Children of all ages can have a hard time moving. It can be a big change for them to adjust to, and they often feel sad about it.
To make the move easier for your family, here are 6 ways to prepare: 1. Start by assessing closets and donating or selling items. 2. Begin packing items you don’t use daily.
- Make the Move a Family Event
Kids can be especially sensitive to the transition of moving and may feel left out or powerless. Making the move a family event can make them feel involved and more positive about the change.
Start by discussing the move well in advance. Younger children might need to be told a little earlier than teenagers, but it’s important to open the conversation so they understand what is happening and why.
Take the time to visit your new area in advance if possible and map out routes to school, parks, the local mall and other destinations that your family will frequent. This will help them get familiar with the new neighborhood and take some of the mystery out of the move.
- Pack Early
The key to a smooth move is to start packing up early. Make sure to pack items that you know will not be used until after the move, like extra linens and towels, seasonal clothes and decorations, toys and some of the kids’ collections.
Tuck away essentials like a change of clothing, medications and toiletries in a duffel bag or suitcase for the last night in your old house and the first night in your new home. This gives the kids a sense of control and makes them feel they’re part of the process. It also helps reduce the frantic search for important items.
- Hire a Moving Company
If you’re moving long-distance, a reputable moving company can save you time and money. They can also handle the smaller details that often go overlooked, such as arranging for a truck of the appropriate size to fit down narrow streets.
Before hiring a moving company, ask friends and family for recommendations. And always get three estimates before making a decision. Watch out for companies that demand a large deposit or full payment before your move; they may be scamming you. Similarly, be wary of any company that offers a low non-binding estimate and then hits you with extra fees later on. Make sure to read your contract carefully. Money management is important so you don’t feel stressed out over spending. A home warranty quote could be beneficial for you to feel more at ease about moving into a different home and wondering if there are future repairs down the road. It will provide some peace of mind.
- Keep the Same Routine
Keeping some parts of your daily routine can make the move easier for you and your family. However, it is important to know that your routine will change when you get to your new home.
Tuck a few things like an extra pair of shoes, a workout mat or band, exercise DVDs, a swimsuit, and any other items that you would need if your house was ever unpacked before the move into a suitcase or bag that will stay with you throughout the process. This way, if your belongings are lost or misplaced, you have a few essentials to fall back on.
- Make the Move a Fun Experience
Kids may not always embrace change, but they can often thrive during it if the process is made fun. Depending on their age, they can be given various tasks that allow them to feel like they are helping you, such as creating inventories of their rooms or packing up their own boxes (with supervision, of course).
It’s also a good idea to bring them over to the new house before moving day. This way, they can get a feel for it and see how it will work for them in terms of school, playgrounds, ice cream shops and other family activities. This will help them feel excited about the move and not sad to leave their old home behind.
- Keep a Moving Journal
It can be difficult for kids (of any age) to deal with a major life event like moving. It is even harder when they feel like they have no control over the situation.
Keeping a journal is one of the best ways to help children cope with a move. It gives them a chance to express their feelings and emotions in a safe environment.
Encourage them to write down important details about the move, such as when they can start unpacking and where their favorite stuffed animals should go in their new room. Labeling their boxes with colorful stickers is also a great way to make them feel included in the process.