Moving is almost never easy for anyone. It takes a toll physically and emotionally. When the whole family is moving, it can be especially hard for the kids. We have compiled a list of tips from parents who have “been there and done that”. They’ve offered up tips for moving with kids of all different ages from toddlers to teens and were left with some great lessons learned and ideas that you can apply to your next move.
Before the Move
Photo Credit: hotandhealthymom.com
One resounding theme among all parents with experience moving their families is that you should discuss the move with your kids from the beginning. Don’t procrastinate telling them, they need time to cope and adjust to the idea of moving.
- Talking about the move ahead of time gives you and your children the opportunity to learn all about your new home. Especially if you are moving far away, check out library books and print out pictures of your new city and surroundings online. Make plans to visit local attractions that will be fun for the whole family. Having something to look forward to in your new city is a big help in accepting the move.
- Talk about the things your children love in your current house before you move and have them make a keepsake box of memories, pictures, and things that will remind them of the house and the time they spent there.
- Look into subscribing to or ordering the family or children’s magazines that might be published for the area you are moving to. These will give you insights of what it is like for families to live there. The magazines or newspapers may be available online. Speaking of online, checkout any community groups on social media, like Facebook. You might be able to make some friends through social media so that when you move, you will have connections already set up and can help find local friends for your children.
- If your children are old enough, set up ways for them to stay connected to their friends through email, social media, or phone.
- Research the schools in the area where you are moving. Which schools will be the ones that your children will be attending? Make sure to investigate all of the available schooling options. Making connections with other local parents will give you a great resource to turn to when it comes to finding out details about the best schools.
- Make sure that you keep all other aspects of their life as static as possible. Don’t change anything else that doesn’t have to do with the move.
- Look into age appropriate books to help with the adjustment of the move before hand and afterwards as well.
- Make arrangements for someone to watch small children on moving day if at all possible. This is likely very specific for your family, but in most cases moving day goes a lot smoother without little toddlers and tots under foot.
Packing & Unpacking
When it finally comes down to time to pack, how your kids participate depends on their age and what you discussed as a family ahead of time. For almost all ages, it seems better to have the kids participate in packing, especially their own things.
- Pack the kids’ things in their own boxes that are not mixed with anything else. Also allow them to unpack first so that they can start adjusting to their new home as soon as possible. The more of their things they have, the faster it can start to feel like “home”.
- Have them pack their own bag for moving day that has some comfort items to keep with them during the drive or flight. This should be in addition to their essentials and suitcase for the day or days that it will take to get to your new home.
- Pack snacks for moving day and plan out meals throughout moving day.
- Make sure to keep important papers and documents for the family together.
- For small children, plan to unpack their bed with their belongings first and set up their bed. Moving is tiring for them so have their bed ready for when they want (or need) to go to sleep.
- Celebrate the move and celebrate your new home every chance you get. This should be done as a whole family unit.
- For small children, layout their room as closely as possible to the previous layout. If their room looks similar, the familiar surroundings should be comforting to them.
- Another tip for families with small children, make sure that they know where mummy and daddy sleep. For little ones who still wake up at night, make sure they know where to find you. Wandering through an unfamiliar house scared and looking for mummy and daddy can be very frightening to a little child.
- Take a walk around your new home together and point out or take pictures of the things each child likes most.
- Take breaks during the unpacking and whole moving process. Taking time out to have a little fun with your children will help to make the whole experience less horrible for them.
- Plan to do things as a family.
- Even though moving may have you stressed out, try your best not to show it. Kids pick up on stress and can start to feel the same way.
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