Inside Out, the latest film from Pixar Animation Studios and Disney, is a masterpiece of a film. It’s perhaps the most adult-oriented film in the studio’s catalogue, which is made up entirely of family-friendly works like Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc. and the Toy Story series. For our money, it’s one of the best films they’ve ever done; a touching, extremely perceptive and especially poignant film about the emotions that a little girl feels as she moves away from her home town.
What can we learn from the 11 year-old Riley, and her inner manifestations of Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear about the real estate market? Quite a lot, actually. Beyond the (fantastic) San Francisco and Minnesota jokes, Inside Out deals with many of the problems that new homeowners face as they trek across the country, families or no. Let’s take a look and see what this film can teach us about the moving process.
Massive spoilers ensue — and watching Inside Out is obviously recommended before reading.
Where’s Our Stuff?
Even though Inside Out delves into a fantastical reimagining of the human psyche, certain plot devices ground it in reality. Few situations in the film are as real and unfortunate as the moving van fiasco: the family arrives at their disappointing San Francisco townhouse, only to discover that their rented moving van will be almost a week late.
They’re not alone. The Department of Transportation cites nearly 4,000 move-related scam reports a year. According to a study from MoveRescue, shady movers use a number of different techniques to get more money, but the most common is illegally holding their loads “hostage” from their clients. Your goods might not be returned until you pay more than you intended. In order to make sure your stuff doesn’t go the way of Bing Bong (R.I.P.), MoveRescue recommends heavy research into your prospective company. That means using the web, looking at places that have been in existence longer than ten years, and checking to see if they’re AMSA-certified (America Moving and Storage Association). Don’t be swayed by a seemingly too-good-to-be-true cheap offer. Your service will definitely suffer, and you’ll have your own Sadness grabbing your happy memory globes far more quickly than otherwise.
Getting to Know Your Local School Districts and Hot Spots
Even if you’re not raising a family, getting to know the local school districts is a great way to gauge where your new community holds everything from block parties to Fourth of July fireworks shows, and more. It’s also worth noting that if you’re near a school itself, you’ll get a firsthand traffic report almost every single school day.
But if you are moving to support a growing family, take a page out of Riley & Co.’s approach to school. It’s within a quick walk of her home, and close enough to hot spots like pizza places — disgusting broccoli toppings aside. Regardless of your transportation capabilities, you’re going to at least want to establish your quickest route to the community center, so you can get involved in something called…
That’s right, other people are there too!
One of Riley’s “personality islands” is Hockey Island, created via happy memories of her hometown hockey team in Minnesota. Riley’s mother, in a show of amazing parenting for the ages, somehow finds a suitable hockey league in roughly .005 seconds of moving into their new California home.
Even if you’re not the kind of mother that Riley has (and let’s face it, no one is), there’s plenty you can do to ease the anxiety after the move is over. A huge part of the post-move lifestyle change is that “regaining” process. Work hours aside, your leisure-time obligations are hard to organize. Those weekly meetings for everything from book clubs to bowling nights are impossible to replicate, too. That’s something that Inside Out knows all too well. As Anger says, sometimes you want to go back to the place that gave you so many memories, no matter the cost.
But a quick survey of available community groups might be the thing that gets you back on your feet. Check your local bookstores and coffee shops for meet ups. Ask around during big holidays or weekends. Chances are, your community has a big event like a farmer’s market or cookout at least once a month. The internet and other publications can be a great place to check in as well — most cities in America have a local subreddit on Reddit.com, or at least have a local newspaper to get you information about things to do, and people to meet!
The goal here isn’t to make sure you’re exhausted each and every day, but to stay busy after the move and help you transition into your new community the best. If all goes well, you’ll fit right in sooner than you thought.
Greener Grass (And Final Thoughts)
The last point about real estate that Inside Out can teach us is a bit more basic than the others. Bear with us.
Real estate transactions are complicated, and long and stressful moves are part of life, but they’re the result of that innate desire within people to find a home. Sure, we need Realtors to help us choose where we want to stay, what kinds of costs to anticipate, and how to make the process function with our jobs, families, and lifestyles. But we’re doing it to find a new place to live — to grow, learn and keep our lives going.
Moving uproots those memories, good or bad, happy or sad, that make us who we are. But just like those memories will always be there, there’s always going to be new people to meet, new schools to go to, new pizza places to try, and new families to be created. It’s an adventure, just like going back to school.