Moving with children can be both an exciting adventure and a daunting task. The key to a stress-free move is careful planning and thoughtful consideration of your little ones’ needs. By involving them in the process and taking steps to minimize disruptions to their routines, you can help make the transition to a new home a positive experience for the whole family. Here’s a simple checklist to guide you through the moving process while keeping your children’s well-being in mind.
Stress-Free Moving Tips for When You Have Children
Start by creating a moving timeline that includes important dates, tasks, and deadlines. This will help you stay organized and reduce the last-minute rush. Get the kids involved by making it a fun family activity. You can create a colorful calendar together and mark off each milestone as you get closer to the big day.
Hiring experts like Allied to handle the logistics of the move can make a huge difference. While they take care of moving your possessions, you’ll be free to dedicate more time to the kids.
When we made our last move, our kids didn’t want to see the house we picked, they wanted to be surprised. So we told them little things to pique their interest and planned the day for them to get to see it for themselves. When they finally got to see it, they were so in love they couldn’t wait to move in! Because we worked hard to build excitement for them, all the long days and hard work seemed trivial to them.
Communicate with your children
Moving can be a big change for kids, so it’s important to keep them in the loop. Sit down with them and explain why you’re moving and what to expect. Encourage them to ask questions and share their feelings. You can even let them help choose new decorations or paint colors for their new room to get them excited about the move.
This was important because our starter home was special to us all. My husband and I even turned a large closet in their playroom into their very own castle tower and we knew it would be hard to leave all that behind. The excitement for the new house helped, but talking through the emotions was helpful for all of us. We wanted them to know it was ok to be both excited and sad, because their mom and dad were, too.
Pack a “moving day” bag
Assemble a special bag for each child with their favorite snacks, toys, books, and any comfort items they might need on moving day. You can even include a disposable camera so they can capture memories of the day. Having these familiar items close by will help them feel more at ease during the hustle and bustle of moving.
When we packed their room, there was little for them to play with but having their favorite toys on hand was certainly helpful, especially when we made the move to the new house and they couldn’t move into their bedroom for several weeks while it was getting remodeled.
Arrange Childcare for moving day
While you’re busy coordinating the move, it’s a good idea to have someone trustworthy look after your kids on moving day. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or babysitter, having someone dedicated to keeping an eye on the little ones will make the process smoother for everyone.
This is especially helpful so your kids get the attention they need and you can focus on the important details and all the moving parts that happen on moving day.
Set up their new space
One way to encourage excitement is to let your kids have input in designing their new space before they even move in. Then on moving day, prioritize setting up your children’s rooms first. Let them help arrange their belongings and decorate their space. This will give them a sense of ownership and comfort in their new environment.
This also gives them a space to play while you are busy unpacking and seeing to the numerous other things that accompany a move into a new home. Our bedrooms were being remodeled the first few weeks we lived in our new home (do not recommend) so we had to create temporary bedrooms and play spaces. Thankfully, we moved during the fall and had plenty of outdoor things for them to do and places to explore.
Explore the new neighborhood
Take some time to explore the new neighborhood with your children. Visit local parks, playgrounds, and ice cream shops to help them get excited about their new surroundings. You can even make a game out of finding the nearest pizza place or the best spot for a family picnic.
Many times leading up to the actual move we drove our kids past the house and then around the area looking at all the things. It was exciting for our kids to see everything that was nearby because even though we were only moving 30 minutes from our old home, there were plenty of different things to see and do that built the excitement for them.
Amidst the chaos of moving, try to stick to your regular routines as much as possible. Whether it’s bedtime stories, family movie nights, or Sunday pancake breakfasts, maintaining these rituals will provide a sense of stability for your children during the transition.
This is so important, especially for children. As excited as our kids were for the move, our littlest did struggle with anxiety during our move and we didn’t realize it until we took her to the doctor for continued stomach aches. When we realized the effect the move was having on her, we worked extra hard to make it feel as normal as possible.
Be patient and understanding
Moving can be overwhelming for kids, so be patient and understanding as they adjust to the changes. Encourage open communication and be ready to offer extra hugs and reassurance as they navigate this change. But have fun with it, too. Do special things to celebrate milestones, like ice cream on closing day, etc.
Our middle daughter had her 9th birthday during the move and seven showings that day. So not only could we not decorate for her birthday, we couldn’t even be home. I was heartbroken for her. Thankfully, God gifted us some gift cards and we spent the entire day doing all of her favorite things. To this day, she talks about it being one of her favorite birthdays.
There are so many things to do and consider when making a move that we as parents can get so wrapped up in the endless to-do list. But taking the time to make sure our kids are ok during this time is so very important and needful. It doesn’t have to be a stressful situation, with a bit of pre-planning and some thinking outside of the box, it can be a fun and memorable time for everyone.