It has been said that moving is considered to be one of the top stressors in life that people experience. With that said, moving is a stressful thing to do as it is while you are doing it yourself, or moving to another dwelling with a partner.
When you add kids to the mix, this can make moving even more challenging. And given what you had just read, it may sound that moving with kids is an insurmountable task.
Here are 10 tips to utilize in order to make moving easier with kids:
- Communicate Your Plans On Moving With Your Kids
- Start The Process At Least 6 Months Early
- Ask Your Kids To Help With Packing
- Sort Out With Your Kids What Items They Want To Keep, Donate, Or Toss Out
- Do Most Of The Packing When They Are Asleep If The Kids Are Very Young
- Use Color-Coded Duct Tape To Keep Boxes Organized
- Make Time To Have A Garage Sale Well Before The Move
- Pick A Suitcase For Each Family Member
- Throw In Some Fun Surprises Along The Way
- Allow Your Kids And Yourself An Adjustment Period
1. Communicate Your Plans On Moving With Your Kids
The first important step when preparing to move with children is by telling them well in advance so they have enough time to process the fact that they will be living somewhere else.
How you will communicate about the move will depend on the age of the children and/or their development. Don’t spring it on them at the last minute as it will make their anxieties over the move even more intense which is the last thing you want to have happened.
If you have developmentally typical teens or preteens, you can discuss the plans to move as you would with an adult. If your children are in elementary school, then you will want to tell them the basics of the move without going into much detail as to why. Just give them the simplest reason for moving.
If you have toddlers or children with special needs, then you will need to prepare them for the move in the most basic ways possible. You can say something that is along the lines of mom and dad are moving to another house or apartment which means you are coming along, and you will sleep in a new room. They will be initially stressed out, but once they process it they will accept it and know that the moving day is coming.
2. Start The Process At Least 6 Months Early
Not only will you want to tell the kids that you are moving 6 months before the big event, but you will need to plan for it that early on as well.
If it takes you much longer than it should just to get out the door with kids, it will also take much longer to move with kids. That is why you will want to plan the process well ahead.
Remember, moving is stressful as it is. But having to make the process fast because of there not being enough time will make moving even more stressful for you and the kids.
This way, as it was just discussed, kids will have months to process this reality, and there is plenty of time to get things organized in the meantime.
3. Ask Your Kids To Help With Packing
The one thing that makes children feel great about themselves is when they are asked to help out. This makes them feel worthy and important.
That means while you are in the process of organizing items and finally packing, you will want them to do their part.
They can be responsible for organizing their items and packing them in their rooms. And you will want to have your kids help out with organizing and packing items in other areas of the house.
However, you and your partner will want to be the ones responsible for packing mementos and family heirlooms for obvious reasons! You won’t want the kids to help out with packing those.
4. Sort Out With Your Kids What Items They Want To Keep, Donate, Or Toss Out
Before you begin the packing process, items have to be sorted out and to be determined whether they are worthy of being taken with, donated, or junked. Have your kids help you sort out their items.
This is another reason you will want to start this process months in advance. When it comes to their clothing and other important items, all of that will be taken unless they have outgrown it.
When it comes to toys, you will want to sit down with them and ask them if they want to really take all of them with, or if they are willing to donate some of them. They may agree to donate the toys that they don’t really want and need.
It is a good idea to encourage them to do it because it means when they are donating toys, they are giving kids who are less fortunate than they are a great gift. This will also help them feel good that they are doing something nice for other kids, and you will feel less stressed when they donate the toys they don’t want because that means less space is taken up.
There are countless places to donate your kids’ toys, for information on places you can choose from, read: Where to Donate Used Toys – 8 Charities & Places to Consider
Of course, you will want to take the items that are junked and to be placed in a pile for junkers to collect it if there are too many useless items for the trash alone. Let your kids help toss useless items in the junk pile too! They would be happy to help with that.
5. Do Most Of The Packing When They Are Asleep If The Kids Are Very Young
Even though it is encouraged to have the kids help you out with packing and sorting out items, realistically they can only do so much. This is why the best time for you to pack the majority of the items is while they are sleeping.
Even when they are in elementary school or you have teens in high school, they have homework and other responsibilities of their own to contend with. They cannot spend all of their time packing for the move.
