Moving with children can make a complicated project even more stressful, unless you find creative ways to keep kids calm, happy, and engaged. This article has 15 smart tips to make your next move with kids easy.
Changing homes is an emotional time for the entire family, and especially for kids who may be very attached to the only house they know. They might also have close friends in the area that they will miss. But kids are also tough and can be remarkably flexible when dealing with stressful situations if you help them. Just like moving with pets, moving with children takes a little extra planning to make the transition smooth.
At Vector Movers, we often work with families during residential moves in New Jersey and have compiled a list of 15 smart tips to make moving with children easy. We hope you’ll put some (or all) of them to good use during your next move.
15 smart tips for easy moving with children
- Talk with your kids. Moving is not a situation you want to spring on your kids at the last moment. Bring up the move early. They might be sad or upset, but it’s always better that kids know ahead of time.
- Start the moving process early. The more time you give your children to get used to the idea of a move, the easier the process will be on moving day.
- Ask for their help. Getting your kids involved in the move will keep them busy – and it might even be fun. Kids are excellent helpers. They can hold tape, shovel packing peanuts, carry boxes – and you can make a game of it. Plus, allowing them to pack some of their own stuff can make them feel grown up.
- Make a scrapbook. Helping your kids create a book of memories is a great way for them to remember their old house. Take some pictures of the rooms and print them out, collect a few small items that remind them of the different rooms, and put them all together in a scrapbook.
- Throw a goodbye party. A week or two before the move, have a party to say goodbye to the old house. You can make this a family-only affair or invite some of your kids’ friends – especially if you are moving far away.
- Listen to your kids. Pay attention to what your kids say about the move. They might complain or cry, but if there is something that is really bothering them, make sure you address it. Kids need to know you are there for them during stressful times.
- Time your move. Sometimes you don’t have a choice about when to move, but if you do, try and schedule it during a calm period in your child’s life. Over the summer when school is out is a great time to move if you have children.
- Pack a travel bag. Whether your drive to your new home is 5 minutes or 5 hours, having a bag full of games, toys and snacks is a great way to keep kids occupied during travel.
- Keep a box of favorite toys handy. Make sure one of the first boxes you unload once you get to your new home is one that contains familiar objects (toys). This will make them feel more comfortable and at ease in their new surroundings, plus occupy them during a busy time.
- Make it an adventure. Draw up a basic map of the route to their new home and help the kids follow it as you drive. Label different milestones and objects along the way with your new home marked as X. They’ll feel like they’re on a treasure hunt, and this will also earn you some extra parenting points!
- Pack a cooler full of goodies. Kids (and adults) love a light snack and some refreshing drinks during a love drive. This is a simple way to keep everyone happy.
- Let them explore. Once your moving company unloads the boxes and furniture at your new home, take the kids on a tour. Let them explore the different rooms and imagine what they’ll look like when the boxes are unpacked. It will help them feel more comfortable with their surroundings.
- Ask for their advice. For easy moving with children, consult them about what things should go in what rooms. You may have already planned this out, but letting kids feel like they are participating in the process can make them feel good.
- Make it feel like home. Put up pictures and familiar objects from your old house right away. This will make kids feel safer and help them get used to their new space.
- Throw a welcome party. Once everything is moved in and set up, ask your kids to help you throw a welcome party. You can invite your new neighbors over and your kids might meet some new friends!
Make it fun and stress will dissolve
Changing homes is an adventure no matter how old you are. If you’re moving with children, all you need to do is find ways to keep them engaged in the process and get them excited about starting life in their new house.
Do you have any questions about moving with children or want to share some of your own tips? Let us know in the comments!