You’ve found your dream house: the perfect place to raise your family! It’s a beautiful new-build with a big yard, friendly neighbors, nice parks, and great schools. You’ve finished all the headaches of closing on the home and selling your current place, now all you have to do is survive moving with your kids.

Between packing, hauling, and adjusting to a new environment, moving to your dream house can quickly turn into a nightmare for you and your family. Use these tips to make things go as smoothly as possible and keep your little campers happy throughout your move.

How to Tell Your Kids They’re Moving

First things first, you have to tell your kids about the move. While you may be worried about settling into a new neighborhood and making your furniture look good in a new layout, your kids’ lives are going to be uprooted and turned upside down by your relocation. They will lose friends and familiarity and will, most likely, have a difficult time adjusting to the new circumstances. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help make the transition easier for your children.

Tell them as soon as possible

If you have a move in the works, chances are your kids already know something is going on. Let them in on your move as early as possible to help them prepare and make them feel included.

Give them enough details

Depending on their ages, your kids might need more than a general overview of where and when you are moving. Make sure they know things like the exact date you’ll be in your new home, what life is going to be like while you’re packing up the house, and whether they will be sharing rooms or not in your new home.

Help them find reasons to be excited

Your kids are going to find several reasons to not be excited on their own. They need your help to feel excited about leaving their old friends behind and moving to a new place.

Answer their questions

Let your kids ask you questions and give them honest answers to help them feel more at ease. They might wonder how they will keep in touch with old friends or what their new school will be like.

Help them understand their feelings

This is one of the most important things you can do to help your kids. They will experience big, scary emotions, and they might not understand what those feelings are or how to deal with them. Use books, music, or clips of favorite TV shows to help your children understand their emotions and deal with them positively.

15 Tips for Moving With Your Kids

Once you’ve told your kids about the coming move, it’s time to buckle down and get everything ready. Keeping track of kids, dealing with grumpy attitudes, and hauling those boxes full of heavy toys and books are just a few of the challenges you might have to deal with. Here are 15 ideas for surviving your move with kids.

Start Earlier Than You Think You Need To

It happens to everyone, moving day sneaks up and you find yourself throwing things in boxes and speed scrubbing floors while the moving truck is on its way. Get started packing and deep cleaning as early as possible so your family can be fully prepared for the big day.

Make a Moving Week Plan

Sit down with your kids and plan every detail of the last week before you move. Decide what meals your family will eat and where/how they will eat them. Create a packing schedule to cut back on last minute stress. Plan out who will be riding in which car and how everyone will make it to your new home.

Come Up With Individual To-Do Lists

Recruiting your kids to handle simple jobs that need to be done prior to your move is a win for both of you. Give them lists that include cleaning duties and items that need to be packed before the move. For the smaller children, be sure the lists are specific. “Pack your room up” is far too broad and could have a 6-year-old in tears very quickly. “Put your books in the two boxes next to the bookshelf” is a manageable task that can get checked off the list when completed.

Stick to Routines

Having a set schedule does wonders for young minds. The best way to cut down on uncertainty and alleviate stress in your children is to make sure family schedules and routines don’t get tossed aside during the moving process. While we realize this isn’t always possible, try as hard as you can to have your children stay within bounds. You and your spouse might need to stay up until midnight cleaning and packing, but your kids shouldn’t.

Utilize Kid-Free Time

What’s harder than packing every possession you own into a bunch of cardboard boxes? Doing it while you’re trying to manage a household. Turn nap time into pack time and get as much work done as you can while your kids are in school.

Color-Code Boxes

Keeping boxes organized, especially when you have too many helpers, is no easy feat. Get colorful stickers or tape to mark each box for a fast and kid-approved organization method.

Pack Overnight Bags for Everyone

Make sure every member of the family has a duffel bag with all the essentials. Use these bags for the last night in your old home and first night in your new home.

When In Doubt, Throw It Out

Children tend to accumulate a lot of things they don’t need: broken crayons, old school assignments, buckets full of old toys, and so on. Between their old junk and your old junk, you probably have a dozen boxes worth of stuff you don’t need to pack. Throw out as much junk as possible to save time and packing tape.

Be Sneaky

Along with accumulating junk, kids also get attached to said junk. Get rid of items at night, during school hours, or any other time they won’t notice. We promise, your kids won’t miss those paper scraps once they’re gone.

Keep a Positive Attitude

Your kids pick up on your energy, so do your part to stay positive during the moving process. This is especially important while settling in your new home, as your kids are likely to already be experiencing anxiety.

Hire a Babysitter

Here’s a fantastic date-night idea: send your kids to the sitter’s house while you and your spouse get busy. (And by getting busy, we mean packing boxes as fast as you can.) Date-night aside, hiring a sitter is a great solution for younger kids who aren’t in school or for moving during summer months when none of your kids will be in school.

Give Your Kids a Say

Letting your children make a few decisions and be involved in the moving process will help them feel like they have more control and stability in their environment. Ask for their opinions and let them help with decisions they really care about, or at least allow them to give their input.

Take Pictures of Your Old Home

If your kids are like most kids, they’ll have a hard time saying goodbye to your old home. Taking pictures, making memory books, and having one final goodbye are all ways you can help your children feel less anxious about leaving.

Allow Enough Time to Adjust

It could very well take your children the better part of a year to fully adjust to their new surroundings. Be patient with your kids and expect strong emotions for the first little while.

Befriend Your Neighbors

Giving your children opportunities to make new friends will help them settle in and adjust more quickly. It will also keep them busy, giving you enough time to unpack all those boxes.

How to Pack With Kids

Even if you’ve done everything you can think of to get your kids excited about your upcoming move, they’ll probably still hate the chore of packing. In fact, there’s a good chance they’ll fight you at every turn and break into already packed boxes while you aren’t looking. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to stress-free packing with kids, but here are a few tricks:

Sort, Sort, Sort!

This is the main thing most children won’t be able to do on their own. Depending on their age, your kids might need you to offer a little guidance (think preteens) or just sort everything yourself (think toddlers and babies). Get everything sorted into three sections: keep, discard, sell/donate.

Offer Incentives

If your kids are dragging their feet to pack and sort, it doesn’t hurt to offer a small reward as motivation. You could offer to let your kids keep any money that they make from selling their old things or pick out a new item for their new room once they get everything packed. Incentives are a clever way to make packing into less of a chore for everyone.

Make It a Competition

There’s nothing kids love more than beating their siblings at literally everything. Use this competitive spirit to your advantage by turning packing into one big game. Set a time for each packing “round” and let your kids pack as much as they can during that time. Everything must be packed neatly in order to get credit, and the winner gets some sort of prize.

Donating Old Toys

Give your unused and unloved toys a second chance by donating them instead of throwing them away. Donating is more than just a great way to get rid of the extra clutter, it’s a chance to teach your kids about giving to a charity that you care about.

Remember earlier when we said to be sneaky? Slipping broken pencils and year old math homework out while your kids aren’t paying attention is a great idea, but make sure your kids are involved in deciding which toys to donate. Help them understand that the toys they don’t play with anymore can go to another child who will give them all the love they deserve.

You don’t have to be a mathematician to know that adding kids to an already stressful situation equals a lot more stress. If you take the time to prepare your kids beforehand, let them be involved with the moving process, and keep your cool, you’re bound to have a less bumpy ride. However, we can’t promise you won’t hear, “Are you done yet?” over a hundred times before it’s all over.







Posted by The Cobb Group on
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