75% of Spaniards have changed their home at some time, with an average of four moves throughout their lives. In fact, Spain is the country that moves the least compared to other European states. However, the same study by the real estate portal Pisos.com confirms that the trend of being a country of owners has changed as a result of the 2008 crisis and the pandemic. Currently, 50% of millennials pay rent because they are not eligible to buy a home. And this is where one of the factors that most determines this generation comes into play: the stress and anxiety generated by having to change apartments more frequently than their predecessors.
It is not uncommon to find offers for furniture shipping and cheap transport on portals and traffic light poles. According to the portal specialized in removals Sirelo, an average transfer costs around 900 euros. And this, of course, adds another headache for those who see their life in boxes with some frequency: the one related to the economy and the bureaucracy when facing a move from home. The psychologists Markus Jokela and Liisa Keltikangas-Järvinen, from the University of Helsinki, carried out a study in 2008 together with University College London in which they related personality to migration patterns. They determined that the changes have a character closely related to personality. An extroverted person will change houses more times throughout his life and is more open to receiving the change in a positive way.
Celia, a 33-year-old from Málaga, with 19 removals behind her throughout the Spanish geography, affirms that, although “the feeling of freedom is very positive with each change”, she is concerned “not to take root or belong to a place, the home ”. In this sense, the psychologist Lorena Santana is clear that the first thing that must be taken into account is the meaning of the word home, since the house, in general, is a safe space for people and leaving it can create an emotional impact. important: “A change of home can affect us psychologically in the same way that a loss or abandonment would affect us. That is to say, we will live it in the same way as a duel since, in the end, the feeling is to part with something that you love and for which there is a great attachment ”.
Although most people do not consider moving in the next 10 years, it is true that the pandemic has changed the trend. Since March 2020, 30% of Europeans have considered moving home among their next plans. Google shows almost seven million results with recommendations to make a move easier, but, in reality, few talk about how it affects the mood.
There are several factors that must be taken into account so that this process does not turn out to be a nightmare. In general, what generates the most laziness is management: boxes, paperwork and organization are usually headaches for most. “The inconveniences that arise are that the company can let you down, the boxes hit and change all the site addresses,” says Alejandra, 34, after 15 moves. Making to-do lists and an inventory of what is in each room and labeling each box well will avoid headaches. Advancing these duties with enough time is a beneficial factor to avoid the anxiety of change. In addition, it is a good time to create new, more responsible habits for the new home, recycling or cleaning everything that is not useful.
Planning is, therefore, one of the most important aspects so that one does not take the stress of the final date ahead. This organization in the medium term also helps to control the emotional impact, as Santana affirms. The psychologist advises planning daily what is pending to eliminate mental noise and invest that energy in other things, thus saving emotional strength. On the other hand, Lydia González, from the Memudo company, affirms that “the key is to use a system, without putting disparate things together, where the important thing is to pack by farms or families, never mix because then it will be chaos.”
Now that it’s so fashionable to talk about self-care, having a routine in those weeks is essential. “Eating well, doing yoga, sleeping and resting will help oxygenate the brain and take it easy,” says the psychologist. However, when the boxes are under control, another problem appears, the bureaucratic one. “The worst thing is the paperwork, changing the address for all the supplies, the bank, registering in the new house,” says Izaskun, 38, who has changed homes more than 20 times throughout his life. “I wish there was a system where you could just enter your new address once and everything would update automatically,” she says. Although this is not yet possible, there are mobile applications, such as Moving Organizer or Pro Moving Planner, that facilitate and help in each phase of leaving the home by creating lists, and even allow you to view the furniture in the new home thanks to augmented reality.
But in the story of any move, not everything is bad news or catastrophes for the state of mind. Generally, the majority enjoys the change, the catharsis that it entails and that blank canvas that is the new home to decorate, start from scratch and recharge the batteries. Noemí, a 42-year-old Galician, affirms that she appreciates the feeling of starting and decorating despite the uncertainty: “Decorating according to my vital moment is what I like the most.” Thus, it could be said that the perfect conclusion is to close the previous stage in an adequate way to start over. Santana defines that it is important to have a closure and a farewell to what is left behind: “Have a last dinner, write down the most important moments you have experienced on paper, or create your ritual to say goodbye with renewed energy.”
Even in film and television, removals play an important role in the creation of plots and connection with the viewer’s reality. Since Pixar’s 2015 hit, Inside Out, in which feelings go crazy with the change of city of its protagonist, who will gradually learn to value and understand his own emotions, to friends, a true television classic, where the farewell to the series is at the same time the farewell to Mónica’s apartment, without boxes, empty, but full of memories and nostalgia. With that small smile of her protagonists towards the new that is to come and that serves as the perfect climax for anyone who experiences this process throughout her life.