If moving wasn’t hard enough, attempting it with kids is in a league of its own! But don’t fret, it can be done! Here are some great tips to help you and your kids survive the ordeal with minimal tears (from you and them)!
- Keep a positive conversation flow. Regardless of the age of your children, they need to be reassured that all the transition is a good thing. Everyone involved is going to feel additional stress so try to keep things positive and light. Spend the weeks before the move researching what your new neighborhood has to offer and planning which parks you will visit first. It’s also important to acknowledge that you will all miss certain aspects of the area that you are leaving. Consider having a fun farewell tour of your current neighborhood. Take time to play at your favorite playground, eat at your favorite restaurant and spend time with friends that might be harder to connect with once you move. You can even consider having a relaxed and fun farewell party so that your kids can say goodbye and have a sense of closure. If you are moving far away, it is likely that your children will feel sad about all the changes and even a little scared. A memory board is a great way to help them feel more connected to what is familiar to them. Spend time before the move putting pictures and different items on the board that remind you all of the things you love. When you get to your new house, put the board up in a central location.
- If you have young children, it is so helpful to find some friends or babysitters to volunteer some time to keep them occupied. Packing a box with toddlers is a lesson in futility and you may need therapy after attempting it! Utilize the resources available to you as much as possible during the 2-3 weeks leading up to the move when the bulk of packing needs to be done. Recognize that you will need to give yourself ample time to get the boxes packed and that you and your kids might need frequent breaks. Set up a reward system for the whole family to keep everyone motivated. “Let’s pack five boxes and take out three bags of trash and then we can go out for ice-cream!”
- When it comes to decluttering your children’s things, you will have an opportunity to develop your stealth ninja skills. The most forgotten and uncared for toy will soon become a treasure when it is discovered by your child in the “Donate” box! Definitely involve your kids in choosing which items of theirs they want to donate. But when it comes time to actually move it out of the house and into the trunk, you might want to sneak it out at night after they are in bed!
- Leave one box of toys untaped! Don’t pack up all of their toys and leave them bored or you will never get the rest of the house packed. In fact, buying some new coloring books or play dough sets will help occupy them while you get more packing done.
As always with kids, be patient and kind to them and to yourself! Recognize that it is stressful and try to come up with ways to relieve the tension and have some fun.