The Psychology of Moving to Denver

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 are packing up all your cherished goods (read--old books, things you've been meaning to repair, kids’ drawings) and move them to a new home is mind-boggling for even the most organized and hopeful among us. When you have landed your dream job—three states away--and your significant other will have to leave their career, when life has tossed you a big curveball and you're essentially given no choice but to move, when living alone is no longer an option---you've got to manage a lot of emotional ups and downs alongside the stress of the physical move to Denver.

One of the biggest stressors in moving is getting a handle on the whims of the real estate business. You're a mature adult, respected in your town, and your life is completely in the hands of several people you've never met--what if your home doesn't sell when you want it to? What if the buyers buying your house change their minds? Suppose they decide they want you to leave the curtains and the kids' sandbox? Suppose the appraiser takes note of the rift in the foundation that is kind of hidden behind the hedge? What if the inspector uncovers your new home has a leaky roof or there's a new bowling alley and travel plaza slotted for across the road from your new subdivision? Here is the truth. You have no authority over any of these things. The best thing is to ensure that the realtor helping with your home and the realtor helping you buy the new house are knowledgeable and do what they are supposed to do--and work with both to have a contingency plan should something go awry.

Real estate transactions are like a long run of dominoes--closings usually are dependent upon another closing happening on time. One blunder five steps down the food chain can mess up your buyers timing, and a similar thing goes for the residence you're buying—unforeseen setback could mean you can't close on the day that you thought you could, and you're up at 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 trucks and set up camp.

Take a deep breath. One of the advantages of the recession is that real estate rules have changed and there aren't the number of eleventh hour surprises with your closings. You should learn of any potential problems days before your closing time, and if something does change, moving companies are wonderfully used to working with changing time frames. If an issue does slow you down, you should have the choice 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 stress about these things.

Talk to your realtors and lender once a week before your closing date to make sure all the inspections and repairs and other details are going as they should; keeping in the know provides you at least a feeling of control, and if there is a hiccup you're not blindsided.

If something unexpected does take place, like if you are building and weather has pushed back inspections and you don't have the occupancy certificate three days prior to closing because the electrical isn't done, AND you have a rock solid close on your old residence and the movers are lined up, do not lose it. Most moving companies have temporary or long-term storage until you can move in your new house, and your realtor may be able to help you find short-term housing until your house is ready. Issues like these are very common, but when they do crop up your angst levels skyrocket--so rely on your team to help you find a remedy.

Moving - Moving BoxesThe Emotional Stages of Moving

So, you're moving to Denver--and it could be desirable, it may be a challenge. You might be relocating five blocks or four hundred miles away. Everybody's scenario is different, but people are very much the same--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from home to house. Some are kiddie sized, with happy animated characters to ride in, and others mirror a gravity-defying, nausea-generating Loch Ness monster. The accomplishment is to change that roller coaster into a smooth ride with cheerful little people singing "It's A Small World" as you float through your closets.

Some researchers and psychologists have linked moving--in any situation--to the Kubler-Ross five stages of grief model. Meaning, you feel denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and then acceptance.

When you have constructed a life in a single place, it's totally normal to have regrets about selling the home 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 necessity, it is alright to rage at the fates that have brought you to the crossroads where you're moving from your house because there are no other choices. Get angry, shriek and whoop at the walls and ask your family and friends for support. Take some time attempting to think about how to not have to move—maybe your spouse could commute, or rent an apartment in the new locale; if you require help taking care of your house, you might be able to get 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 little 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 might come over and help you go through your belongings, and you fudge a bit and say you are nearly completed, when in fact you have pitched two dried up ink pens and an empty bottle of hand soap and don't have a box to your name. If you are really wrestling with the details of purging and packing, have your family help you. Or, ask your moving company to pack for you—the majority of full-service movers have professional packers who can either get you going or do the entire job for you.

In the end, you'll accept the transition and change. It could not be the day the moving vans pull up, it could take a few months. But the human spirit is an adaptable thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new locale in Denver. That is not to say it will be without angst, but being agreeable to create a new life and trying new activities can ease the nostalgia for your old home and your old life.

The members of your family might all have congruent feelings, although with fluctuating degrees of fervor--teenagers’ reactions will probably be a tad more aggressive than that of a younger child. If you are moving from 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 ups and downs are normal and it would be weird if you did not get sad or angry or a little anxious during the process.

Keeping your move in perspective is critical to getting to the new residence safe and sound. Your life is not housed in the walls of your old house, your life is in the memories you've made 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 inside of the front door and say to yourself, "I'm home."

Moving - Moving BoxesEasing the Transition

People are creatures of habit--even young children select their cuddly stuffed animal and woe to you if it's nowhere to be found at nap time. Likewise, when you move, you are usually changing up all your habits in place and even when you're excited about the new residence, the new life you have got to assemble around it is difficult to even the most even keel person. When you are moving and concerned about creating a new life for you and your family in Denver, here are some ways to ease the transition.

Get your family excited about the move to Denver. If this deciphers to agreeing that your teenage daughter can paint a life-size elephant on her wall, grit your teeth and get the paint. It may mean you finally have enough space for a dog—decide what kind of dog would fit best with your family, and as soon as everything is unpacked, go to the local shelter and find your new best friend. While you are at it, adopt two dogs, as your new furry friend could use a pal. Let your boys set up tents and camp out in that new yard. Yes, it's bribery of a sort, but it's all for the best and the delight of new activities and besides, puppies are hard to beat. And, if you're the one having a difficult time with it, seeing your family settling in goes a long way to improving your spirits.

When you are moving, the world-wide web (if you are older that expression makes sense to you) makes the move a lot smoother. You probably used real estate websites to search for your new residence and analyze schools and neighborhoods, so you have a pretty good view already of your new locale. Use social media to connect with people--towns of every size have mom groups that offer all types of things from dermatologist reviews to the best swim lessons--and don’t forget that your new neighbors are great resources. Lots of neighborhoods have websites and online directories that tell you whose kids babysit, dog walk and shovel snow.

If you have kids, finding new activities is lots more crucial to them than that dentist. Being able to get right back into volleyball or swimming lessons or gymnastics keeps them active and helps them fit into their new surroundings-the last thing you want is to have pouting kids around the home complaining that they hate you and don't have any friends. And here's a fun tidbit—findings show that moving in the middle of the school year is less stressful for new students than moving over the summer break. When you start a new school at the beginning of the year it is more likely to get lost in the crowd , but when you start in the middle of the school year, it is more probable your kids will make friends more quickly and get more involved in school.

The loss of a sense of security can be a difficult part of a relocation for the grown-ups. When you're in the habit of swinging into a neighbor's house just because you know that she’s home, going to a new area where you do not know anyone is tough. Keep in mind that your new neighbors are most likely interested in getting to know you, because they have probably said goodbye to their drive-by buddies and are wanting to meet the new neighbors (aka – you!). Walking your dog is a sure-fire way to meet the neighbors--their eagerness to learn about you is high, and this provides you a low-key way to get to know everybody.

Most churches and synagogues have newcomers’ classes that that you can join, and aid you to figure out how you fit within that community. Many schools would love to have more volunteers, so think about getting involved. And, if you're part of a national club like Rotary or Junior League your membership will transfer from one city to the next.

Life changes are difficult, but by granting yourself and your loved ones the okay to be a tad sad about the past will help everyone accept the future.

If you are contemplating a move, contact A-1 Freeman Moving Group to begin on your free in-home estimate. We promise to do our part to make your move to Denver as stress-free as possible.