Top ten tips to take the stress out of moving with the kids
1. Moving with kids: Take plenty of time to prepare
As in any other parenting situation (a family vacation, the first day of school), one of the most important tips is to take time to prepare. Moving involves many tasks and when there are children present, you will need more time to complete them all without any stress. Within the preparation period, you will also need to slot in some time for unexpected events and unplanned delays: friends passing by, toddlers breakdowns, administrative struggles. Delegate packing and transport of your household to a professional moving company, leaving you the time to spend with your kids during the moving period. When a professional company helps you to pack and transport your belongings, you will have time for that much-needed extra cuddle on moving day.
2. Moving with kids: Transparent information is key
Parents should not keep secrets from their kids because we all know that children have a sixth sense. As soon as you know that you are moving, you’ll need to inform the kids. In an age-appropriate way, you will explain to them the reasons why you are moving and what moving to a new house means in your specific situation. Offer kids as much information as you can because it is the easiest way to help a child cope with moving house. Give them time to accept and absorb the news and take it from there. Keep them in the loop during the entire moving process.
3. Moving with kids: Make things concrete
Being transparent means informing the kids of the practical matters that will change: what will this move mean to them and their day-to-day life? It is very important that parents clarify what and who all is coming on this new adventure. Tell them outright that you and your partner (if you have one) are both coming, and siblings, pets, and other treasured items. What are the practical consequences of going to the new home? Give clear information on their new home (is there a backyard, a bedroom for everyone, etc.) the new school, the new neighborhood, or the new country (weather, landscape, language).
When you speak to older children, you can give them as much information about your new life as possible, this can also include:
- Your new address
- The name of their school
- The name of their neighborhood
- The name of your work/your spouse’s work
4. Moving with kids: Visit the new home
Being transparent also includes a visit to your new hometown before you move. It may not be always possible to visit the actual new house. But you can visit the area, the new school, or even fun landmarks in a new country. This way, kids will be able to visualize their new life and this will take away some moving stress. If you’re moving for work, negotiate a visit to your new city as part of your relocation package, and take your kids with you. You can also consider a mini-vacation to your new place and explore the area. Choose some kid-friendly activities like parks, playgrounds, and the nearest chocolate shop. Finding places of interest in their new town will make your kids feel more at home.
5. Moving with kids: Plan fun things
Schedule a visit back home to see old friends before the actual move. When you do this, there will be no saying goodbye, instead, you will say “see you soon”! We all need something to look forward to (think of Christmas or your next summer vacation). This same anticipation is significant for kids, and they will be comforted in the thought that they will see their friends again soon. It is equally important to plan for some fun things in the new home to help them settle. Maybe you can finally consider that much-wanted pet or that special toy or app that they always asked for. A teen will look forward to the promise of a shopping spree at the mall in the new hometown.
6. Moving with kids: Involve kids in the move
Involve your kids in the move because when they are in charge of a task, they will feel in control of the situation. Kids can get involved as early as finding a new home. Let them have a vote and listen to them. They can also be in charge of decorating their new room or the playroom. Creativity is a great outlet for emotions. So unleash their inner artist and create a positive vibe by letting them pick paint colors, pillowcases, or carpets. Even the most cranky teens will smile if they get to pick out new goodies. Before moving day, children can help pack some of their own belongings. Make sure you ask your moving company for some boxes beforehand. Again, this will give kids ownership of their part of the move, and it will help them feel like they’re a part of the process. It will make for an easier transition.
7. Moving with kids: Keep their favorite items apart
It is important that you keep your kids’ beloved toys or stuffed animals apart. These items are essential for (young) children during the move and should be in their backpack or otherwise in hand at all times. The last thing you want is for that precious teddy bear to be stowed away in a moving truck or container. On moving day itself, usually a bit chaotic, their special toy will be handy to keep them occupied or to comfort them.
8. Moving with kids: Be flexible
Things can be logistically challenging on moving days. That is why you will keep a few treats at hand to ‘bribe’ the kids. Don’t worry, this will not spoil them. Moving days come around once in a while, so no habits are being made here. Let the kids stay up late, forget about healthy family dinner, order a pizza instead, and make your day as easy as possible. Moving day can be especially challenging for a toddler, becoming overly clingy or throwing a tantrum. Here’s where you will give them that special treat, let them watch cartoons on a tablet, and you will carefully pick your battles. Moving with kids asks for flexibility.
9. Moving with kids: Find a babysitter on moving day
It’s best to not have the children around while the moving company is packing up your household. When the movers come in, they will need space to pack and wrap and carry the furniture and boxes from your home to the moving truck. Often machines, tools, or lifts are involved with the actual move and that is why it is not safe for children to be around. Instead, drop them off at their friends or the grandparents on moving day. They will not bother you or the movers, and – more importantly – they will have a fun day instead.
10. Moving with kids: Stay positive
Last but not least, to make moving a pleasant experience for the kids, you will need to be positive yourself. Situations are only as stressful as we make them ourselves and in the case of parenting, it is crucial to keep your cool. Trust your parental instincts because you know what is good for your child. And make this all a positive family adventure. You are a team, and you can do it! With enough time to plan and with the help of a professional moving company to take care of the practical side of your relocation, moving with kids can be stress-free!
Contact KAE for your family relocation
At KAE, we understand that moving with kids can be stressful. We all have kids, and we understand the difficulties that can come up. That is why we offer high-quality domestic and international removal services for families to ensure a professional and trouble-free move. No matter what your reason for moving, your list of services will cater to any of your family removal needs.
Just give us a call or get in touch online via our free quote form for further information. Our family-focused team is happy to help you with any questions!
Download our checklist (1) for Moving with Kids including a helpful (entertainment) booklet to prepare the kids for their move (2) (pdf files)