Moving with kids is difficult, and the process can become draining for everyone involved. Whether you’re moving across the country or just to another town, the process of moving with kids involves many steps and moving parts that go beyond what happens on moving day.
Between packing, hauling and adjusting to a new environment, moving to your new house can quickly turn into a nightmare for you and your family. You can use these tips to make your move as smooth as possible and keep your kids happy.
How to Tell Your Kids They are Moving
Let’s start off by telling your children that you’re moving. Although you’re probably worried about making your furniture fit into a new house layout and finding a new neighborhood, your little ones’ world will be thrown upside down by your move. It is likely that they will lose familiarity and friends and have a difficult time adapting to the new situation. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to ease the transition for your children.
Tell them as soon as possible
If you have a move in the works, chances are your kids already know something is going on. Let them know as soon as possible so they can prepare and feel involved.
Give them enough details.
Depending on how old your children are, they may need more than a general description of where and when you are moving. You should inform them of things like the date you will be moving in, what life will be like while you are packing up your house, and if they will be sharing bedrooms in your new home.
Let Your Kids Feel Included Early On
No matter whether you closed on a new home yet or not, getting your kids involved now is the right time. Make sure your kids don’t feel overlooked in any way when you involve them in important decisions. You can include them in as many big decisions as feels comfortable for you. This includes:
- Taking your kids on home tours. If a long-distance move is not possible, let your kids browse realtor websites with you.
- Get a sense of what is on their must-have list for a new home. You may not be able to afford a pool, but take reasonable requests into account.
- Make shopping trips with them to help them choose things for the new house. Visits to a “fun” store together might be more appealing to younger children than hardware stores.
- You might consider letting your children help select their new pet if your move allows you to add a new pet to your family.
- When you’re looking at houses together, let them choose their own paint color and bedroom. This helps them picture the new space.
Help them find reasons to be excited.
Several factors will make your kids not enthusiastic about the trip on their own. They need your help to feel excited about leaving their old friends behind and moving to a new place.
Answer their questions.
To help your kids feel more at ease, let them ask you questions and give honest answers. Perhaps they are wondering how they can remain in contact with old friends or what school they will attend.
Help them understand their feelings.
A big part of helping your kids is doing this. They might experience big scary emotions that they do not understand or do not know how to handle. You can help kids understand their emotions by making them listen to books, music, or watching TV clips.
Get the Kids’ Feedback on the New Home
Include your children in the selection process of your new home, especially if they’re older. Getting some feedback from the kids can help you narrow down your choices into two or three houses. Taking the family to see the homes is a good idea if you’re moving within a reasonable driving distance. When you’re moving to another city, show them pictures of each house and describe the neighborhood in addition, if you’re able, to take them on a virtual tour online.
Have them share their three favorite things about each house. Make it clear you will consider their feedback when making your final decision. Keep them updated after picking the house. When you know you’ve gotten the house, have a little celebration.
16 Tips for Moving With Your Kids
The moment you have informed your children that you are moving, get everything in order as soon as possible. You might have to deal with kids with grumpy attitudes, stuff boxes full of heavy books and toys, and keep track of them. Here are 16 ideas for surviving your move with kids.
Start earlier than you think you need to
Everybody knows the feeling. Moving day sneaks up on you and you begin packing boxes and scrubbing floors as fast as you can. Start packing and deep cleaning your home as soon as possible to ensure you and your family are fully prepared for the big day.
Make a moving-week plan
Take time to sit down with your kids and plan the entirety of the last week as you move. Decide what meals your family will eat and where/how they will eat them. Plan your packing in advance to avoid last-minute stress. Make sure everyone knows which car will be traveling to your new home and how you’ll get there safely.
Come up with to-do lists
Getting your kids to take care of simple tasks before you move is a win for you both. Give them a list of items that need to be packed and cleaning duties to complete before the move.
Stick to routines
An organized schedule is beneficial to young minds. Making sure family schedules and routines aren’t disrupted during the move is the best way to cut down on uncertainty and relieve stress in your children.
Utilize kid-free time
What’s more difficult than packing everything you own into cardboard boxes? When you’re trying to manage a household. Make naptime productive, and get as much as you can done while the kids are in school.
