Moving can be a monumental task, even if you’re just relocating a few blocks over, and long distance moves can take an emotional toll on kids because no one likes to leave friends behind. But your attitude towards moving and the ways you involve your children in the process will make all the difference in whether they love their new home or resent being there. Check out these tips for making your family move a smooth and successful one.
When it’s time to break the news to your kids, make a favorite snack or order up some pizzas and sit down in a comfy place; there will likely be discussion. Try to convey your excitement for the new place and the new opportunities that place offers for everyone in your family. Tell your children that you’ll depend on them for help and support throughout the moving process. But don’t stop there: make sure everyone in your family has a specific “job” during the move. If kids feel busy and involved, they’ll feel more positive about the experience and they won’t have time to second-guess whether moving is really such a hot idea. If possible, involve your children in selecting a new home, but keep in mind it can be taxing to drag little ones to visit half a dozen houses or apartments in a day. Narrow it down to some top choices before you ask kids for their input.
When packing up, take it slow. If you take your time and pack over the course of a few weeks, it’ll be a lot less stressful and allow you to be more organized. Try to label your boxes with descriptive precision; this is essential if your child is trying to track down a favorite toy on the other end. If you have a lot of stuff to get rid of, have a moving sale and make sure the profits go to something that benefits the whole family.
Before the move, don’t forget to make some memories of the home you’re leaving. Take some photos or, if you have a video camera, create a goofy home tour video with your kids – this can be a great thing to show off at a going-away party. Lastly, leave something behind for your old home’s new inhabitants.
It’s important to do lots of research about the new town, city, or neighborhood you’re moving to, and encourage your children to do the same. When you get there, be sure to set aside some time to explore with your kids. Visit schools, the library, community centers, and maybe a fun restaurant or two. It’s important to make your new home feel homey, so some of the first things you unpack on the other end should be favorite paintings, posters, or objects from the old place. If your kids’ rooms need some extra spark, check out some of our room and nursery décor – this could be a nice surprise for a kid who behaved in an exemplary way during the move.
It’s difficult to leave a home behind, but making moving really fun for your kids can help a lot, and if you look at moving as an adventure, it can be a blast. But throughout the process, make sure your child knows that despite the great changes moving brings, you’ll always be a constant in their life. Done right, moving can only bring a family closer together.