A Guide to Moving with Children
If your family is planning a move, then you know one of the most important things you need to figure out is how to make the move easier for your kids. Moving with children adds an extra element of difficulty to the entire relocation process, but the experts at Coakley Realty have seen it all before. We have 15 tried-and-true things you can do to make your family’s move much easier.
- Spread out the move over a couple days – Trying to move the whole house in one day can make for exhausted and grumpy parents—not to mention how the kids feel! If you’re able to spread the move out over a couple of days or longer, do so. It’ll make moving with children (and moving in general) so much simpler.
- Make a checklist – This is a good guideline whether you’re moving with children or not. A checklist is going to help you keep everything in order and ensure everything that needs to get done does. Also, a large concern for children is that their cherished belongings are going to be forgotten and left behind, so a checklist for them can be useful, too!
- Involve the kids – One of the most important aspects of moving with children is simply involving them in the move. Let them help pack their clothes and toys, wrap things in bubble wrap, or sort through items to go in different boxes. Their level of involvement will, of course, depend on their age.
- Time your move – Whenever possible, try to time your move to be the least disruptive for your children’s life, such as over the summer or during a break from school. We understand this isn’t always possible, but it can make moving with children much easier.
- Pack a specialty bag for kids – Does your child have a special bear or blanket that he or she loves? Favorite books, PJs, bottles, or more? Pack a specialty bag of items for your little one so those items will always be on hand when needed.
- Label kids’ boxes very clearly – Imagine this scenario when you get to the house: your child wants their specific Toy Story doll and you know it’s packed in one of the many boxes labeled “Toys.” Solve this problem before it even happens by labeling your boxes as thoroughly as possible, including lists of what items are in each box.
- Hire a babysitter or call family members and friends – This is one of the single most important things for reducing the stress of moving with children—enlist the help of friends, family, or your favorite babysitter to distract your kids while you’re packing or doing heavy lifting. Trust me, you will thank us for this tip later.
- Get their opinion on the new house – Kids love to feel involved in your move, so if they’re old enough, let them give their opinion when looking at houses.
- Explain the move to your kids – Particularly with younger children, sometimes they just don’t understand the concept of moving. Sit down with them and explain everything that’s going to happen so it’s not confusing and scary when the time to head to your new place comes.
- Prepare car activities – Another stress-saver for moving with children is preparing car activities for your kids. Whether it’s car games like Bingo or I Spy, books, movies, or toys, be prepared with a multitude of distractions to keep the kids entertained.
- Have a goodbye party – One of the most troubling parts of moving for kids is saying goodbye to their friends and neighbors, so host a goodbye party where they can say farewell and have fun doing it.
- Help your children say goodbye to the old house – After your goodbye party, another important thing for your children will be saying goodbye to the home where they’ve made so many memories. Help them write notes to their friends, make a list of all the things they’re going to miss about their old house, and all the things they’re looking forward to in the new house.
- Try to maintain your routines – When you get to the new place, things are obviously going to be different, but one way to make your children feel more comfortable is by trying to maintain some of their old routines. Stick to the familiar bedtime or morning routines and keep up weekend traditions if you have them!
- Make the new house feel like home – Help your children connect with the new house by making it feel like home. Hang up art, set up pictures of the family, put out household favorites, and help your kids feel comfortable.
- Don’t rush – Of course, the best piece of advice we can give you for moving with children is not to rush! Don’t put yourself on a tight schedule whenever possible because your kids are going to slow you down, whether they’re “helping” by unpacking boxes, needing to stop for bathroom breaks, or more. Allow ample time for your move and that will make things less stressful for everybody.
For More Tips About Moving with Children
If you’re interested in learning more about moving with children or you want to find a house in Maryland, Northern Virginia, or Washington, DC, contact Coakley Realty today!