The Psychology of Moving to Tulsa

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 are packing up all your worldly goods (read--old books, lamps you have been meaning to repair, kids’ drawings) and move them to a new house is mind-boggling 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 say goodbye to their career, when life has served you a huge surprise and you are basically forced to move, when living independently is no longer safe---you have to deal with a rollercoaster of emotional ups and downs at the same time as the tension of the actual move to Tulsa.

A big stressor in moving is understanding the whims of the real estate business. You are a grown person, esteemed in your community, and your life is completely in the hands 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 ask you to leave the refrigerator and the kids' swingset? What if the appraiser sees 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 addition? Here's the truth. You have no authority over any of these things. The best plan of attack is to be sure that the realtor helping with your house and the realtor helping you buy the new home are skilled and do what they are supposed to do--and work with both to have a back-up plan should something go off course.

Consider real estate transactions a giant run of dominoes--closings usually are dependent upon another closing happening on time. One blunder several steps down the food chain 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 on the day that you had planned, 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 changes with your closings. You should find out about any possible issues days in advance of your closing date, and if something does change, moving companies are wonderfully capable of working with changing schedules. If something does slow things down, you should have the alternative 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 they should; staying on top of it provides you at least a feeling of control, and if there is a glitch you are not blindsided.

If the worst does take place, like if you are building and weather has pushed back inspections and you don't have the occupancy certificate a few days ahead of closing because the plumbing is not done, AND you have fixed closing date on your old home and the movers are booked up, don't lose it. Most moving companies offer temporary or long-term storage until you can move in your new residence, and your realtor should be able to help you find short-term housing until your house is accessible. Problems like these are unlikely, but when they do happen your anxiety levels skyrocket--so rely on your team to help you deal with it.

Moving - Moving BoxesThe Emotional Stages of Moving

So, you're moving to Tulsa--and it might be desirable, it could be a challenge. You may be relocating three blocks or five hundred miles away. Everybody's circumstances are unique, 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 mirror a death-defying, nausea-generating 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 sail through your closets.

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

When you have created a life in one place, it is very natural to have mixed emotions about selling the home where you lovingly painted every room just the right color, where you brought your kids home, where you celebrated all those birthdays and anniversaries. If your move is not choice but necessity, it's fine to rage at the fates that have brought you to the place where you are vacating your house because there are no other choices. Be angry, wail and whoop at the walls and lean on your family and friends for encouragement. Spend some time trying to figure out how to not have to move—maybe your significant other could commute, or rent a room in the new locale; if you need assistance taking care of your house, you could 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 tad more pleasant to accept it.

Then, you might spend a couple days or weeks in denial, of sorts. This is when your friends ask if they can swing by and help you sift through your things, and you fabricate a bit and say you're almost finished, when in reality you have tossed out two old socks and a broken spatula and haven’t picked up the first box for packing. If you are really struggling 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 whole job for you.

In the end, you will acknowledge the transition and change. It might not be the day the moving vans 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 locale in Tulsa. 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 home and your old life.

Your family members might all have similar feelings, although with varying degrees of intensity--teenagers’ reactions will most likely a bit more bold than that of a younger 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 not forget that the emotional ups and downs 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 critical to getting to the new house in one piece. Your life is not kept in the walls of your old house, your life is in the memories you've made there. Keep in mind that you won't lose old friends, and that you'll meet new ones. And one day soon, you'll step inside of the front door and think to yourself, "I am home."

Moving - Moving BoxesEasing the Transition

Most people are intrenched in habits--even young children choose their snuggly stuffed animal and woe to you if it is in the washing machine at nap time. Likewise, when you move, you're lots of times changing up all your habits in place and even if you are looking forward to the new house, the new life you have got to assemble around it is difficult to even the most even keel person. When you're moving and anxious about creating a new life for you and your family in Tulsa, here are some suggestions to ease the transition.

Get your family enthusiastic about the move to Tulsa. If this translates to agreeing that your teenage daughter can paint a life-size elephant on her wall, grit your teeth and go buy the paint. It may mean you finally have a big enough backyard for a dog—figure out what kind of dog would fit best with your family, and as soon as everything 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 settling in goes a long way to helping your state of mind.

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 look for your new home 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 every size have mom groups that provide all kinds of things 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, finding new activities is lots 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 surroundings-the last thing you want is to have pouting kiddos 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 easier on children than moving over the summer break. When you begin a new school at the beginning of the year it is easier to get lost 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 used to swinging into a neighbor's abode just because you know that she’s home, moving to a new locality where you do not know a soul is tough. Bear in mind 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 great way to run into the neighbors--their inquisitiveness about you is high, and this gives you a low-key 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 a member of a national club such as Rotary or Junior League your membership transfer immediately brings you into a group.

Life changes are tough, but by giving yourself and your family the okay to be a tad 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 Tulsa as stress-free as possible.