Moving to a new place can be overwhelming for anyone, especially children. It can mean not only a change of scenery but also having to structure packing down their familiar home. However, moving and packing down with children does not have to be a stressful experience. Here’s our best tips for making the move easier for the youngest members of the family.
Children like consistency and knowing what's waiting for them around the corner. Preparing your children ahead of time is crucial. Younger children benefit from role-playing the scenario. You can play “packing-games” with them, where you show them how to properly pack a box, where to put it and where to start. For smaller children, showing them that things do not disappear forever when it’s put in the box, can also be very helpful for their understanding.
2. Plan that everything is going to take longer
Involving the children in the packing process might take longer, but involving them in the transition makes them feel in control and like they’re partaking in family-decisions.
But even though it might be a longer process, it’s well worth it. If you have to move within a short timeframe, you can leave the children with a babysitter and pack the house down yourself. But if you have time, involve them in the process, even though it might take longer.
3. Give them tasks
Make a list and talk to your children about what their chores are going to be. Walkthrough their rooms with them, to give them a sense of what’s going to be packed, who’s responsible for what and in what order it’s going to be packed. While packing down, younger children can get tasks like “put all your stuffed animals in this box” while you sort and pack their clothes. That keeps their sense of control and makes the packing more tangible for the child. When they’ve packed their box, help them write or draw on it, so they know what’s in it when they unpack at the new place.
4. Have a babysitter for the actual moving day
The actual day of the move requires a lot of organizing. Don’t send your children to another house, but have a friend or a babysitter over, to take care of them. That also leaves you room to focus on getting everything in the moving van.
5. Take one last walk through the house
So the children can better understand that now is the time to leave, take them for a walk around the empty house. That makes it easier for them to understand, that now the house is empty and it’s time to move. It also gives you a chance to check that everything is in the van.
6. Take it slow at the new place
This is the exciting part of the move, getting to see the new place. If they have not seen it before, take them for a walk through the place. Show them what room is theirs, where you’ll be sleeping etc. Make signs for all the rooms, so they know which is which. That is helpful for their understanding of the new layout, as well as helping with the process of unpacking. Take time for them to look through the house and to slowly get used to it. If possible, give them one or two of their boxes first, so they can have some of their familiar items in the new home.
If your kids are feeling a little anxious about the move, check out these tips to ease your children’s fear of moving. At Hands-On Moving, our child-friendly moving team will help your kids to cope up with the move. We’re New Haven’s top-rated moving and storage service provider always ready to help.