Whether it’s across town or across the country, Moveline will help get your stuff where it needs to be safely and on time. But if you’re a parent, your most valuable possessions won’t be on the moving truck. Your child may need a little extra care and planning when it comes to moving, even if her new bedroom is waiting just a few ZIP codes away. Here, some tips for making a move with kids as painless and stress-free as possible:
Explain, explain, explain
Your child or children probably didn’t have any input in the decision to move, which can make them feel a bit powerless. To lessen the impact of those feelings, give as much information as possible, as soon as possible.
Plan a good time to break the news, perhaps around a favorite meal. Explain the why, when, where and what to expect before, during and after the move. (Will she be packing her own things? What can go with him in the car and what goes on the truck? Will you be donating some of their old clothes and toys before you go?)
Be honest. Regardless of age, knowing the details – both positive and potentially negative – will help your child feel less out of control, especially if this is their first time moving.
Open the floor for questions and remain positive and non-defensive as you answer, validating her concerns. Be prepared to answer some of the same inquiries over and over again as the move date approaches. Kids, as we all know, often ask more questions when they’re looking for reassurance.
If you’re still in the process of choosing a new home, consider what each of the potential locations will mean for your child. Where’s the closest day care? What school district will you be in? (If it’s still up in the air, here are some tips on choosing a school.) Does your new neighborhood have sidewalks? Where’s the nearest park? Family doctor? Once you’ve made your decision and your new place is definite, report any exciting finds to your kids to help them look forward to the change.
Set the tone
From beginning to end, try to maintain a positive attitude about the move and your child will often take your lead. Be realistic, but focus on the benefits of moving and of your new home. A little adventure can actually be a lot of fun, but it’s up to you to make sure they know that.
Keep the routines
Kids thrive on routine, familiarity and consistency. The unfamiliar is usually a little scary, so an across-town move can be confusing, while a big move to a new city or state can feel like a major disturbance, which could equal major stress for you! As best you can, maintain typical wake-up, mealtime and bedtime routines. If it’s possible, avoid introducing other life changes during this time, like potty training or transitioning to a big-kid bed. When you arrive in your new home, make getting your child’s bedroom in working order a priority.
Give ‘em a job
Giving kids a sense of purpose during the move is a great way to include them in the process. Tell them you’re depending on them to help you do a very important job and then offer a choice of two or three tasks. Listed by age-appropriate levels, here are a few ideas for moving jobs that are perfect for littler hands:
For younger kids:
- Small cleaning projects, like wiping countertops or windows
- Pack the clothes she’ll need for the first few days
- Decorate and fill a small box of important treasures that will stay with him on the way to the new home instead of going on the moving truck
For older kids:
- Make “keep,” “donate” and “sell” piles of toys, books and other belongings
- Take charge of a younger sibling
- Bring home a meal for everyone
- Minor home repairs, like removing finishing nails or touching up paint
- Make a detailed plan for her new room or living space, including paint colors
Make new memories
Especially if you use Moveline to help you find the right mover at the best price, you’ll be moved in before you know it, scratching your head over how easy it all was. With all the time you saved, your family can get started on putting down roots in your new environment. Participating in teams, clubs or activities hosted by schools or places of worship is a great way for everyone to feel connected more quickly. You may even want to sign yourself up for a free or low-cost pottery class or kickball league at your local recreation center or join a volunteer organization as a way of investing in your new community and making grownup friends in your area (or click here for a host of other ideas). And last but not least: a couple of fun storybooks to help your kids understand moving -- Big Ernie’s New Home: A Story for Children Who Are Moving and The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day. Because reading is fundamental, and so is the security of not feeling scared or alone in the midst of a move.
Let Moveline get your family from point A to point B without a hassle. Check us out and get started here.