Moving can be incredibly stressful whether you are moving down the street or across the country. When you have young children, that stress can take on a whole new meaning. Kids can surprise you by being very helpful one moment, and stubbornly impossible the next. This makes moving with children exponentially more difficult, but not impossible. While they may run around and drive you just a little crazy, with the right preparation you can help them adjust to the move into a bigger home.
The best way to prepare your kids for moving to a new home is to be honest with them. No one likes to feel lied to or left out, and involving your children in the process will help them to make the move their own. If you're simply moving to another home in the same city or neighborhood, remind them that they will still be able to see their old friends. If you're moving somewhere farther away, help them get excited about the idea of making new friends and seeing new things.
Make sure they know exactly what to expect from the days leading up to the move, as well as moving day itself. It's also important to teach them how they will be expected to behave. If you want their help, make it clear what their responsibilities will be early on. It's alright to instruct them to simply stay out of the way of the movers as well. If your children understand the process and know what to expect, they will probably jump on board without too much trouble.
Make It an Adventure
Moving can be scary for kids, and if you're stressed out, they may feel even more on edge. Often children have a hard time expressing their more complex emotions, which makes it likely that instead of telling you how they feel they will simply start to act out. To prevent this and help your children accept the idea of moving to a new home, consider turning the whole process into an adventure.
Play “packing games” to help them have fun while you prepare for the move. If you're children are a little older, maybe let them stay up late with you to watch a movie or play a family game while the house is partway packed. If you're moving a long distance and will be staying at a hotel along the way, paint the hotel visit as a vacation with a delicious breakfast and a pool. If you make it fun for your kids, they will feel less scared and will not contribute nearly as much to your stress levels.
Give Yourself Time
Doing anything with kids takes at least twice as long as doing it by yourself. Moving is no exception, and unsurprisingly can be even worse. Before the day of your move, make sure you allow plenty of time for the kids to help you pack. Letting them help can make the idea of moving less hard on them, and get them accustomed to the idea that they'll be moving on to a new place. Unfortunately, many children experience the desire to take everything out of the box for inspection after you’ve already packed it. Giving yourself ample time to pack and repack everything will help you avoid any last minute craziness, as well as give you some quality time with the kids.
Pack a Bag of Toys
After packing and labelling all of the boxes with their contents, you don’t want to be caught searching for that toy your child just has to have right now. You can avoid this by packing a bag of their favorite toys and leaving it accessible. Don’t make the mistake of packing up all of their toys in a box first, leaving you with bored children just looking for trouble. They can take the bag along with them on the road trip and plane ride, keeping them entertained and helping the move go smoother.
Upgrading and moving to a larger home can be very stressful, especially with young children. Being upfront and honest about the process will help your kids know what to expect. Giving yourself time, packing an accessible bag for the kids, and making the moving process and adventure will help the entire move go a lot smoother. It can also help to hire professional movers. Just remember that it will all be worth it once you’re happily moved into your new home.