6 for moving with kids. Have a smooth move with less stress!
Let’s be honest, moving in general is stressful. After the excitement of finding your dream house there’s the headache of closing on the home, selling or renting out your old place, and of course the actual move itself. Throw a toddler or kids into the equation and it can be that much more stressful and overwhelming!
While we only have one toddler (I imagine moving homes with multiple kids is that much more… fun!) we did learn some tips during our recent move. So here we go, 6 top tips to make things go as smoothly as possible and keep your little ones happy throughout your move.
We kind of cheated on this one, since we had already moved tons of times while travelling in Florida with Sage, when it came to moving into this new house, there really wasn’t a period of ‘saying goodbye’ to our old place. Having said that, something I would suggest to parents not in my situation would be to have open communication with your little ones so they’re not completely blind-sided. Tell them ahead of time so that they have a chance to get used to the idea, and be as positive as possible when talking about the new house in front of them. Save the stress for when they’re out of sight, or they’ll pick up on it! Also, be on hand to answer any questions they may have and open to helping them process any negative emotions. Something you could try is reading to them as I find books are a great way to visually communicate with little ones. I found this book this one which helps explain moving homes in a non-scary way.
Moving homes is a great opportunity to ‘clean house’ – literally! Something I did before this move was go through all of Sage’s toys and clothes, getting rid of ones that she has outgrown. If your little one is old enough to know when something has disappeared, work together to decide which toys to donate. When explaining why they need to let go of old items, you can say that they will be enjoyed by another family who needs them, and also mention that this process will open up their space for new items. However, when it comes to broken nick-nacks and half-finished drawings, slipping them into the trash when your little one isn’t looking might be the easiest option.
Keep your little ones involved in the process! If they’re old enough, give them their own small box that they can use to pack and participate. Even though it might not be the most organized box, they’ll feel like they are part of what’s going on and it will give them a sense of control. You can also let them help unpack in the new home and ask for their opinion when deciding where certain things should go. This will allow them to feel like their voices are heard and matter.
Pro tip: Use plastic boxes with lids rather than cardboard boxes. These tend to be sturdier, and they also stack easily.
It can be really dangerous for little ones to be around in the midst of the chaos. There will be lots of heavy boxes, movers, items all over the place, and doors constantly opened/closed. Having someone watch your kiddos during the biggest stint of your move would be a huge help. That way, you can concentrate on getting everything into the house and somewhat organized. You can also minimize the chaos by the time they arrive at their new home.
When you do get your little ones back you probably won’t be completely finished with the move. I don’t know about you, but it’s taken us a while to unpack all of our boxes! So let them play around and make use of empty boxes whether that be for hide and seek or making forts. Sage creatively finds joy in the most basic items we have lying around. If you’ve got kids you’ll know that you can buy them the flashiest toys but often something as simple as a box can keep them entertained!
Having their bedroom all set up is one of the main things that can help your little ones feel at home (and settled) in their new house. When it comes to decorating, consider making your little one’s room your first priority. If they’re old enough, perhaps chat with them about what kind of style or ‘look’ they’d like for their new room.
Another way to make them feel at home is to go out and explore your new neighbourhood. You could even do this before the move. Take them to the playground that’s within walking distance, show them all the best dog walking spots, and if they’re school age take a wander down to their new school. The more excited you can get them about all the new adventures they’re going to have the better!
Keep to your same bedtime routine, eating schedule, and environment when you arrive at your new house. Children thrive on routine and repetition. It will help them feel more secure in their new home if things are familiar. If they usually sleep in a dark room, you can tape up a garbage bag on the window. This will darken the room while you’re waiting to hang curtains or blinds (this is what we did).
There you have it – 6 top tips for moving with kids! What are your top tips? Let me know in the comments below!