You’re likely to feel every emotion on moving day: Excitement, exhaustion, fear, sadness – and then some. If you’ve got kids, it’s important to remember that moving day affects them, too. Here are four tips from experts to making the move easier on everyone.
Prepare them for the move.
Make sure your kids know you’re moving – and why. Have a family meeting to explain why you’re moving. If you haven’t already discussed it, talk about why you’ve chosen the new location and the ways it will be different to where you live now and the ways it will be the same.
Be patient – each child will react to the move differently. Their excitement for change will be mixed with sadness at leaving their friends and the places that are familiar to them. Some kids will even regress to old behaviors and patterns.
Looking for story books to help ease the transition? Find suggestions at the Parents website.
Involve them in the process.
There are tasks for kids of all ages in the moving process. Even little kids can help you declutter and decide which items are going with you and which will be thrown out, sold, or donated. Reassure them that the things that matter most to them are going to go with you on the move; you just want to get rid of things you don’t use anymore. Give each child a box where they can put their most treasured possessions the day of the move. Keep this box close so that they always know where it is.
If you can, take the kids with you when you look at new homes. They’ll enjoy dreaming and planning what you could do with each house. Find the nearest playground, library, or pizza shop for each home. As you move through the process, you can keep older kids up to date on what is going on.
Make plans with them.
Once you know where you’ll be living, it’s time to plan the new bedroom! Give kids ownership of their new room by letting them choose how it will be decorated. Teenagers can be given a budget and then let to run with their plan. Even younger kids can work with a budget if you help them through the process of decorating their room.
Kids will also like being consulted on other decorating decisions in the home. Deciding between two rugs? Take a vote. Look at paint swatches together, and talk about how you can arrange your furniture in the new house.
Take time to explore.
Unpacking and setting up a new house is just as much work as packing up and moving out. Take breaks to explore your new surroundings. Be a tourist in your new community! Find fun places to go and look for activities and clubs so your kids can make friends. Introduce yourselves to the neighbors and visit the kids’ new schools. This will help them get excited about their new home.