit, dog walk and mow grass.
If you have children, getting them into new activities is much more vital to them than that orthodontist. Being able to get right back into basketball or piano lessons or dance keeps them in a routine and helps them assimilate into their new area-the last thing you want is to have pouting children around the house whining that they hate you and do not have anything to do. And here is a fun tidbit—research shows that moving during the school year is less stressful for children than moving over the summer break. When you commence a new school at the beginning of the year it is easier to get looked over in the turmoil of the new year , but when you start when school's in session, it's more probable your kids will find friends faster and be more interested in school.
The loss of a sense of belonging can be the hardest part of a move for the adults. When you are accustomed to swinging into a neighbor's abode just because you know that she’s home, being in a new locality where you do not know a soul is rough. Remember that your new neighbors are most likely interested in being friends with you, because they have likely said goodbye to their drive-by buddies and are looking forward to getting to know the new neighbors (aka – you!). Walking your dog is a sure-fire way to run into the neighbors--their inquisitiveness about you is high, and this gives you a simple way to get to know everyone.
The majority of churches and synagogues have newcomers’ classes that welcome you and your family, and assist you to work out how you fit within that community. Most schools would love to have more volunteers, so think about getting involved. And, if you are part of a national club such as Rotary or Junior League your membership will transfer from one city to the next.
Life changes are difficult, but by giving yourself and your family the okay to be a bit sad about the past will assist everyone look forward to 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 Atlanta as stress-free as possible.