As an adult who’s moved at least once their life, you already know moving is incredibly stressful. But imagine moving as a kid; they’re being uprooted from what is probably the only home they’ve know for their entire life. Their environment and routines–their main source of stability and security–are completely replaced or disrupted. Moving with kids is not easy. But you can take action to mitigate stress, stay organized, and help your children adjust to this exciting but somewhat scary new stage of life. Start with these 12 important tips on how to move with kids.
How to Move with Kids: 12 Important Tips
1. Tell Them About the Move
Before doing anything else on this list, you’ll need to tell your kids about the move. Tell them as soon as possible, allowing ample time to adjust to the idea. Answer any questions they have (and there might be a lot). They will probably experience a wide range of emotions. You can help them understand and work through their feelings by talking with them. Include additional support by showing them something they can relate to like a book or a tv show explaining big life changes. They might be scared, but if you treat moving like an adventure, you can teach them how to be brave as they go through this transition.
2. Visit Your New Neighborhood
To help them get excited about the move, visit your new neighborhood if possible. Show them their new school, play in the neighborhood park, and drive by your new home. Check out the library and find out what local sports or actives they can join. Familiarizing them with their new environment and talking about new actives in the area will ease their worries and give them something to look forward to.
3. Keep a Positive Attitude
As a parent, you already know your kids pick up on your energy. If you show them you’re stressed about the move, they will be too. Keep a positive attitude as you pack up your current home and settle into your new one. Your kids will be experiencing heightened anxiety, and a visible negative attitude from their guardians will only increase that. If your kids have an extreme moment of anger or sadness about moving, acknowledge it while reminding them of the exciting things ahead. Maybe you’re moving to a bigger house, closer to the beach, or near a new playground or amusement park. Your kids might tend to focus on the negative; remind them to focus on the positive.
4. Make a Plan for Moving Week
Include your kids in the planning for moving week. Choose what meals you’ll eat and maybe let them pick a takeout meal or two. Decide if they’ll be staying with you on moving day or if they’ll visit their fun babysitter or cool aunt. Ask them to pick 1 or 2 toys to keep them company on moving day and set them aside so they aren’t packed away in moving boxes.
5. Stick to Your Regular Routine
Maintaining your regular routine might not be the most important thing on your to do list. But for your kids, changes to or total loss of routine during the move can be emotionally devastating and produce negative results, i.e. increased temper tantrums or difficulty falling asleep. As you pack up your old home and transition into your new one, keep their routines as normal as possible by sticking to your regular meal, nap, and bed times.
6. Hire a Sitter
By exerting extra energy to maintain your kids normal routines, you might feel you’re losing out on valuable packing time. This is where hiring a sitter will come in handy. Hire a sitter to take them for a full or half day and get to packing while you have no distractions.
7. Get Rid of Toys
If you need to downsize the toy collection in your house before the move with your kids, you have two options. The one you choose will depend on the age of your children.
1) With kids who can understand they have toys they no longer play with, help them hold a yard sale. The money they make from the sale can go towards new toys they’ve been eyeing up. Before the sale, talk to them about donating any toys that don’t sell. Use this as an opportunity to explain there are kids less fortunate who don’t have many or any toys.
2) If they’re too young to understand selling their toys in a yard sale or donating to someone in need, don’t ask them what they’d like to get rid of. Even if you ask them to only keep their favorites, they might decide every toy is now their favorite. While they’re at school, the sitters, or sleeping, remove some toys they no longer play with, put them in a box, and take it to a donation center the next day. With the plethora of toys they still have, as long as you’ve left the favorites, they’re not even going to notice they’re gone.
8. Color Code Their Boxes
To make unpacking easier after the move, color code your kids boxes with duct tape. Let them pick their own color, and tell the movers which room corresponds with which color in your new home. All of their boxes will be in their rooms ready to unpack without having to search for them all over the house. If your child is itching for a certain toy that was packed away, you’ll only have to go through 5 boxes instead of every single one.
9. Pack Overnight Bags
For each child, pack a bag with their overnight items–i.e. pajamas, a change of clothes, their favorite stuffed animal they can’t sleep without, their pillow, and toiletries. If you need inspiration for your overnight bags, check out our post all about what to pack in your moving essentials box or bag.
10. Let Them Make Decisions
One of the best ways to help your kids get excited about the move is to let them make some decisions. Ask them to pick the paint color for their new room and decide where to place their bed. Giving them a say in something creates stability in a new environment and will help them feel heard and in control.
11. Unpack Their Rooms First
After moving into your new home, your kids will adjust much more quickly if you unpack their belongings first. Filling their rooms with familiar toys, artwork, and bedding will make them feel more comfortable. Seeing their belongings will remind them this is a safe space and this is home.
12. Give Them Time to Adjust
Adjusting to the new home will take time. After the move, give your kids grace as they acclimate to their new surroundings. Be patient with them and expect stress, anger and sadness that may get the better of them. They will eventually adjust, but it may take months or even a full year.
One of the best ways to ease stress during the move for both you and your kids is to hire movers. And we at Moving U & Junk U believe we’re the best moving company for you. We are licensed and insured, and you can find and read our many five star reviews on Yelp, Google, and Facebook. Our movers are professionally trained to safely move your belongings from point A to point B. Whether you’re looking for assistance with moving, packing, junk removal, or a little of each, you can sit back, relax, and trust us to take care of all the heavy lifting for you.
When you’re ready to get a quote for your move, give us a call or text at 484-301-2442 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org