Moving In The Right Direction

June 22, 2018

As a real estate business, helping people move is a big part of what we do. Before I joined the industry, I thought that real estate agents and property managers simply sold or leased houses. After years of experience and sharing with my incredible colleagues, I have come to realise that we don’t deal in property as much as we deal in dreams.

We deal in the hopes and dreams of everyone in our community – and we help them put four walls around and a roof over them.

There are thousands of checklists to help you move with all the tactical things that you need to do. Great tips about labelling boxes and remembering to keep the kettle, a coffee mug and some toilet paper handy for the first few hours in the new place.

There is much less available on how to prepare your mind for a move. Pots and plates will find their way into their prospective new draws but it can take a while for your emotions to feel at home in a new place.

We have spoken before about the deeper anthropological meaning that we attach and carry into new homes:  Home is more than timber, bricks, tile and colourbond. Home is identity. Home is security. Home is a sanctuary.

It can become difficult to move on from that – especially if the move is reactive, even forced. Our experience in guiding tenants, buyers and sellers through this transition has taught us a bit about how to thrive in a move.

Here are our top tips for closing the door and opening a new one.

#1 – Focus on the opportunity

Even in the most critical situations, there is an opportunity. In the English language, we use the word ‘crisis’, and this tends to conjure a negative image. In the Chinese language, the word ‘crisis’ is a combination of two characters: one is ‘danger’ (which we are familiar with);  the other is ‘opportunity’ which is an affirming way to look at the growth that is possible in any kind of adversity.

If you are struggling with saying goodbye to an old property, or if the prospect of a downsize or downgrade is getting you down…then create a list on the opportunities that might be hiding. A smaller home might be an opportunity to create a lifestyle that is more eco-friendly and sustainable…as well as less cleaning. A move out of town might mean a longer commute…but it might also be a chance to read a book on the bus or listen to a podcast in the car.

#2 – Design your life

A move out is also a move into a new life. It is a chance to think about how you want to live, even who you want to be, in your new surroundings. Have you always wanted to get up early and go walking but just never made it? Well, a new environment might help you get cracking on the lifestyle you want. Learn to surf. Start a garden. Cycle to work. Whatever it is for you that is going to create the lifestyle you want…move out of your old habits and into some new ones at the same time.

#3 – Do more with less stuff

Moving often forces us to make decisions about what to do with all the ‘stuff’ we have accumulated. We all have ‘stuff’ we don’t use. I have accumulated (bought or been given,) about 4 kitchen gadgets that do essentially the same thing…and it’s an outcome I can normally accomplish faster using a fork, a bowl and a mashing action. By giving away and recycling these surplus homewares…you get time.

Moving is always a great chance to review all your stuff and make decisions about which of those things will be a part of your life moving forward. There is a living lean movement that is gaining momentum around the world. The premise is to free up the headspace that excess material things (stuff) take up in our lives. If you balance that surplus with the need that others in the community may have – the act of giving seems like a pretty logical conclusion and a true win-win.

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