If moving is stressful enough for adults, it’s doubly so for children. Moving to a new home means leaving their bedroom, their friends, their favorite park or playground, and everything they’ve grown up with.
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Leaving your comfort zone and moving to an unknown place can be mind-boggling, especially to your little ones. Families relocate for many reasons, such as due to housing, family, work, government or military relocations. Oftentimes moving is inevitable and you simply need to prepare for it.
Moving with kids tends to be more challenging than your moves in the past. Aside from the regular moving-related tasks, you have to pay extra attention to your little ones. Doing it right can make the move less stressful for the whole family.
So, how do you ensure a smooth relocation with kids? Here are some pointers to keep in mind.
Before the move
Once you decide that the family is moving, let your children know immediately. Just as you need time to prepare, your kids also need time to process such a daunting experience.
Talk to them about the move. Why is it needed? Where are you going? And what to expect during the process? Keeping them informed can help ease the process of acceptance. This will also ensure a positive moving experience for them.
Consultants at Mississauga Moving Company, Torex, recommend early preparations, especially when moving with kids. Ideally, start preparing at least two months before the actual moving date. Aside from giving you enough time to organize the move, de-clutter your stuff, and pack up, it will also provide enough time to say goodbye to their friends.
Keep them involved in the moving process – from planning down to packing and unpacking. Toddlers can be assigned simple tasks like packing their toys or their belongings. Teens can help research about the new place and look for a new school.
Regular family huddles can help everyone prepare for the move. Give them updates about the tasks at hand, to-dos, schedules, etc. This is also a perfect time to know more about how your kids feel about the move.
During the move
On the big day, you might feel stressed out. Keep them busy with tasks that you have assigned beforehand.
Having a well-planned move can make the moving day smooth because the kids know what to expect.
Make an inventory of all your stuff. This will help you keep track of your belongings and avoid leaving anything behind. Do a final sweep and check every room before moving out.
Make sure your kids wear comfortable clothes. If your teens will help move some boxes, be sure they wear safe clothes and stable footwear. Teach them about proper lifting techniques to avoid injuries.
Be ready with snacks and refreshments, extra clothes, nappies, medicines, and other kids’ essentials. If you have toddlers or babies, make sure you have their favorite toys ready should they become bored. You can ask for help from your friends and family to watch over your kids. With a lot of things to do, it can be a very hectic day.
Try to look for interesting sights or places where you can stop over as you travel. This will make the journey more exciting and take the kid’s minds off your old home.
After the move
Unpacking can be equally overwhelming. But unlike packing, you have plenty of time to unpack and sort out everything. Don’t pressure yourself into un-boxing your stuff at once. Start only with the important items.
Make the kids feel at home by putting their favorite bedspread, familiar objects, favorite toys, and pictures. Try to establish the routine in your previous homes, such as TV time, bedtimes, and mealtime. Young children can become stressed with disruptions in their activities. Babies, in particular, are keen on predictability.
Encourage your kids to express their feelings about the experience. Get them to call the friends they left. It will make them feel better and ease anxiety.
Look for activities to do or places to visit in your new neighborhood. If your kids attend a club or participate in sports, try to find similar activities to make them feel at home and encourage them to make new friends.
Moving with kids can be extra stressful. Proper planning and plenty of preparation can make the moving experience smooth and exciting for the entire family. Getting everyone involved from start to finish can give you a sense of fulfillment. It can help you settle in your home faster and make new memories together.