Moving from one house to another is exciting and stressful – for both adults and children!
You, as a parent, are responsible for ensuring the house is packed, moved, and unpacked with as little chaos as possible. At the same time, your children will be experiencing a huge change in their life.
Going through the moving process in a way that is enjoyable for everyone involves careful planning and addressing your child’s feelings about it.
If you’re getting ready to move, here are some tips that will help you get through it easily and stress-free:
1. First Thing’s First: Announcing the Move
When you announce to your children that you are moving, they may take the news one of two ways: Either they will be super excited or upset.
Try not to spring the move on your children as a surprise – you need to give them time to adjust to the idea. And it doesn’t have to be an extravagant affair. Simply sit them down and tell them plainly that you will be moving.
You’ll probably get a ton of questions about where you are going and why. Be honest and straightforward.
If your child is upset, reassure them by listening to and acknowledging their concerns. Don’t try to talk your child out of feeling sad.
For young children, you can act out the concept of moving with stuffed animals or find a book that explains the process in age-appropriate terms.
2. Establish Expectations
Children thrive on expectation and, even though you’re about to derail their everyday life, you can best prepare them by showing them their new neighborhood.
Begin by taking your kids to the area to scope out the playgrounds, new schools, and the library (where you can check out the bulletin board to see what fun and exciting activities the area offers!).
Stop at a shop and grab a treat and drive around the new neighborhood.
When it comes to the actual move, you can make a scrapbook with photos outlining where they live now and where they will be moving to. Use pictures to show the process of packing boxes, loading the truck, and unpacking.
Include some photos of those places you explored in the new area and allow your children to make plans for their new rooms!
3. Maintain the Same Schedule
In the process of packing and moving, try to keep your little ones’ schedule as normal as possible. The more you can maintain predictability in their lives, the easier they will adjust to the move.
This means continuing to have your child go to daycare/school every day as well as their normal extracurricular activities.
And now is not the time to make any major transitionary changes! Moving to a new home and having your toddler move from a crib to a bed, for instance, will only cause your little one more stress.
4. Start Packing As Soon As Possible
The last thing you want is to rush your packing days before the big move – especially with kids underfoot!
As soon as you know you will be moving, pack your first box. You can start with closets and other items you don’t use on a regular basis.
(PS: Now is a great time to purge unwanted items!)
The sooner you start, the more you can get done while your children are following their regular schedules such as going to school or daycare.
Otherwise, if you have to pack in the evenings or on the weekends, you aren’t using the whole time and can still engage in your child’s regular activities.
5. Stay Organized
Staying organized is key to a stress-free move, especially when kids are involved. Organizing your packing efforts is going to pay off when it’s time to move in.
Pack your boxes by room and label them accordingly. This way, they can be placed exactly where they need to go in the new house.
If you can, put signs up on bedroom doors so anyone moving boxes in knows where the items need to go.
Yes, some rooms may get a little cramped, but this is going to save you a ton of time when it comes to unpacking. You won’t have to search through a sea of boxes to find what you are looking for!
6. Let Your Kids Help
Giving your kids something to do during the packing phase will allow them to feel like they have some control over the situation.
Allow them to pack items from their room and small (unbreakable) stuff from around the house. You can also get them to help decorate and label the boxes!
During the moving day, have your child take responsibility for a packing checklist.
7. Ask For Help If You Need It
Moving with kids can be a hectic ordeal, so don’t be afraid to ask for help with your kiddos!
See if someone can watch your little ones on the day of the move or have someone come along to keep them occupied while you are packing and unpacking.
Being upbeat and positive is important when it comes to making the move less stressful for your kids, so having someone around to help will keep your nerves calm and the atmosphere positive.
8. Long-Distance Moves
If you have to drive quite a ways to get to your new home, be sure to plan activities along the way.
Stop at playgrounds and areas where your children can get out and stretch their legs. Make sure to pack lots of snacks and activities for them to engage in while you’re driving.
You should also mark any emergency medical clinics on your route just in case.
9. Set Up Your Kids’ Rooms First
When it comes to spending your first night in the new home, you want to provide your child with as much familiarity as possible. This is why you should set up your kids’ rooms first.
As you’re packing up the moving truck, make sure their stuff goes on last and comes off first.
Don’t worry if the rest of the house is chaotic! By setting up their rooms first, they will have a safe space surrounded by familiar things to help them adjust to the move.
10. Plan Fun Activities For Your Arrival
Remember all those places you scoped out before the move? Now’s the time to really enjoy them!
Go to the playground, spend some time at the library, or treat the family to a special meal at a restaurant.
I know you’re going to want to get to unpacking right away, but there’s always time for that. Make sure you start off your new adventure in your new home on a positive note for your children.
Let’s Get Moving!
By focusing on organizing, maintaining routines, and laying out expectations, you and your family can experience a move that is enjoyable and exciting!
Do you have any tips you would like to add for the big day? Drop them in the comments below!