Tips for Moving With Kids
Those that are moving with kids and have told them that the family is moving, it’s time to refocus 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 a few 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 your move. Decide what meals your family will eat and where/how they will eat them. Create packing schedules 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 safely.
- Come up with 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.
- 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.
- 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 at school.
- Color-code boxes. Keeping boxes organized, especially when you have too many tiny helpers, is no easy feat. Get colorful stickers or tape to mark each box for a fast and easy kid-approved organization method.
- Pack overnight bags for everyone. Make sure every member of the family has a duffle 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 of that 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. I promise, your kid won’t miss those paper scraps once they’re gone.
- Keep a positive attitude. Your kids pick up on your energy, so do your best to stay positive during the moving process. This is especially important while settling into your new home, as your kids are likely to already be experiencing anxiety.
- Hire a babysitter. Here’s a fantastic date-night idea: you send your kids to the sitter’s house while you and your significant other get busy. And by get busy, I mean packing boxes as fast as you can. Date-nights aside, hiring a sitter is a great solution for younger kids who aren’t in school and 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 give their input.
- Take pictures of your old home. If your kids are like most, then 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 of those boxes.
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