12 Tips for Moving Home with Children
Moving home can be a stressful time for children. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ease the transition. Follow these 12 tips to make your family’s move as anxiety-free as possible…
Talk to your kids about the move
Deciding to move is a big upheaval for the entire family, so if your kids are old enough to understand reassure them by telling them about the move and their new home as early as possible. Giving them time to get used to the idea will make things easier for you all in the long run. Highlight all the positive reasons for the move, like more space, a bigger garden, or a new school, and give them plenty of opportunities to ask questions or talk to you about their worries.
Show off your new neighbourhood
If your kids are old enough to understand what’s happening, take them to see the new house. Spend some time exploring the local surroundings – concentrate on fun places to visit like playgrounds, the leisure centre and family-friendly restaurants. Seeing all the brilliant new things they’ll have on the doorstep will help to get them excited.
Get the kids to do their packing
Making them feel involved will help take their mind off any worries, so make older children responsible for packing up their belongings. Encourage them to get creative and personalise their boxes with coloured pens and stickers.
Get a helping hand
Challenge them to plan their rooms
If your kids are sad about leaving their bedrooms behind, cheer them up by getting them to think about what their new rooms will look like. Get them to draw their dream bedroom and chat about paint colours, bedding and new furniture you can go shopping for once you’ve settled in. For babies and very small children, keep familiar items in the nursery or their bedroom so it doesn’t look too different to the room they’re leaving. This will help make the move less stressful for them.
Call in a family favour
Moving day is hectic, so make it a little easier by asking a family member to look after your children for the day. Don’t forget to let them say goodbye to the old house before they leave – doing a final walk through as a family is a nice way to do this.
Have family essentials to hand
Pack your family’s overnight essentials in a suitcase and take this with you in your car. Put your kids’ favourite books or teddy bears in here so you’re not frantically rummaging through boxes trying to find something to comfort them with if they’re tired and upset.
Taking the edge off
Make a long journey fun
If you’re travelling a long distance to your new home keep your children occupied. Long journeys can be tedious, so plan regular snack stops and provide them with things to do in the car, such as sticker books, listening to audio books or playing with electronic gadgets. If you set off after your removal team, spotting the lorry on the motorway is a fun game.
Involve the kids as much as possible
If your children are going to be with you on moving day, explain to them what will be happening before all the activity gets underway. Make older kids feel part of what’s going on by giving them jobs to do, like checking all the wardrobes are empty before you leave or unpacking their belongings. A playpen is ideal for small children. You can set it up as soon as you arrive and immediately surround them with their favourite toys.
Take care of their rooms first
Having a base with all their familiar things set up will make your children feel more secure, so sorting their rooms as quickly as possible will help them settle quicker. Avoid buying a new bed or other furniture for their room straight away – old, familiar things create a cosy feeling of security.
Keeping them happy
Keep the kids entertained
While you’re organising the unpacking, make sure children have fun things to keep them occupied with. Buy some new DVDs or colouring books before you move and give them as a moving in present so they have a treat to keep them busy while you’re nearby sorting through boxes.
Make the first night special
Once the removal company have left and you’ve sorted out the essentials needed for the night, sit down together for a well-deserved family celebration. You’ll have been occupied all day so use this time to focus on the kids. Have a pizza and ice cream party and chat about what’s gone on during the day.
Stick to a routine
When it comes to meal, bath and bedtimes, keeping to your children’s usual schedule will encourage them to feel comfortable in their new surroundings. Be patient and ready to comfort with lots of cuddles if your little ones become clingy after the move. This is natural and adjusting to big change like this can take children a couple of months.