Moving is already stressful, but adding kids into the mix can become a nightmare. Even though you love your family, they can prevent you from doing all the things you need to do to ensure a successful, low-stress move. Unfortunately, moving is also stressful for kids, especially if they’ve never moved before and have grown attached to a home, school, and friends. Family relocations are difficult, but they don’t have to be stressful, as long as you plan in advance. Here are a few ways to make moving easier for everyone.
Check Your Work Schedule
Depending on your work schedule, you may need to take a few days off for the move to ensure everything gets to where it needs to go on time and without hassle. Of course, some jobs are easier to get time off from than others. For example, if you’re a nurse, you may have to find someone to cover your shift before scheduling your move. However, once you can take a few days off from work, you’ll feel a little less stressed about the move because it means you have more time to get everything done.
Call the Electric Company
You want the power on before you move into your new home. Unless there’s a brownout or blackout, your family will need electricity the first night there. Calling your electric company ahead of time to ensure your power will be on when you get there can save you the panic of calling them after you’ve already started to move your family in. Additionally, have any repairs you need completed prior to your move-in date to keep issues at a minimum.
Start Preparing Early
Of course, you’ll need to start packing up your belongings early to ensure you have enough time to get everything packed away before moving day. However, you’ll also need to start preparing your children as soon as you know you’re going to move. The first step is telling your child you’re moving. Depending on how old they are, they might not understand what this means, so you might have to explain that they’ll be living in a new home in a new place. If your child voices any concerns, you should try to understand them. Change is difficult for everyone, especially for those who have never moved before.
Once your child understands that they’ll be moving, you can find ways to get them involved and excited about the new house. For example, you can let them choose the color of their room or let them decorate it however they want, ensuring their first nights in the new house are as comfortable as possible.
You can also emotionally prepare them for the move by allowing them to see the house before the move so they can see their new room before there’s anything in it and start planning where they want their furniture. Then, give them ample time to say goodbye to their friends, especially if you’re moving far away and they won’t be seeing them as often. Additionally, make any necessary arrangements for your pets to either board them or leave them with a family member to help keep them safe and out of the way on moving day. Animals can get stress and anxiety from moving to a new home so it’s important to prepare them as well.
Help Them Pack
Don’t leave young children to pack up their own belongings because things are bound to get lost in the move. Instead, pack up their things methodically and keep a list of where all their things are. Even if you don’t pack yourself this way, you’ll be grateful you took the time to ensure you know where all your child’s stuff is as soon as you move in because they’ll likely be looking for it immediately. If young ones have a favorite stuffed animal or blanket they like to take with them everywhere, consider not packing it. Instead, you can have them hold onto it during the drive to ensure they know where it is at all times.
Move Without Them
Depending on how old your children are, you may need to leave them with a family member for the duration of the move. Because you’ll be distracted by telling the movers where to put your belongings, and you’ll have so much to do once you actually arrive at your new home, it might be safer and easier to have someone else watch your child until the move is complete.
If you need a babysitter, consider asking friends and family as soon as you know your move-in date so you don’t have to worry about finding last-minute care.
Visit the New Town
Moving to a new house and new town can be scary for children, so you can check out the new town together before you actually move. Find fun things to do before you go so your child can start to experience the town and feel more comfortable once they actually move in.
Find a Doctor
Before you move, ensure everyone in the family has access to healthcare. For example, you can research pediatric care and see if any doctors are accepting new patients before having your child’s medical records sent to them. This will help you save time later. For example, if your child needs to see the doctor after the move, it will save time on treatment if the doctor already has your child’s medical records.
Unpack Their Room First
Unpacking your child’s room first can help them start to get more comfortable in their new environment. Your child will want to set their room up immediately, and it can help them feel more secure. Once your child’s room is set up, you can let them play with their toys or plan the color for their walls while you focus on the rest of the move.
Have a Successful Move
After you’re all moved into your new home, find ways to make it as comfortable as possible by establishing a routine. If your child is used to a routine, try to start it back up as soon as possible, which may require you to go grocery shopping and cook dinner the day of the move. You can also play games your first night in the new home to help your child associate the new hours with a new adventure.