It’s not easy organizing your house boxes, especially when you’ve got too many little helpers. For a fast and easy method of organizing kids’ stuff, use colorful stickers or tape to mark each box.
Pack overnight bags for everyone
Make sure you have duffle bags for every member of the family with all the essentials. You can use these bags for your last night in your old home and your first night in your new home.
When in doubt, throw it out
It is common for children to accumulate junk they do not need: broken crayons, old school assignments, old toys, and so on. If you combine their old junk with your own, you probably have dozens of boxes worth of stuff you don’t have to pack. To save time and packing tape, throw out as much of that junk as you can.
Kids accumulate junk, but they also get attached to it. If you need to get rid of items, do it at night, during school hours, or whenever they won’t notice.
Keep a positive attitude
Your kids will pick up on your energy, so try to stay positive throughout the moving process. Your children are likely to already feel anxious while settling into your new home, so this is particularly important.
Hire a babysitter
Here’s an awesome idea: hire a babysitter and send your kids to the sitter’s house while you and your helpers take care of all the things that need to be done such as packing, collecting important documents, or moving furniture. It’s a great idea to hire a sitter for younger kids during the summer months when none of your children will be in school.
Give your kids a say
Allowing your children to take part in the moving process will help them feel like they have more control and stability in their new environment. Allow them to give their input on decisions they care about and ask for their opinions to help you.
Take pictures of your old home
It can be tough for kids to say goodbye to their old homes. You can help your children feel less anxious about leaving by taking pictures, making memory books, and having a final goodbye.
Allow enough time to adjust
Quite possibly, your children will need a full year to become acclimated to their new environment. You should be patient with your child, and you should expect strong emotions in the beginning.
Befriend your neighbors
Your children will be able to adjust more quickly to their new surroundings if they are given the chance to make new friends. Additionally, it will keep them busy, giving you time to unpack all the boxes.
Host a “See You Soon” Party
Let your kids celebrate at home with their friends before you go. It is crucial to keep in mind that this is not a goodbye party. Instead, encourage your children to focus on the positives and ensure they will see their friends soon.
It is important to ensure your child has all of their friends’ contact information, including phone numbers, email addresses, social network connections, and home addresses for future use. Make sure you plan a follow-up trip after your child has settled into their new home so they can visit their friends.
How to Pack With Kids
No matter what you do to get your kids excited about the move, they’ll still dread the chore of packing. Most likely, they’ll fight you on every turn and break into already packed boxes without your knowledge. Packing with kids isn’t easy, but there are a few tricks that can help you do it with a minimum of stress.
Sort, Sort, Sort!
Most children won’t be able to do this on their own. Depending on how old your kids are, you may need to offer some guidance (think preteens) or simply handle the situation yourself (think toddlers and babies). Separate everything into three piles: to keep, to discard, to sell/donate.
You will most likely be able to teach your children to pack all of the “keep” items in boxes once you have shown them how.
You can motivate your kids to pack and sort with a small reward if they are dragging their feet. If your children succeed in selling their old stuff, you could let them keep any money they earn or let them pick out an item for their new room once they have everything packed up. It is clever to use incentives to make packing more enjoyable for all.
Make it a Competition
Kids love nothing more than beating their siblings at anything. Put this competitive spirit to work for you by making packing a game. Set a time for each packing “round,” and let your kids pack as much as they can during that time. In order to be given credit, everything must be neatly packed, and the winner receives some sort of prize.
Donating Old Toys
Donate your unused and unloved toys instead of throwing them away. Besides letting go of the clutter, donations are also a perfect opportunity to teach your children about charity and giving.
Remember when I said to be sneaky earlier? Slipping broken pencils and year-old math homework out while your kids aren’t paying attention is a great idea, but make sure your kids are involved in deciding which toys to donate. It is important for them to understand that the toys they no longer use can go to another child who will love them as much as they deserve.
