Moving house is stressful for anyone, with or without kids in tow. When you have children along for the ride, it can become a truly taxing experience. Once you’ve decided on your new home and the papers are all signed, you have to deal with getting your kids used to the idea of a whole new home. Luckily, there are steps that you can take to make the transition less stressful for the whole family.
Get Them Excited
If your kids see moving house as a fun, exciting adventure then they’ll adjust to their new home far more easily. Work them up to the idea by being as positive as possible about the move, and tell them all of the things about the new house that will be an improvement on their old home. Take them on a tour of the new neighborhood and make sure that you stop at any local parks or fun attractions that could make the whole thing seem more appealing to children.
Let your kids come up with their own decorating ideas, show them maps of the house so that they can pick their own room and pick out some brand new bed sheets that they can use for their new beds (or old beds in a new room). These small planning sessions will help them to see moving as a positive, fun thing rather than a scary and unpleasant change that’s outside of their control.
Instead of swooping in and taking control of the packing process, get your kids involved at every step of the way. Help them to organize all of their clothes, toys and belongings in their room, and then let them decide which items they want to take with them and which things they no longer need. Moving can be a great opportunity to re-organize and de-clutter, but make sure that they feel involved and that their opinions are taken into consideration along the way.
Let your kids pack their own boxes up (once you’ve shown them how to pack neatly) and give them fun sticker labels to mark their boxes as their own. Once you’ve moved into your new home, get their boxes out first and help them to unpack in their new room so that it immediately begins to feel familiar and safe.
Expect Some Upheaval
It’s normal for moving home to unsettle some kids, especially if your children are pretty young and have only ever lived in one place. Try to be understanding and compassionate, and plan for some upheaval so that it doesn’t come as a surprise. Your kids may be slightly more clingy than usual and may need some extra love and support during this time, so be there for them whenever they want to talk and offer reassurance regularly.
If you can, stick to stick to your usual routine as much as possible once you’ve moved into your new home. It’s okay to order takeout for a few nights while you unpack and settle in, but stick to the usual feeding, naptime and bedtime routines to help your children feel secure and at home.