For many families, summer break offers up the perfect time to relocate. Kids have finished with classes, sports and other activities are on hiatus, and the new school year presents an easy “fresh start” in the fall.
If your move involves significant changes for your kids, we’ve rounded up some great advice from a variety of resources across the internet to offer up ten tips to make moving with kids a little easier.
HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
The experts at Parents Magazine stress the importance of communication with your kids about the upcoming move. Be honest with them, talk to them about what to expect and what might change and give them time to process the news and ask questions!
KEEP THEM IN THE LOOP
Since honesty is the best policy, keep your kids in the loop as you get closer to moving day. Talk to them about what you’re doing, how they can be involved, and any changes that might come up along the way. Excellent communication will help them feel like they are part of the process and that you aren’t trying to hide anything from them as they process the coming changes.
Kids are pretty good at picking up on things, and stress is one of those attitudes that can spread quickly. Your kids will take cues from you about how to act and respond to the changes that are coming, and if you’re stressed and anxious, they will be too.
Try to keep things exciting and frame the changes as a fun new adventure. Think of ways to help them look forward to the activity, not dread it. All that positivity might rub off on you, too!
MAKE IT FUN
A great way to minimize stress is to make moving more fun! Think of activities you can do together that make the task of prepping for your move or getting settled into your new home more fun. Consider taking special outings to visit some of their favorite places or getting a few extra boxes they can use to build a fort to play in.
Not everything has to be serious; moving is a big change, so making it feel like a special occasion will help give it a positive spin!
GIVE YOURSELF EXTRA TIME TO PREPARE
It’s always best to give yourself a little cushion in the scheduling department. As The Washington Post mentions in their article, you’ll want to give yourself a couple of months not a couple of weeks to pack and prepare.
Though moving will be a priority during this time, it won’t be your only responsibility, so making sure you have enough time to tackle the task without getting stressed will be key!
If you have kids, then you probably have tons of “kids stuff.” It can be stressful to think about packing and prepping all their belongings, so organization is key. Do this by packing in zones, so that like-items stay together. Once you pack your boxes, clearly label them, so you know where to find things as you’re unpacking.
MAINTAIN YOUR ROUTINE
Most of us are creatures of habit, and kids are no different. Child Mind Institute recommends maintaining as much of your schedule as you can. While there is a lot to get done before and after moving day, keeping up with regular mealtimes and bedtimes will go a long way in keeping everyone feeling fresh and ready to tackle the tasks of moving.
SHARE OWNERSHIP OF THE PROCESS
Kids love being involved and “helping” so give them some simple and easy tasks they can do to have some ownership in the packing and unpacking processes. Giving them jobs to keep them occupied will be especially crucial on moving day if you are unable to set up childcare help, so they aren’t creating potential safety hazards for themselves or crew members.
MAKE SURE THEY HAVE EVERYTHING THEY NEED ON MOVING DAY
As you’re packing, make sure to separate all their “necessitates” including favorite toys and books, clothes, shoes, and any other items they might need to first few days in a new house, just in case unpacking takes longer than expected. We always recommend packing a moving day essentials box. You can read more about what we recommend having on hand here.
CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK
Moving can be challenging, there are many things to coordinate, and it can feel like your whole life is in limbo. Cut yourself (and your kids) a little slack. Know that there will be mistakes and road bumps along the way, but it’s not the end of the world, keep chugging along. Soon enough you’ll be in your new home making new memories together!
- Smooth Move: Making Moving Easier on You and Your Kids. By Caroline Schaefer, Parents Magazine
- Advice for Moving with Children by Ryan and Rachel Ehmke, Child Mind Institute
- Moving with kids: The Ultimate Guide to Staying Sane, Suddath Relocation
- 11 Tips for Moving with Kids by Lindsey Roberts, The Washington Post