That means when they are asleep, they are not interrupting you too many times in an hour for one reason or another. You have the time to finally focus on packing what you need to pack after the kids hit the sack.
6. Use Color-Coded Duct Tape To Keep Boxes Organized
If you have kids and you are moving, having to write on each box will be time-consuming.
A good idea we have found is to get color-coded duct tape as you can pick up the tape in a variety of colors.
For instance, you can use the yellow tape for the boxes of items that belong to the kitchen. You can use the red tape for the boxes of the items that are going to go into one child’s room, and you can use blue tape for the boxes that hold the items that will go into your other child’s room. You can use green duct tape for the boxes of items that belong to the master bedroom which would be your bedroom. You can use orange tape for the boxes that hold the items for the den or family room.
You can get the idea of why using color-coded duct tape to close up boxes is recommended when you are moving with kids to help keep it all organized.
7. Make Time To Have A Garage Sale Well Before The Move
It is important to organize the kids’ items and your own months in advance before the move. There are going to be useable items that you will not want and will want to sell instead.
That means you will want to gather up the items that you will want to be sold while organizing before packing. Then pick a weekend to have a garage sale. Or, these items can be sold on Facebook Marketplace as well. There are also plenty of Facebook buy and sell groups that you can utilize as well. That is if you are not comfortable with having a garage sale, which many people are not and that is understandable.
8. Pick A Suitcase For Each Family Member
Make sure that each family member has a suitcase of their own where they can pack their daily essentials and some extra clothing just in case.
If you find yourself running into a situation where you will need to live in temporary housing after the closing of your house due to the fact that your new home is not ready yet- then you will need to plan for that as well.
Explain to your kids in the best way possible based on their age and development that you have to live somewhere temporary for a while. Or it may be just a few days, depending on the situation. And then tell them that because of this, they will need to have a suitcase of their own in order to pack up the stuff they will need right away. That is because the rest of the furniture and other items will be in a storage facility until the new house is ready.
If you are curious how long it takes movers to deliver, just know there are many factors that play into how long it will take to get your stuff. It will all depend on how far you are moving and what time of year it is.
9. Throw In Some Fun Surprises Along The Way
Even after giving your kids months’ notice regardless of their age and development about the upcoming move, they are going to have a hard time processing it. That is why it is a great idea to buy them toys that they will love and surprise them with their new toys or whatever you think will make them happy.
The idea of leaving their home will be hard for them to accept at first. This can help them accept what is happening faster. And you can also take them to their favorite restaurants as well once in a while and surprise them with that too. This will help lighten the process.
Here are a few great gift ideas for your kids when moving to a new house: Housewarming Gifts For Kids That Will Make Their Move to a New Home Easier and More Beautiful
10. Allow Your Kids And Yourself An Adjustment Period
No matter how well you prepare your kids for the move, and no matter how well you are preparing yourself for the move, it is going to be hard to process.
It will take a lot of time to adjust and it can even take as long as a year. That also depends on whether or not if you are moving to another city or to another country.
Moving to a new home in a neighborhood that is close by to where you were living before may be easier to adjust to because of the fact that you and your kids are familiar with the surroundings. However, when it comes to a new home in a completely different area, that is difficult. That means the kids will need to adjust to a new school, and if you are moving because you or your partner got a job opportunity that was hard to pass up, that will make you and your partner’s adjustment hard as well.
You will need to become used to the new stores and new surroundings. And making new friends in the area will be hard, which will also be the same for your kids unless they are extremely young.
Moving is very difficult to do no matter where you are moving to. But when you are moving with kids, the process is even harder. That is why it is important to make sure that you are as well prepared as possible for it by starting it early. You cannot rush doing one of the most stressful things in life.
And another thing to do right on moving day is to say goodbye to your old house. This will bring you plenty of tears especially if you have been living at your home for many years. It was the only place that you knew as home for the longest time and for your kids, that home was the home that they had for life.
If you are a single parent and would like a more specific approach to moving with kids, check out our article: 15 moving tips for single parents (simplify your life)
Best of luck with your upcoming move and by utilizing these 10 tips when you are moving with kids, it will make the process more digestible.