Moving to a new residence is already challenging and stressful enough as it is. Regardless if it’s your first time or sixth time, packing up your entire life in boxes and driving them to a different state can be an overwhelming task. But if you’re moving with kids and toddlers, the stress from moving can increase significantly. Not only will you need to take care of them during the moving process, but the moving itself can be an emotional roller coaster for them.
For kids, moving to an entirely new place can be exciting yet scary. The uncertainty can also make them feel anxious, which can worry you, too. Some of you may not even know if the moving decision is against their will, which leads them to feel frustration and anger.
Thankfully, it doesn’t always have to be this way. Aside from preparing yourself and your boxes for the move, you must also prepare your kids mentally and emotionally. This way, they’ll handle the moving process with positive feelings.
Whether you’re moving to a new house, apartment, neighborhood, or state, here are some steps to make your move with kids smooth and stress-free for everyone involved:
1. Communicate And Prepare Your Kids
Moving for kids is a complicated matter. They’re unaware of what to expect, what’ll happen, and what to do. Leaving them clueless until the moving day is only a recipe for disaster; there’s always the possibility of your kids throwing tantrums during the moving day. To avoid this, you need to openly communicate with them about the move. The earlier you talk to them about it, the more they’ll have time to understand and adjust to the idea of moving.
You can tell them as much information as their ages and understanding allow. If they’re too young to understand, communicate them in a playful way that their age can comprehend. Tell your kids about your plans of moving and when is the moving day. Don’t forget to tell them about the reason and make sure they know that it’s for the best.
If they ask questions, make sure to answer them accordingly in the best way they understand. Communicating with your kids is a great way to prepare them for the move and let them know what to expect.
2. Get Organized
Expect that the moving day will be chaotic for both you and your kids. Hence, you must organize everything to ensure a smooth moving process for you and your kids. Generally, most people plan their move at least a month before the moving day. But since you’ll be moving with kids and toddlers, it’s best to plan everything ahead at least two to three months before the moving day.
Create a list of everything you need to do. Also, as early as possible, you can search for ‘professional movers near me’ and hire the best movers fit for your budget and needs.
Don’t forget to include decluttering as part of your checklist. The lesser things you’ll need to pack, the better. Get rid of clothes and items that your kids have outgrown or never wear anymore. If you wish to dispose of some of their toys, only do it when they’re not around to avoid them from throwing tantrums.
3. Get Your Kids Involved
It’s common for some kids to feel left out during the moving process. Sometimes, they’d even feel powerless and voiceless over the decision makings involved with moving. But the thing is, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Even at a young age, there are several things in which you can let your child be involved to ensure they don’t feel left out and unheard.
For instance, if you’re still hunting for a new house to buy or rent, let your kids see the pictures of your initial choices and ask them about their opinions. No matter how innocent their opinions may be, such as ‘The house is too ugly’ or ‘I don’t like the color,’ make sure to acknowledge what they say and consider them.
It’s also ideal to let your kids pack their own boxes, specifically their toys. This process will give them a sense of ownership and fulfillment about being able to help with the moving process. Even as simple as letting them choose the color of their boxes and write their own box labels is enough.
Giving them control over small things can help ease their transition towards the new house.
4. Choose The Best Time To Move
It’s not always possible that you get to choose when you can move, especially if your reason is something urgent. But if you can, choose a time when you and your kids are free from major responsibilities and ongoing transitions, such as between school years, during spring or summer, or after your kids have been potty trained.
5. Get To Know The New Residence
If you’re only moving short-distance from your current address, it might be a good idea to take your kids with you and drive them to your soon-to-be house and neighborhood. Let them see what the new place will be like as this will make them feel less strange.
You can also introduce yourselves to your new neighbors. At the same time, contact your children’s new school and ask if you and your kids can have a campus tour before the school year starts. This will surely make it easier for them to adjust and not feel isolated during the first day of school.
On the flip side, if you’re moving across the country or anywhere long-distance, it’s a good idea to do some research and show them some pictures or children’s books about the location. If possible, you can even take them on tour to see some landmarks once you’ve finally settled in your new place.
6. Arrange For Childcare
Chances are you won’t have enough time to prepare and pack the entire house before your move, especially if you’re juggling parenting and full-time work. For you to finish your packing goals and checklist on time, don’t hesitate to hire a babysitter or take your kids to your grandparents or friends for a few hours. With this kid-free time, you’ll have more time and energy to pack, focus on completing tasks, and de-stress before you take your kids back.
Furthermore, it’s also recommended to arrange for childcare during the moving day. This is because having kids around with you could slow down the moving process. Additionally, putting your kids for childcare during the moving day will keep them safe from harm and other hazardous things during the moving process.
While they’re under childcare, make sure you provide them with enough toys, food, and snacks to keep them occupied during the busiest day.
7. Bid Farewells
Naturally, your kids will feel scared about moving to a new home as they’re leaving everything that’s grown familiar for them: neighborhood, school, and friends. Let your kids bid their goodbyes and take pictures of the things or people for keepsake.
To make farewells a more positive experience, you can hold a big or small farewell party and invite everyone close to you and your kids. Lastly, reassure your kids that just because you’re moving doesn’t mean this is a permanent goodbye. Lift your kids’ spirits by telling them that they can still meet their friends again soon, either online or in person.
Moving with kids is a whole different story than moving alone. You’ll be dealing with both you and your kid’s emotional roller coaster.
But with these tips, you can guarantee that you’ll have a smoother and stress-free moving day with your kids and make this big change a fun and memorable experience for everyone.