Tips for a Stress-Free Move with Kids
Moving can be especially hard for families, no matter what age your kids are. Follow these tips and guidelines to make your upcoming move as easy and stress-free as possible for your kids.
When breaking the news to the family, explain the reasons for the move, and give space for everyone to react and share whatever feelings come up. Children are extremely sensitive and can easily pick up on your mood, so try to maintain as positive an outlook as you can. At the same time, be realistic — don’t oversell the move and set your kids up for disappointment.
It’s best to simply expect this process to be intense, and prepare accordingly. Younger children may be confused and scared at the thought of leaving the only home they’ve ever known. Older children, more invested in their social circles, will most likely hate the thought of leaving their friends.
Your best bet when moving with kids is to include them as much as possible. The level to which you include them in the planning and decision-making processes, as well as the move itself, will depend on how old they are.
If you have leeway in terms of when to move, talk to your kids about whether they’d rather move in the summer or winter. If you haven’t yet decided where you’ll be moving to, include your kids in the decision-making process. Share whatever research you’ve done this far and compare areas of the country, cities, and specific houses with them. If you’re moving locally, bring them along to visit different parts of town and any houses you’re already thinking of.
Respect how difficult this move may be for your children. Organizing some sort of goodbye party with friends is often helpful.
As covered in other Moved guides, moving is a perfect opportunity to purge your home of clutter.
Let your children pack their own rooms, or at the very least let them put together a special box of their most important items. Clearly mark these boxes so you can easily find them when you arrive.
If possible, bring your children’s bedroom furniture with you to your new home, as the familiarity will help calm them in your new place.
Depending on their age, assign kids moving tasks to both involve them in the packing process and keep them occupied. If you have young children, consider having a friend, sitter or family member take care of them on moving day.
Stick to your regular schedule as much as possible throughout the moving process. Moving will be stressful and kids benefit from set times for meals, sleeping and waking up.
When you arrive at your new home, take some time to explore the place as a family. Consider playing a game or going to see a movie to lighten things up before diving into the unpacking process.
Get your kids rooms situated as quickly as possible, unpacking their special boxes. As with the packing process, give your kids projects to keep them occupied and ease your own workload.
Give your children (and yourself!) plenty of space and time to fully settle in. Moving is a massive upheaval and it can take a while for life to feel normal again.
Finally, make sure to keep in touch with everyone you left behind!
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