Are you packing up your family and transitioning into a new home? Buying a property, boxing your belongings, and making all your arrangements is tough enough, but throwing kids into the mix can make your experience overwhelming. While nothing will make moving “fun,” a handful of good resources and planning can make the move as painless as possible.
Surviving versus thriving. While moving is something plenty of families do every year, you don’t want to just get through it. Care cites statistics showing over 13 million kids “survive” moving every year. However you want more for yourself and your kids! You want to not just survive the experience, you want to be set up for your whole family to thrive.
Break the news. You can start by preparing your children well in advance of your move. Some experts suggest calling a family meeting and discussing what’s happening over pizza. If you didn’t purchase a new home yet, talk with your children about what their preferences are, and see what you can make happen. Separate bedrooms and bigger yards might be doable! Let your kids share their concerns as well. Are they worried about leaving their friends? Even a move across town can mean seeing friends less and disrupting their social lives. One idea is to throw a going-away party. It’s a great chance for your kids to start the transition with a positive experience, as well as spend quality time celebrating their relationships. Encourage your children to maintain important friendships after the move as well. Remind them they can stay in touch through electronic devices. Social media can be truly social! They can enjoy video chats, texting, and sharing via the web.
Transitioning gradually. You can research neighborhoods before making your selection, and when you settle on a place, get to know the area. You can even take your kids to local hotspots and let them become familiar with, and even excited about, the new place. Another idea that Updater recommends is showing your children photos of the new house and talking with them about the rooms. It’s an opportunity to let them get a feel for the layout, anticipate the process, and begin to have ownership in the new home.
Boxing up. Give your kids ownership in the packing process as well by encouraging involvement. Let little ones select which toys are staying handy and which can be packed away. Remember sometimes small children don’t comprehend what you mean by “moving.” Tell them about all the steps in the process. Make sure they understand they will get everything back when you are in your new home, and the boxes are just temporary. Some experts suggest taking the opportunity to purge unused items as well. Those toys they never play with can be discarded discreetly while youngsters are asleep or at school. But be forewarned, if you let them see you do it, those same unloved items may suddenly become their very favorites, and you’ll have a meltdown on your hands!
Making the move. Moving day is stressful under the best of circumstances. So that you don’t need to do a lot of unpacking and organizing that first night in the new house, one recommendation is to pack some essentials in a “first night” bag. Include things like pajamas, toiletries, medications, and a few favorite toys and blankets. Select a professional moving company to assist with your move. It’ll ease your moving burden (literally) and allow you to focus more on getting your kids moved and acclimated. Select your moving company carefully, looking for a well-known and trusted mover. Be sure to bring yourself up to speed on moving rules and regulations so that you can protect you and your belongings.
Moving on. Moving is challenging, especially when children are involved. Planning and preparations are the key to easing through the transition. Use the resources at your disposal to make the process as painless as possible!
Alexis Hall is a single mom to three kids. She created SingleParent.info to provide support and advice for the many families out there with only one parent in the household. She works as an in-home health nurse. When she isn’t working or spending time with her kids, she enjoys running and hiking and is currently training for a triathlon.