The Psychology of Moving to Houston

by Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

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

Moving is stressful—regardless of the conditions, any time you must pack up all your worldly belongings (read--old magazines, items you have been meaning to repair, kids’ popcicle stick snowflakes) and move them to a new residence is overwhelming for even the most organized and optimistic among us. When you've landed your dream job—three states away--and your significant other will have to leave their career, when life has served you a large curveball and you are more or less forced to move, when living independently is no longer safe---you have to deal with a bunch of emotional ups and downs at the same time as the tension of the physical move to Houston.

One aggravation in moving is getting a handle on the whims of the real estate business. You're a successful adult, valued in your town, and your life is completely at the mercy of a bunch of people you have never met--what if your house doesn't sell quickly? Suppose the people who put an offer on your house change their minds? Suppose they demand you to leave the washer & dryer and the kids' sandbox? Suppose the appraiser notices the crevice in the foundation that's kind of unseen behind the hedge? Suppose the inspector discovers your new house has a bad roof or there's a mall and travel plaza planned for across the road from your new neighborhood? Here's the deal. You have no say over any of these things. The best plan of attack is to make sure that the realtor selling your home and the realtor helping you buy the new house are skilled and do their jobs--and communicate with both to have a emergency plan should something unexpected happen.

Real estate transactions are like a long 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 a similar thing goes for the residence you're moving to—unexpected mishap might mean you can't close when you thought you could, and you're up all night pondering how it's going to feel to be homeless for a few days, or if you might be able to move into one of the moving company’s moving vans and set up camp.

Take a deep breath. One of the perks of the recession is that real estate regulations have changed and there are not quite as many eleventh hour updates with your closings. You should discover any possible issues days in advance of your closing time, and in the event something does change, moving companies are very capable of working with changing timetables. If something does slow you down, you could have the option of moving in a few days before you actually close--again, a good realtor plans for contingencies, so you don't have to stress about these things.

Touch base with your realtors and lender once a week before your closing date to be sure all the inspections and repairs and whatnot are going as planned; keeping in the know provides you at least a feeling of control, and if there is a speedbump you're not hit unexpectedly.

If the worst does take place, like if you're building and weather has postponed inspections and you do not have the occupancy certificate three days ahead of closing because the plumbing is not finished, AND you've got an immovable closing date on your old residence and the movers are booked up, don't panic. 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 help you find short-term housing until your house is available. Problems like these are not likely, but when they do happen your angst levels skyrocket--so depend on your team to help you figure it out.

Moving - Moving BoxesThe Emotional Stages of Moving

So, you are moving to Houston--and it may be welcome, it might be a challenge. You may be going five blocks or four hundred miles away. Everybody's scenario is diverse, but people are very much the same--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from house to residence. Some are kiddie sized, with happy animated cars to ride in, and others mirror a death-defying, nausea-producing Loch Ness monster. The trick is to change that roller coaster into a smooth ride with chipper little people singing "It's A Small World" as you pass through your closets.

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

When you've constructed a life in one place, it is very normal to have mixed feelings about selling the residence where you lovingly painted every room just the right color, where you brought your babies home, where you celebrated all those birthdays and graduations. If your move is not choice but necessity, it's fine to rage at the state of affairs that have deposited you at the location where you're vacating your residence because you have no other options. Get mad, yell and holler at the walls and rely on your family and friends for support. Spend some time trying to think about how to not have to move—perhaps your significant other could commute, or get a room in the new locale; if you require help keeping house, you could get live in help. Working through your options, as insane as they might be, helps you think through the reality of moving so that it is a little less painful 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 go through stuff, and you fabricate a tad and say you're nearly finished, when in reality you have pitched two matchbooks and a broken spatula and haven’t picked up the first box for packing. If you're really wrestling with the details of purging and packing, let your friends help. 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 started or do the full job for you.

Finally, you'll accept the transition and change. It may not be the day the trucks pull up, it might take several months. But the human spirit is a resilient thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new locale in Houston. That's not to pretend it will be simple, but being agreeable to start a new life and attempting new things can ease the nostalgia for your old home and your old life.

The members of your family will all cope with congruent feelings, although with different degrees of fervor--teenagers’ reactions are going to be a tad more forceful than that of a younger child. If you are leaving your family house 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 remember that the emotional twists and turns are normal and it would be weird if you did not feel sad or angry or a little upset during the move.

Keeping your move in perspective is vital to getting to the new home safe and sound. Your life is not kept in the walls of your old home, your life is in the memories you've formed 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 am home."

Moving - Moving BoxesEasing the Transition

People are creatures of habit--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 are usually giving up most of your habits in place and even if you are excited about the new house, the new life you have got to construct around it is challenging to even the most even keel person. When you're moving and worried about establishing a new life for you and your family in Houston, here are some ways to help with the transition.

Get your family excited about the move to Houston. If this translates to agreeing that your teenage daughter can paint a life-size elephant on her wall, grit your teeth and get the paint. It could mean that finally you have enough space for a dog—figure out what kind of dog you would like, and as soon as everything is unpacked, head to the local shelter and get a new furry family member. Plan to bring home two, as everybody needs a pal. Let your boys set up tents and camp out in that new yard. Of course, it its bribery of a sort, but it's all for the best and the excitement of new experiences and besides, puppies are hard to beat. And, if you're the one having a tough time with it, seeing your family happy goes a long way to improving your spirits.

When you are moving, the information superhighway (if you are older that expression makes sense to you) makes the move a lot smoother. You most likely scoured real estate websites to look for your new house and investigate schools and neighborhoods, so you have a adequate idea already of your new area. Use social media to connect with people--towns big and small have mom groups that suggest all types of things from pediatrician reviews to the best swim lessons--and do not forget that your new neighbors are great resources. A lot of neighborhoods have social media pages and online listings that tell you whose kids babysit, dog walk and shovel snow.

If you have children, transitioning activities is a lot more vital to them than that orthodontist. Being able to hop right back into basketball or karate or dance keeps them on a schedule and helps them fit into their new area-the last thing you want is to have pouting children around the house whining that they hate you and don't have anything to do. And here is a fascinating bit of information—research shows that moving in the middle of the school year can be easier on children than moving over during the summer months. When you begin a new school at the beginning of the year it is more likely to get looked over in the crowd , but when you arrive in the middle of the school year, it is more probable your kids will meet friends faster and be more involved in school.

The loss of a feeling of security can be a tough part of a relocation for the grown-ups. When you're accustomed to swinging into a neighbor's abode just because you see her car in the driveway, being in a new locality where you don't know a soul is tough. Remember that your new neighbors are probably 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!). Playing with the dog outside is a sure-fire way to say hello to the neighbors--their eagerness to learn about you is high, and this gives you a simple way to meet everyone.

Most churches and synagogues have newcomers’ groups that welcome you and your family, and assist you to figure out how you fit within that community. The majority of schools welcome volunteers, so contemplate getting involved. And, if you're part of a national club such as Rotary or Junior League your membership can be easily transferred.

Life changes are tough, but by allowing yourself and your loved ones the okay to be a bit sad about the past will aid everyone accept 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 Houston as smooth as possible.