Buying a new home can be one of life’s most rewarding events. Unfortunately, moving into that home can be one of life’s most stressful (in fact, research shows it may be more stressful than divorce). Add kids to the mix and you’ve got a concoction of chaos just waiting to happen.
Moving with kids is difficult for a number of reasons though, not simply for the fact they’ll be under your feet when you’re trying to pack and clean. For children, especially those under five, moving can be a devastating upheaval that they just cannot handle. Amidst trying to get all of your stuff out of one house and into another, you may also have to contend with consoling your unsettled little one.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a couple of easy steps, you’ll be able to ease the stress caused by moving and you might just have some fun in the process!
Get The Kids Involved
As a parent, you’ll know that kids LOVE to be involved in whatever you’re doing, so if they’re old enough to help, let them. Send them off to their room with packing boxes, colorful tape and markers and let them pack up their room until their hearts are content. Hint: forgo the markers if your children are likely to draw on themselves, the walls or one another!
Remember, short attention spans are par for the course when it comes to doing anything with kids. So, when they get bored of boxing up their own personal items (which they inevitably will!) make sure you have a list of small tasks that they can be getting on with. The goal here is not really for them to make any sort of progress in terms of packing, it’s to make them feel part of the move. Moving house is a big deal for children but involving them in the process goes a long way towards helping to manage the transition.
Hold A Moving Sale
There’s nothing worse than loading millions of toys into boxes only to unpack them at the other end – and for them not to get played with! The same goes for your stuff too. The less you have to pack up, the less you have to unpack and the quicker you can get settled in your new place. So, why not hold a moving sale and get rid of as much as you possibly can?
Take the kids to put up moving sale banners and get them to help out during the sale too. While one parent is keeping your little salespeople busy on the front lawn, the other may be able to spend some uninterrupted time packing.
Keep Them Entertained
If you can’t keep your little ones entertained by helping packing, it’s vital you have other ways to keep them amused. Many families choose to move in summer so the kids can play in the yard (which is especially good if you have a pool or playground equipment). Alternatively, you could set up a playroom and leave the packing in there until last. If your children are too young to play unsupervised, hiring a babysitter for a day or two is well worth the investment.
Prepare For Foot Traffic!
It is so important that you prepare your new house for the foot traffic of moving, especially with children. Worrying about muddy footprints running up and down the new carpet or panicking that boxes and toys will damage the beautiful hardwood flooring is the last thing you want. Make sure you protect the floors for the influx of people who will be coming in and out during your move so you don’t have to even think about any potential damage.
Let Them Make Decisions
Moving from the comfort of their own bedroom to a completely unfamiliar one can make moving extremely difficult for your children. So, why not let them decide on how they want to style their new room?
By allowing them to think about the makeover of their new room, you’ll help them understand that this fresh start can be fun. Allow them to plan out everything from the bed linen to the custom drapes and everything in between. Note that you don’t actually have to implement all of their ideas, but by using some, you’re sure to help them both feel valued and create a new room they’ll love!
The Special Pack-Up Box
One of the major reasons children can feel so unsettled when moving house is the level of uncertainty it brings. While you’re probably well-versed in moving house, your children aren’t, and for many, the home you’re moving from is the only home they’ve known. Stepping out of that comfort zone is a transition you should not underestimate.
To that end, make sure you allow each one of your children to pack up a special box of their most valuable possessions. By doing this, you’re showing them that the things they most love in life are not going to be taken away from them just because you’re moving. If you keep these boxes small enough, you can even move them in your car rather than throwing them in the removal van so your children have their special boxes with them at all times.
Plan a Fun First Night
Planning your first night in your new home is absolutely vital when you’re moving with children. Firstly, make sure you have a ‘first night bag’ with changes of clothes for the whole family and any other items you need to be comfortable. Searching through boxes on your first night is unnecessary stress you don’t need to have.
Next, try to set up the couch and tv, and the children’s bedrooms at least. Then, order pizzas, throw on a movie and try to relax from your day of chaos. Undoubtedly, it will continue tomorrow as you unpack the rest of the house, but by calming down the energy, you’ll be putting your children at ease with their new surroundings too!
Author Bio: This guest post contribution is courtesy of SignMission, an American owned, operated and manufactured company in Florida. Signmission offers many types of various custom signs such us vinyl banners, aluminum signs, safety signs and even license plate frames.