11+ Tips For Moving With Kids
Moving sucks! Especially, when you have young children. As a professional moving company, we know firsthand how difficult the moving process can be on families and kids. Not only is the physical aspect of moving tough, but adapting to your new city can also take a toll. Moving can be even more challenging when you have school-aged kids who are ambivalent about the move. Going to a new school, making new friends and readjusting can be difficult for a kid at any age, especially if the move feels abrupt. There are a number of ways to help make a move easier on your kids! We’ve made a guide designed specifically for moving with kids.
Moving is a common reality for many kids. The truth is that 10% of kids ages 1-14 will move in a given year. The impact of the move will affect every child differently, especially depending on their age at the time of the move. We’ve compiled a list of universal tips and tricks to help your child prepare for the move! Here are 11+ tips for moving with kids.
11+ tips for moving with kids.
1. Visit your new neighborhood before you move.
Schedule a visit to your new city/state before you move so that they can get familiarized with the new area. Try to take your child to an age appropriate fun venue in the area (toy store, candy store, ice cream shop, amusement park, etc.). This can help the fear of the unknown associated with moving to a new place.
Contact their new school and ask for a tour. It can be helpful for kids to familiarize themselves with their new school (meet the teachers, learn the layout of the school building). See if it’s possible for them to spend the day there. This can help your child understand what their new life will be like. Bonus: if they spend a day at their new school before they move, they can make some friends and feel less nervous about their first day at the new school.
2. Spoil your kids (just this one time)
Obviously we don’t recommend spoiling your kids all the time, but when it comes to helping your kid get excited about the move, it can be a good idea to give them a gift for the move. Maybe get them a gift that they have been asking for a long time, Or, take them to a special place and strive to make a memory out of it to warm them up to the prospect of moving.
3. Tell your kids about the move in advance.
There’s nothing worse than hiding the news. Obviously, sometimes we can’t plan our lives that far ahead; moves can be last minute and abrupt. However, try to give your kids as much notice as possible. Give them time to adjust to the prospect of moving and come to terms with it.
There are also ways that you can help your kids enjoy the process. For example, if your child is up for it, suggest a going away party for them. This can give them a chance to have fun with their friends and make a memory. Another fun idea is to ask if they want to document the process with a scrapbook. This can keep kids entertained and allow them to get creative about their emotions on moving.
4. Schedule a visit to your old home
Kids often have a fear of change, so the idea that they will never return to their old house may make it harder for them to feel comfortable about the move. Tell them that they can come back to their old house to visit friends sometime in the future.
5. Let them decorate their new room!
A chance to decorate your room can be exciting for kids. Let your kids choose the future paint color of their room, among other stylistic and decorative choices. Let them go shopping for home decor. This can help give them a sense of agency in the move and give them a chance to express themselves.
6. Bring toys with you!
Don’t pack away their favorite toys. That can feel unnecessarily scary. Tell your kids to choose some of their favorite toys and stuffed animals and put them away in a backpack where they are easily accessible. Remember to label boxes correctly, so that your kids will be able to find all of their toys and items of sentimental value easily.
7. Maintain Routine & Tradition
Routine is an important part of your child’s day-to-day life. Consistency is important, especially when your child is experiencing a period with a lot of change. If you have any traditions and routines, be sure to implement them once you arrive at your new home. Try to emphasize the similarities between their new home and their old one. If you have a family dinner every Friday, be sure to keep this routine . If you watch a certain TV show, on a certain evening, get your TV hooked up and watch the show together! Maintaining familiar rituals and routines can be crucial to helping your kid adjust to their new life.
8. Emphasize your child’s comfort
When you move into your new home, be sure to set up your child’s room first. It can be helpful to arrange their room in a similar way (same furniture, wallpaper, etc) to make them feel more comfortable. Moving houses can feel very chaotic, so don’t delay the unpacking process. Try to make things feel as homely as possible and unpack their belongings as soon as possible.
9. Don’t throw away their items without telling them.
Moving often requires you to go through your belongings and downsize things you don’t need. It can be extremely challenging for kids to find out that their belongings were thrown away without their approval. If you hold a yard sale, maybe you can make a deal with your kids. If they manage to sell some of their belongings, they can keep a fraction of the profits!
10. Include them in the packing process
Let them pack their own belongings. Obviously this is probably a task that is age dependent, but giving them a chance to participate in the move can help them feel included. Let them label boxes in fun and creative ways (perhaps make it into an arts and crafts project!)
11. Bring snacks & entertainment!
Moving is a long and time consuming process. On moving day, make sure your kids have plenty of snacks, water and entertainment to keep them nourished and occupied. Even if you try to limit your kids iPad usage, it may be helpful to bring out the iPad for moving day so that you can focus on the logistics on the move while your kids are entertained.
12. Lastly, keep a positive attitude!
If you don’t seem excited about the move, there’s no way they will be. Consider all the new experiences that they get to enjoy in their new neighborhood. Kids are perceptive and can sense if something is wrong, so make sure to keep an upbeat attitude about the move.