Moving home with children can be stressful, here are some tips to make the process easier.
The earlier, the better
You should let the kids know about the move early instead of later, but many people assume that doing it closer to the moving date is going to leave them less time to worry. You need to let them get used to the idea of moving, so tell them as soon as possible. Tell them the positive reasons for the moves e.g. closer to family, new school, new friends, garden, etc. Children are natural explorers and you can make this a huge adventure for them.
Make sure you are positive about the move. If you are dreading the move, the kids are going to pick up on this and they start getting anxious. You can get your kids involved by letting them ask questions, and also let them know what they can expect on the day of the move. Some of the questions you can expect to get include; why are we moving? How are we going to keep in contact with friends? When are we moving? What will happen on the day of moving? Will my toys/pets go with me?
If possible, then set aside a day to visit the area you want to move to and check out the leisure center, new playgrounds, local tourist attractions, restaurants, cinema. If possible, check out your new property and show them where their bedrooms will be.
They can start to decorate their room in their head, map where their furniture is going to go, and the theme they would like. You can give them a map of the home they can take home and keep painting colors, discussing themes, and bedding.
Involving the Children
You should involve your kids when packing. Let them be responsible for their room, they should pack and decide what they are going to take to their new room. This is also a good time to consider decluttering and getting rid of toys that they no longer use. Encourage them to have a ‘charity box’ where they put things to give to less fortunate children, let them know why other kids are going to be happy with the toys. It might not be a good idea to get rid of familiar objects or toys because it can end up unsettling them. If your child’s bedroom has wallpaper, get a sample from the supplier, frame it then hang it on the wall because it is going to be a memory.
When you allow your kids to pack their own boxes then personalize them using colored pens, or stickers saying ‘MY STUFF’. You should let your children know that they are going to see their stuff again and they shouldn’t worry that their stuff is gone.
Making a children’s moving scrapbook
A moving scrapbook is a good idea because it makes things fun. Fill it with photos of the old house, school, garden, and friends. You can also include notes from teachers, friends. It is important to create memories. You can easily learn how to make one for yourself online.
Packing Children’s Toys last onto the van
If you are going to use a removal company, then ask them to put the toys last. This means the toys are going to be the first stuff to be taken off the van.
Adults usually have a survival kit when moving, make sure you make one for your children too. You should include essentials like a change of clothes, nappies, blankets, comforters, toys, and their favorite pajamas.
This is one of the hardest aspects of moving for kids, so make sure they have the chance of saying goodbye properly. A good way to say goodbye is to organize a small leaving party where they can take photos with their friends and add them to their scrapbooks. Make sure they have their friends' telephone numbers, addresses, and emails to allow them to keep in contact after you have moved.
If you plan to move into a new place for a short time, then make it as homely as possible. Don’t pack away all their toys, unpack some of the boxes so you can make the space feel familiar to them. Put family photos on the walls or hang them so that the place can start to feel more like home.
During the move
In an ideal world, the obvious thing is having friends or relatives look after your kids for the most part of the day, but this is not always possible. If you are going to be the one looking after them during the day of the move, then make sure you have explained to them what is going to happen and what they can expect. Give them specific tasks to do (depending on their ages). There are moving house job badges you can find online that you can print and give the kids so they can do a specific task e.g. toy coordinator who is going to be in charge of the toys and make sure all of them have been packed and no toys are left on the cupboards or cabinets. A playpen is a great option for young children because they can surround themselves with their favorite toys. Try keeping the routine the same, make sure you have highchairs, food, and changing equipment set up and to hand.
You should arrive before the removal team so that the kids have the chance of exploring their new home and get excited about it. When the removal team gets to your new home, show them where you want the toy boxes to go. The kids shouldn’t unpack their boxes until most of your furniture is in place. The last thing you want is a removal man standing on their favorite toy because the toys are on the floor. Once they are done with the furniture, unpack a box containing the toys because the kids can now sit in their room and play.
Planning your first night: this should be special for your kids, have ice cream and a pizza and spend time together instead of unpacking. Have their favorite books close because you might need them at night.
You are going to leave your old home when the removal team has left. There will be points when you overtake them, and you can make a game of it where you wave as you drive by the removal team. If you have to travel a long distance, then make sure the kids are occupied. Long journeys are tedious for children, which is why you should keep them occupied. A good way to do that is by giving them pen and paper so they can draw their new bedroom. If you have time, you can print out the plan and let them add their furniture. This is going to get them excited about their new room, and also help the removal team put things in their right place.
After moving to a new house, don’t be surprised if the child starts becoming clingier, this is natural. Try your best to stick to the same routine as much as possible, which includes meals and bedtime. When you get to your new home, don’t unpack everything straight away. start by first unpacking their room so you can sort it out as soon as possible because it is important for them to have things they are familiar with. It might take a couple of days before it hits the children, when all the chaos and fun are done and when you start noticing tears, then it is a good time to start exploring the new area with your kids. Some of the places to check out include swings, parks, and walks where you point out exciting things they can do. A good way to meet new mums and find out about the area is through local baby or toddler groups.