Moving can be both an exciting, and slightly stressful, event for everyone in the family. We often have the many typical ‘moving-related’ tasks to take care of: Movers might have to be scheduled, utility connections need to be sorted, and mail needs to be re-directed.
Add kids to the equation and…well…it gets B-U-S-Y!
The thing is, moving with children simply adds another layer to the dynamics of a household move. They can sometimes add to our workload but, also, they may have their own feelings of stress or anxiety to deal with.
The good news is I have compiled a list of tips for you to help keep everyone feeling lots of that ‘happy feeling’ that I want your whole family to experience during this exciting time!
Talking about your move, before you are in the throws of it, will to help reduce any anxiety children might feel leading up to your move. Talk to them about the things that might be changing for your family (a new bedroom or a new school), and also about the things that are going to be staying the same (your children’s bedroom items and favourite belongings).
If you can, visit your new home a few times with the children in order to help them become familiar with your new space.
Asking your kids for their input in helping to choose paint colours, or other items, can help them feel a sense of ownership in your new space. Many kids are also able to ‘help’ with deciding on the placement of furniture and others items that might go in their bedroom or playroom.
Pick up some books about ‘moving’ from your local library or bookstore. I have heard that the book, ‘I Like Where I Am’ by Jessica Harper is a good little read. You can find it on Amazon here.
Before you start packing, take some photos of your current house. Kids enjoy looking back at them and you might feel nostalgic about them too (especially if it’s the home you brought any of your ‘babies’ home to).
Consider taking a day to visit your new community with the intention of discovering all the fun new spots you might be frequenting (parks, treat shops, biking paths, etc.).
Schedule visits with new playgroups, preschools, and schools that your kids might be attending (be sure to call ahead so they can expect you).
If you can, secure a babysitter (or family member) to help with the kids while you take care of some of your moving tasks (because you deserve some stress-relief, too!).
If this isn’t available to you, try to do as much packing as you can while the kids are sleeping. You’ll be more efficient without your little ones ‘helping’ and parting ways with items headed to goodwill will be much easier. You can avoid the stress they might feel while watching their things go into boxes or giveaway bags.
If you can, try to pack your child’s items closer to moving day – It will be easier for you to plug away at your tasks if your kids still have their toys and activities to play with.
Having someone available to watch your kids will make moving day a little easier for you. If this just isn’t available to you, be sure to have a special bag of activities your child can play with somewhere out of the way of foot traffic.
If you are able to have your cable television or Internet set up ahead of moving day, this could also be a big help in keeping your children entertained while the ‘hustle and bustle’ of a move is happening.
Make their bedroom a priority for unpacking so your kids can start to settle in right away (pack it in truck last, if you can, so it’s amongst the first items to come out).
Help your child stay connected with their old friends, even while they make new connections. Writing letters, emails, or face timing can be fun for them! …And don’t forget to schedule the occasional play-date.