You’re moving soon. Now comes the hardest part — planning the move and telling the kids. Whether moving out of state or just around the block, children typically aren’t thrilled by such an event. We’ve made a list of some tips to make the move as anxiety-free as possible.
- Make a moving-week plan. Sit down with your kids and plan every detail of the last week before your move. Decide what meals your family will eat and where/how they will eat them. Create packing schedules to cut back on last-minute stress. Plan out who will be riding in which car and how everyone will make it to your new home safely.
- Come up with to-do lists. Recruiting your kids to handle simple jobs that need to be done prior to your move is a win for both of you. Give them lists that include cleaning duties and items that need to be packed before the move.
- Stick to routines. Having a set schedule does wonders for kids. The best way to cut down on uncertainty and alleviate stress in your children is to make sure everyone stays on a routine.
- Color-code boxes. Keeping boxes organized. Get colorful stickers or tape to mark each box for a fast and easy kid-approved organization method.
- Pack overnight bags for everyone. Make sure every member of the family has a bag with all the essentials. Use these bags for the last night in your old home and first night in your new home.
- When in doubt, throw it out. Children tend to accumulate a lot of things they don’t need: broken crayons, old school assignments, buckets full of old toys and so on. Between their old junk and your old junk, you probably have a dozen boxes’ worth of stuff you don’t need to pack.
- Be positive. Your kids pick up on your energy, so do your best to stay positive during the moving process. This is especially important while settling into your new home, as your kids are likely to already be experiencing anxiety.
- Reading can help: Whether you are reading to your children, or they can read on their own, there are a lot of great books about characters moving and going through the same feelings as them.
- Give your kids a say. Letting children make a few decisions and be involved in the moving process will help them feel like they have more control in their world. Ask for their opinions and let them help with decisions they really care about–or at least give their input.
- Take pictures of your old home. Sometimes kids have a hard time saying goodbye to your old home. Taking pictures, making memory books and having one final goodbye are all ways you can help your children feel less anxious about leaving.
- Unpack your child’s room first: Moving is exhausting for everyone, but organizing their room will help keep them calm while you unpack the remainder of the house.
- Allow enough time to adjust. It can take a little while for children to fully adjust to their new surroundings. Be patient with your kids, and expect strong emotions for the first little while.
Moving with kids can certainly be a challenge. Selling a home is stressful enough for a family, but the move is usually the worst part emotionally. Kids become attached to the homes they live in just like us adults. Be patient with your children during this difficult time. Be sensitive to their needs, and continuously encourage them with positive thoughts about the move.