Tips For Arrival On Your Moving Day With Kids
Having become more aware of everything around them, your child may have switched from anxiety to excitement (at least temporarily)! In the event you were not able to secure childcare during your move, take the following steps:
Give Them the Grand Tour & Pick Their Rooms
Possibly, your child has seen pictures of their new home, but they are now in it. Take your kids on a tour. Show them any unique quirks and interesting features of the house, like the backyard. Having multiple children and each wanting the same bedroom may be the starting point of your first fight. Consider a fair competition like an old-fashioned rock-paper-scissors game to resolve conflicts.
Unpack Your Child’s Room First
It is always best to start unpacking and setting up your child’s room first, regardless of how busy you are in your living room and kitchen. It’ll also let you separate your children and entertain them while unpacking the rest of the house. The extra work up front here can pay off big as you go about the rest of your day.
Keep Your Kids Safe, Separated & Entertained
Even if you’re planning to unpack before setting up the child’s room, you still need to keep them entertained while you finish. An outdoor game can benefit you in this situation. When the professional movers have moved heavy furniture into the room of your child, one parent should first arrange the room, while the other supervises outdoor activity.
Tips for Moving With a Baby
Moving with a newborn is somewhat easier than moving with small children or children even in their teens.
With a newborn, moving eliminates all of the mental health challenges associated with moving, which is by far the hardest thing about moving with older children.
Don’t Change Their Routine
A newborn’s parents know how important consistency is daily. As you prepare to move, and during the move, try not to disrupt your newborn’s routine too much. It will be more difficult to maintain a regular napping schedule and feeding schedule, but it will be worth it in the end.
Tackle Your Packing In Chunks
In order to properly maintain your routine, you will need to take time away from packing, so you should begin packing early. If you packed up your entire house in a week before you had kids, plan on at least three weeks, doing a little bit each night to continue giving your baby the attention it needs.
Hire A Professional Mover
You already have a lot on your plate with a newborn. As such you may not have the time to give proper care to your moving tasks such as packing, keeping inventory, etc. This can cause big problems later on such as damaged items due to haphazard packing or lost items due to not paying attention.
In order to alleviate yourself from the hell that moving is, you should hire a professional moving company to help you during the move. Professional movers will help you by taking off the burden of day-to-day moving help, thus ensuring you have a smooth moving experience. They offer services ranging from moving, packing to even delivery & pickup services. As such it may be in your best interests to hire a professional moving company for a seamless moving experience.
Visit Your Pediatrician One Last Time Before The Move
Consider visiting your pediatrician one last time before you move, and ask the new doctor to transfer your records to you. You will be assured that your child is healthy, happy, and ready for the move. Even if you aren’t moving far, you should still get this out of the way now, rather than when you are moving in and have more to worry about.
Pack an Essentials Box
Prepare for moving day by packing extra diapers, clothes, food, toys, and favorite blanket. Make sure these items are convenient to access in case you need them during the move itself.
Babyproof Your New Home
Just as you did with your previous home, it’s important that your new home is ready for the baby. This could include:
- Making sure sharp furniture edges and corners are padded
- Blocking open outlets
- Latching drawers and doors in reach shut
- Removing looped cords or other safety hazards
- Removing poisonous plants from your yard
- Making sure your paint is lead-tested
If Possible, Move Before The Baby
Those who are expecting and anticipate needing a larger space may be able to relocate before the due-date if they move before their due-date. It eliminates the need to babyproof and establish nurseries twice, and may reduce the amount of stress that may accompany a move with an infant.
Moving is already stressful enough and you don’t have to be a genius to know moving with kids adds a lot more stress. You’re bound to have a less bumpy experience if you prepare your kids in advance, involve them in the process, and keep your cool.
Although, I can’t promise you won’t hear, “Are we done yet?” over a hundred times before it’s all over, however, following these tips which I told you about can go a long way in helping you have a seamless moving experience when you are moving with kids.
Plan Your Family Move With Mr.Relokate
Over the years, Mr.Relokate has helped hundreds of families just like yours successfully navigate the logistics of life-changing moves.
Mr.Relokate is a full-service moving company in Toronto, providing professional movers for your moving needs. You can take care of more important things, such as your family, when you hire a reputable moving company like us. Check out our full collection of moving tips and learn more about our long-distance moving services and full-service packing.
Hire us today to get the best movers in Toronto to help you during the move!