Moving is a stressful time.
Moving with kids is tricky if you don’t know how to handle it. Thankfully, you will keep your kids and yourself happy by following these basic steps.
Use these tips to prepare your child for the big move and help them feel excitement instead of dread.
1. Get Them Involved Early
Bring them in early. Let them look at houses with you and listen to their opinions. This lets them see that you value their opinions and want them to be happy.
Depending on your children’s age, there are lots of ways they can help. School age and older children may help you pack up, clean, and label things.
Younger children should be given basic tasks early in the process. It is often less stressful overall to have them stay with a relative or visit friends on the actual moving day.
Moving is the perfect time to organize and pare down some of your child’s clothing and toys they have outgrown. Many people with kids have clothes that no longer fit them, old toys they no longer play with, and furniture that is now too small for the child, all taking up valuable space.
Start by asking your children to sort through and eliminate some of the toys and games they no longer play with. This is a great way to make them feel like they’re contributing to the move.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of this isn’t only the saved space; it’s the feeling of responsibility you’ve given your children. They know you value their opinions and trust them to make real decisions.
3. Plan to Involve the Kids
Everything in life is better with planning. Try to prepare for your move as early as you can. As soon as you know you’re moving, prepare your kids.
If you are moving out of town, they will need to say goodbye to friends. Perhaps planning a “See You Soon” or “Goodbye” party is appropriate.
If you are moving locally, it’s a great idea to take them to the new house and show them around the area.
Make sure you’ve also gotten all the supplies you’ll need for them to pack up their room and toys. Let them decorate a special box for their treasured items and allow them to pack their favorite items in it.
4. Make a Travel Kit
There’s nothing worse than a bored kid on a long drive. Make sure you put some essentials in a known and easy-to-access place.
Include a change or two of clothes as well as entertainment. Handheld gaming units, books, toys, and snacks are always a good idea.
Keeping them entertained is a great way to make moving with children less stressful for everyone.
5. Try to Keep a Schedule
Children thrive on continuity. One of the best ways to make a new house feel like home is to create a schedule.
Establish and follow usual bedtimes, mealtimes and play times. Show them that even though they are in a new place, things haven’t changed too much.
See if you can set up playdates with their old friends. It makes it easier for kids if they know they won’t have to start over.
Take Change in Stride
Moving with kids doesn’t have to be stressful. By involving them in the move and keeping their feelings in mind, you will make it more of an adventure than an ordeal.
Check out some of these other moving articles if you’re planning a relocation.