Moving with kids can be an emotional roller coaster. It’s exciting, stressful, sad, happy, and all around overwhelming. Your patience will be tested, but in the end you’ll be in a wonderful new family home to make memories in. If you’re feeling stressed about packing up your family, here are 5 of our top tips to make moving easier with kids.
1. Prepare Your Kids for the Move
Moving can be very exciting, but it can also be confusing and sad for kids, especially if they’re moving to another school and away from their neighbourhood friends. Let them know what’s happening and that you’ll be taking all your stuff with you. If their routine and family structure isn’t going to change, make sure to tell them that. Start getting them excited about the move by taking them to the new neighbourhood to show them what it has to offer. Visit places like the playground, dog park, movie theater, and neighbourhood ice cream shop. The more positive associations they can make with their new home, the better!
2. Give Them a To-Do List
Kids like to have purpose and if they know your family is moving, they’ll likely want to help. Create a to-do list with simple jobs that need to be done prior to your move. This could be cleaning duties or items that need to be packed away. If you’re trying to cut down on junk during the move, ask them to help decide what they want to keep, what they can donate and what needs to be thrown away. Allowing them to make choices and be part of the moving process will make it more exciting for them.
3. Pack Your Kids’ Rooms Last
It’s best not to disrupt your kids’ environment or routine before you have to. Leave your child’s things until the end and pack up their bedroom last, so they still have a familiar place to go as they watch the rest of the house change. Involve them in the process of packing up their room and label boxes in a way they’ll understand. Let them watch over a special stuffed animal or toy that they don’t have to pack and can take along with them for the move.
4. Book a Sitter
Moving is hectic, and with boxes and furniture being moved, it can be overwhelming for kids, especially younger ones. Plus, as much as we love them, they can end up getting in the way. If you can, book a sitter for moving day or have family or friends watch your kids so they’re out of the house. You won’t be able to give them your full attention with so much going on, so think about your kids, their ages and abilities and coping skills and decide if this is the right choice for your family. This may extend to the date and time your furniture is being moved in and set up.
5. Keep Safety Top of Mind
Moving can be really stressful, and you don’t want to accidentally do anything that could put your child in danger. Don’t stack boxes too high or leave piles of things lying around, and don’t leave cords or scissors within reach. Make sure cleaning supplies are all packed up and are put away as soon as you get to the new house. Have your first-aid kit handy during the move, don’t pack it away in a box. Once you get to your new space, create a safe space where your kids can hang out.