There’s no way around it—moving house is the pits. From U-Haul rentals to boxing up everything in your house, finding a new school, to scouting out your new neighborhood, moving home can be all kinds of stressful. If you have kids, that stress is definitely compounded. Not only do you have to deal with all the details of the move, but you also worry about how they’re going to deal with such a massive change. Here’s How to Make Moving with Children Easy as Pie (or at least a bit easier!):
If you’re planning on a move soon and want to make the process easier on your little ones, keep these tips and strategies in mind.
#1. Let Them Have a Say
Whether you’re moving because of financial issues or a job placement, a move may make your children feel powerless. That’s why it’s important to make an effort to listen to their concerns and to let them feel they have a say in it all.
As you begin looking for homes, ask your little ones what they’d like to have in their new house. You may get some wacky suggestions (indoor trampolines and Olympic-sized pools are likely going to be thrown in there), but your children will provide you with some viable insight as to what you should look for to ensure your entire family is happy.
Using listings websites that have numerous filter features can turn this into a fun game, to find the perfect family home by inserting the options your kids suggest and seeing what is available.
From a house with a hot tub to a home with a big backyard, your kids will start to feel a sense of excitement instead of fear.
#2. Get Them To Pick Activities
Is your son interested in drama? Perhaps your daughter has talked about trying out karate. Before making the move, be sure to look into local activities and give your children something to look forward to.
If your child loves to stay active and enjoys competition, sign them up for a local sports team. This will make for built-in friends, even before they start school, and help them feel more comfortable immediately.
Not only will this help make the move more exciting, but it will also help them to fit into the new community sooner, expediting the process of making new friends too.
From local theater programs to swim teams, there are always plenty of kids activities to join, so ask your kids which ones they’d love to do. It will help make the moving transition easier if they are looking forward to new activities too.
#3. Make Sure Your Family is Protected
It might not be of top concern when you are planning your move, but there are many ways in which this situation can make us vulnerable. And keeping the kids safe is obviously paramount.
When the house gets packed up and there are boxes everywhere, make sure the kids know not to get too near boxes if there are heavy ones or boxes stacked up.
From entrusting strangers with your belongings to renting from a new landlord or purchasing from an unknown homeowner, there are ways to keep yourself and your family protected.
- When renting a moving truck or hiring moving help, be sure you ask for referrals from friends, and check out reviews on sites like Yelp. As you’re allowing these people to handle your valuables, it’s important to make sure they’re individuals you can trust. As well as being reputable make sure they are completely covered with correct insurance.
- Are you planning on renting? Be wary of landlords that are too eager, especially if you haven’t met them in person or done a walkthrough of the property. You’ll be handing over your personal information, so be careful, especially if you’re trying to find a rental remotely. If the landlord doesn’t ask for a credit check or proof of financial documentation, there may be something amiss. Look out for red flags, and follow your instincts—it’s your money and your family’s safety on the line.
- Buying a new house? If buying direct ask the seller to put you in touch with people who can verify who they are, it’ll give you a bit of peace of mind. Make sure to use vehicles like escrow accounts to protect money transfers too.
#4. Don’t Forget the Past
Your kids are likely nervous about going somewhere new, but don’t forget that they’re also going to be very sad to be leaving their home behind, especially if you’re moving to a new city.
To help them say goodbye, dedicate a day to checking out all of your favorite family locales one last time. From that restaurant across town to the park where you used to have picnics, letting your little ones say farewell can be more therapeutic than you think – for them and you.
Be sure to take pictures of all those spots, then put them into a special photo album you can take with you. We did this for our daughter before we left Boston for Galway, and it’s a special memento that she enjoys looking at.
Hopefully these tips will make moving with kids a little easier, and best of luck with the whole house move!
Over to you now. Have you moved house with children? Any tips to share in the comments below?