Moving With Kids? Follow These Tips For A Smooth, Tear-Free Experience
Moving is never easy. When you have a gaggle of little ones, it's even more burdensome. You have to deal with your little ones' emotions, make sure nobody gets hurt when heavy furniture is being moved, and make sure everyone's clothes and necessities are easily accessible. Though there's really no way to transform moving with kids into a walk in the park, there are ways to get through the process without too many tears, Here are a few tips.
Tell your children about the move well in advance.
If your kids are preschool age or older, the news that you are moving is almost certain to make them a bit sad. For this reason, you may be tempted not to tell them you're moving until the last minute; you want to spare them those extra weeks of sadness. But waiting 'til the last minute to tell your kids about the move is not wise. With such little notice, they may not have time to properly say "goodbye" to their friends and come to terms with the move. It's far better to tell them you're moving as soon as you're sure it's going to happen. Yes, they will be sad at first—but by the time moving day comes, their emotions will have settled and they will have come to terms with this reality.
Let them help with the packing.
Watching everything they have and love being packed up around them can be a bit traumatic for your kids. Moving will be a lot easier on them if they feel like it's a process they're involved in—not just something that's happening to them. So, find some simple ways that they can help you pack. Let them pack up their own toys into boxes, help you put towels and sheets into bags, and so forth. Even if you're hiring a professional moving company to do your packing, it's wise to let your kids pack some of their own (non-breakable) items.
Take your time when traveling.
If you're moving more than a few hours away, be very careful to include plenty of rest time when planning the actual journey to your new home. For instance, you'll want to avoid driving an entire 14-hour trek in one day. Break the trip into two shorter trips, staying at a hotel for a night in between if needed. This will help ensure everyone—especially the little ones—gets enough rest. Being well rested will help keep emotions in check so that everyone continues to get along and embrace moving as a positive experience.
Have entertainment essentials on hand when the kids need a break.
You might be able to pack or load a moving truck for 12 hours straight, but the kids are going to get bored. Before you even begin the moving process, set aside a pile of games, toys, and other entertaining items. When your kids get distracted or overly emotional during the moving process, send them over to take a break and play with these items.
Pack the essentials separately.
This tip is more of a practical one. When packing, make sure you pack a few separate boxes with just the essentials you and the kids will need for the first few days in the new home. This should include a couple of changes of clothes for everyone, soap, towels, basic eating utensils, and basic medications. This way, you won't have to hurry to unpack and find what you need as soon as you arrive at the new place. You can just unpack these few boxes and then spend the next few days getting acclimated to your new town and recovering from the first steps of moving.
With the tips above, moving with kids should go much more smoothly.