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 stressful—no matter the conditions, any time you are packing up all your treasured goods (read--old books, things you've been meaning to repair, kids’ drawings) and move them to a new residence is staggering for even the most chipper and hopeful among us. When you have landed your dream job—three states away--and your significant other will have to say goodbye to their career, when life has thrown you a huge roadblock and you're essentially given no choice but to move, when living alone is no longer safe---you've got to handle 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 grown person, respected in your town, and your life is completely at the mercy of several people you've never met--what if your residence doesn't sell quickly? What if the buyers who put an offer on your house decide they want to buy another house? Suppose they decide they want you to leave the washer & dryer and the kids' swingset? Suppose the appraiser takes note of the rift in the foundation that is kind of unseen behind the hedge? What if the inspector uncovers your new residence has a leaky roof or there's a new bowling alley and travel plaza planned 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 residence 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.

Consider real estate transactions a long run of dominoes--closings usually are dependent upon another closing happening on time. One hiccup five steps down the food chain can mess up your buyers timing, and a similar thing goes for the home you are buying—unforeseen setback could mean you can't close when 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 perks of the recession is that real estate rules have changed and there aren't quite as many eleventh hour surprises with your closings. You should learn of any possible problems far before your closing time, and in the event something does change, moving companies are wonderfully used to working with changing schedules. If a setback does slow you down, you should have the alternative 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 prior to your closing date to be sure all the inspections and repairs and specifics are going as planned; staying in the know provides you at least a feeling of control, and if there is a hiccup you're not blindsided.

If something dreadful 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 plumbing isn't done, AND you have an immovable closing date 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 should be able to assist you in finding 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 could be a challenge. You might be relocating four blocks or five hundred miles away. Everybody's situation is different, but people are mostly the same--the emotional rollercoaster just varies from home to house. Some are kiddie sized, with happy animated characters to ride in, and others parallel a gravity-defying, nausea-producing 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 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 feel denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and then acceptance.

When you have constructed a life in a single place, it's totally normal to have mixed emotions 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 graduations. 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 vacating your house because there are no other choices. Get angry, wail and holler 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 could be, helps you think through the reality of moving so that it is a little easier to accept it.

Then, you might spend several days or weeks in denial, of sorts. This is when your relatives ask if they might come over and help you sort through your things, 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.

Finally, you'll accept the transition and change. It may not be the day the moving trucks arrive, it could take a few months. But the human spirit is an adaptable thing and you will come to accept and embrace your new abode in Denver. That is not to say it will be simple, but being agreeable to start a new life and trying new activities can ease the nostalgia for your old residence and your old life.

The members of your family might all experience similar feelings, although with fluctuating degrees of fervor--teenagers’ reactions will probably be a bit more aggressive than that of a 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 not forget that the emotional swings are normal and it would be weird if you did not get sad or angry or a little crazy during the process.

Keeping your move in perspective is vital to getting to the new home safe and sound. Your life is not housed in the walls of your old house, your life is in the memories you've created there. Keep in mind 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 choose their favorite stuffed animal and you’ll be in trouble if it's nowhere to be found at nap time. Similarly, when you move, you are 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 build around it is difficult to even the most courageous. When you are moving and concerned about creating a new life for you and your family in Denver, here are some suggestions 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 could mean that at last you have enough space for a dog—decide what sort of dog you would like, and as soon as everything is unpacked, go to the local shelter and get a new furry family member. While you are at it, adopt two dogs, as your new furry friend could use a pal. Let your boys put 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 thrill of new privileges and besides, puppies are hard to beat. And, if you're the one having a tough 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 terminology makes sense to you) makes the move a lot smoother. You most likely used real estate websites to look for your new home and investigate schools and neighborhoods, so you have a pretty good view already of your new area. 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 piano lessons--and don’t forget that your new neighbors can be very helpful. Lots of neighborhoods have websites and online directories that tell you whose kids babysit, dog walk and rake leaves.

If you have children, getting them into new activities is lots more crucial to them than that orthodontist. Being able to get right back into basketball or karate or gymnastics keeps them on a schedule and helps them feel a part of 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 anything to do. And here's an interesting fact—research shows that moving in the middle of the school year is easier on 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 looked over in the craziness of the new year , but when you start in the middle of the school year, it is more probable your kids will find 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 rough. 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!). Taking the dog for a walk is a sure-fire way to run into the neighbors--their curiosity about you is high, and this provides you a low-key way to get to know everybody.

Many churches and synagogues have newcomers’ classes that that you can join, and aid you to discover 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 association like Rotary or Junior League your membership transfer immediately brings you into a group.

Life changes are tough, but by allowing yourself and your loved ones the okay to be a tad sad about the past will help everyone look forward to 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.