Moving to a new home is a milestone in its own right. But between the planning, packing, hauling, and adjusting to a new place, moving with kids can also be quite challenging and overwhelming.
Kids often feel safer and more secure in a place they’re familiar with – at home, in their own rooms, with their neighbors, or at school with friends. This means moving to a different place can become difficult and stressful if you’re not prepared.
These tips can help ensure that moving with kids goes as smoothly as possible.
9 Tips for Moving with Kids
1. Tell them as soon as possible.
The first thing to do when you’re moving with kids is to let them know early so they can prepare and feel included. Keeping them informed helps them better cope with what the new environment brings.
You can tell them the exact date you’ll be moving, the name of the neighborhood and what it’s like, their new school (if they’re changing), and what the setup in the new home will be.
You can also do a quick drive around the new property and community a few times before the actual moving day. Stop by their new school, playgrounds, parks, and shops close by. This helps the kids familiarize themselves with the area and is a great way to build excitement.
Many kids will feel anxious about leaving their old friends and making new ones. So, it’s best to also explain why you’re moving and help them find reasons to feel excited about their new environment.
Encourage them to ask questions and truthfully answer them, so they’ll feel more at ease with the changes coming.
Essentially, keeping them in the loop as early as possible helps them better prepare for the move – like the physical packing, understanding new feelings and dealing with them, and navigating through their new life.
2. Start early.
The preparations for moving with kids can take twice as long, so it’s best to begin your planning, sorting, deep cleaning, and packing early on.
Giving yourself (and the whole family) ample time to prepare will minimize the urgency and stress that comes with the big day. It’s also advisable to tackle the big things first – like disassembling beds, furniture, and appliances – especially if your support services are on a clock.
No matter how small the home you’re leaving behind might seem, moving day can sneak up to you. To avoid rush packing, throwing things in random boxes, and speed-scrubbing your place, be sure to get started early on.
3. Have a to-do list.
Moving with kids can get daunting, but having a to-do list complete with deadlines and people in charge can help ease the pressure.
Depending on their age, kids can manage simple tasks as long as you give them instructions and demonstrate how it should be done. Whether it’s cleaning duties or packing their own toys and books, getting kids involved can make the load lighter for you.
You can also ask for the kids’ opinions or get them to make a few decisions – room decorations, which boxes to unpack first, how to arrange their closet, and the like. These little things can give them some sense of control and stability over their new environment.
If the kids are not yet of age, you can seek support from family, friends, your community, or a babysitter. Having the little ones off your care for a few hours can give you time to focus on the bigger tasks.
4. Prepare color-coded or well-labeled boxes.
Keeping boxes organized can be difficult when you’re moving with kids. That’s why it’s helpful to label them with colored stickers, tapes, or markers to help identify each box based on the room it belongs to. This is one of our favorite packing hacks.
In your new place, you can use the same color or symbol to mark each room. This will help you, your kids, and the movers quickly identify which box needs to go where.
Alternatively, another packing hack is to label all boxes not just with of the room name, but of all its contents too. Number each of them and keep a list of what you’ve packed already. Doing this will help make your packing and unpacking a lot easier.
5. Decide what to keep and what to share.
Children tend to accumulate a lot of smaller, extra things that can make packing a challenge. So, moving with kids is a great opportunity to get rid of these while also helping others.
Pack a donation box of all outgrown clothes, toys, books, and other items that are no longer used and take it to Goodwill or your local charity. You can also do a yard sale or connect with online parent groups where you can sell everything you don’t need.
6. Make a “moving week” plan.
Take time to sit with your kids and make a detailed plan of the last week prior to your move.
This can include matters on where the family can eat, who packs or unpacks which boxes, who checks what area of the house before leaving, or who rides in which car to ensure everyone gets to the new home safely.
If the kids are yet of age, the plan can include the support system you have. For instance, indicate what day or time your sister can pick up the babies and when you’ll have them back. Or what days the movers will take out the living room and dining set.
7. Maintain traditions, but have exciting surprises, too.
Sticking to routines, set schedules, and usual family traditions is a great way to keep a sense of normality for the kids. You may have to take pictures of your old house or do a final walk-through to say goodbye to their home. This can reduce the anxiety and stress that comes with new environments, especially for kids who struggle with changes.
It’s also helpful to prepare a few exciting surprises and new traditions to boost everyone’s morale. Whether it’s having some new toys or books, stopping by their favorite restaurant, or having their own rooms, creating something different can make kids feel like an adventure is up ahead.
8. Pack overnight bags for everyone.
To make things accessible, be sure each family member has their own duffle bag containing their essentials. This can include extra clothes, footwear, underwear, toiletries, medicine, milk, nappies, and special toys for the kids. These items should at least be sufficient for the last night in your old home and the first two nights in the new one.
You can also pack a separate box for the kids’ lunchboxes, school books, snacks, towels, and other necessities for the week, so you won’t feel pressure to unpack right away. Doing so also ensures everyone, especially the youngsters, has all their needs – without having to open boxes or big suitcases.
Bonus tip: Get the kids to help pack their “must-have” box and allow them to choose their favorite items to have on hand. This is a great way to get them involved and excited about the move!
9. Don’t rush it.
Moving with kids can be draining, so be sure everyone takes frequent breaks to sit down, have a meal, and stay hydrated. Take time to check in on everyone every few hours to ensure that they’re still energized and up to the task. If they’re not, allow them to take breaks to recharge.
Once everything has been moved to your new house, you might feel the urgent need to make things look perfect right away. Know that unpacking and arranging things in order can take days or weeks. Focus on the essentials (beds, dining table, kids’ favorite toys), and don’t rush to set up everything immediately.
Similarly, kids may take a longer time to fully adjust to their new surroundings and social environment. Talk to them regularly, be patient, and show that you’re willing to help them through this adjustment period.
It also helps to befriend your neighbors and give your children the time and opportunity to mingle with new people who can help them settle in quickly. This also keeps them busy, giving you more time to unpack and arrange your home.
Moving with kids can be a challenging, perhaps even stressful time. Children tend to be more sensitive to the thought of packing up and leaving their “old” lives. But with these nine simple tips, you’re well on your way to making the process of moving with kids smoother and more fun
Ready to find your next home and start your new journey in Las Vegas? The Brendan King Group can help. Our team of renowned agents and local experts can guide you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more.
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