10 Helpful Tips to Help Make Moving With Kids a Breeze
Moving can be a stressful experience, between all of the packing and the amount of required paperwork alone. Moving with kids can add another layer of emotional (and sometimes physical) stress. To help ease the transition, check out these 10 tips that can make the whole process that much easier for your entire household.
Explain Why You’re Moving
Whether you have a new job opportunity or you’re changing your living situation, it’s important to explain to your kids why you’re moving. Even if things are less than favorable — perhaps you’ve been evicted and are now moving out of necessity — taking the time to sit with your kids and talk about the move is important. Hold an open forum for the family to address any concerns about why you’re moving, and what that means for them.
Get Your Kids Involved in the Moving Process
Involving your children, both older and younger, in the moving process can make them feel as if they’re an important part of your efforts and an important member of the household team. As you prepare your moving to-do list, consider creating or identifying projects that the kids can help with, or possibly handle themselves. Even the littlest task can make a big difference from their perspective. Tasks for your children might include:
- Bigger kids: in charge of packing up their rooms;
- Smaller kids: errand buddy for things like picking up boxes and donation runs;
- Bigger and smaller kids: helping to clean up various rooms or messes
Take Your Kids to Visit the New Neighborhood
Sometimes this won’t be an option, but if you can, take a walk or a drive around your new neighborhood. A visit like this can give your kids a sense of knowing where they’re going, rather than the feelings associated with the unknown. If you can’t visit physically, pull up Google Earth and take a digital trip around your new street. You can also look up nearby restaurants, parks, or other activities and make a plan for a family outing once you arrive.
Host a “Moving Away” Party
It doesn’t matter if you’re moving around the block or across the country; a moving away party is a great and thoughtful way to commemorate your move. Having a party with your kids will allow their old community to gather around them in a way that is positive and fun for everyone. This can encourage excitement and allow them to find their own feelings of anticipation for the move.
Minimize Change to Your Daily Routine as Much as Possible
Just because you’re moving doesn’t mean you should completely stray away from routine (although sometimes this may be inevitable). Try and keep your daily routine as similar as possible throughout the moving process. This can help your kids feel more grounded, so even while their physical surroundings are in transition, important things like when they do homework, eat dinner, and go to bed stay the same.
Pack a Bag for Moving Day
Put together an easy-to-access moving-day bag full of any special items your kids may not be able to live without while packing and unpacking — you can even include a special toy or treat for them to open when you get to the new house as a surprise! Items in your moving-day bag can include:
- Any special toys or keepsakes;
- A change of clothes, or light layers;
- DVDs and other entertainment materials;
- Daily-use toiletries like toothbrushes, hair accessories, or diapers.
Pack Up Big Items While The Kids are Sleeping
Packing up big, breakable, or especially time-consuming items while the kids are sleeping will help to ensure you get the work done without any distractions. This may involve taking multiple trips to Goodwill, the dump, or your storage unit. When storing items, it’s important to consider factors that will keep them in good condition, which can depend on your storage unit features and the nature of the item itself.
Use Color-Coded Duct Tape for Each Box
Using color-coded duct tape is helpful for families with multiple kids. Having an easy-to-follow box-organization system helps you know at-a-glance which box belongs where, and can help your kids move or unpack their boxes more effectively without constant supervision.
Utilize Online Resellers
For items that you don’t want to donate, but don’t want to or can’t move — excess clothes that are in good shape, bicycles your kids have outgrown, bulky or unused exercise or utility equipment, and so on — utilize online resellers. Sites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are great for getting rid of unwanted items without having to set up a yard sale or otherwise find a suitable buyer while in the middle of a move.
Say Goodbye to Your Old House
On your last day, you should take some time to physically say goodbye to your home with your kids. You can tailor this in a variety of ways — go room to room and say your favorite things about each room, what you’ll miss the most, or what you won’t miss at all. If your house is sold, you could write a letter to the next family with highlights of your experience. This time is for you and your kids to be mindful and appreciative of all that you have enjoyed about your old house, and experience a moment of closure.
If you’re moving with kids, these tips can help you maximize not just their moving experience, but yours as well. By answering any questions they may have, making them an active part of the moving team, and making time for closure, you can make moving accessible and exciting to your kids, no matter what their age.