Moving to a new house is not easy at the best of times, throw kids into the mix and it is automatically just that much harder. My son & his family just moved into their new home recently and it got me thinking about the topic and ways in which it might be made easier. So, after talking to a few people I put together a few “Tips for Moving with Children”
- Get ready early on - As soon as you start thinking about moving start decluttering the children’s bedrooms and getting rid of things they have outgrown or don’t play with anymore. There are numerous organisations that are grateful for donations of these items or you could put a post on Neighbourly or Facebook. You might want to sell some items at a local flea market or on Trade Me. Older kids can go thorough their things with you.
- Talk, talk, talk - Make sure you discuss the move with the family to get them ready for the changes and what will be happening. Go through the new home with the kids in advance if you can and talk about where their new rooms will be etc.
- Packing – older children can generally be handed some boxes and left to their own devices, a talk about how best to pack things might be a good idea before leaving them to it. Younger children might want to “help” so giving them simple tasks like the (unbreakable!) plastics in the kitchen or packing the books in the lounge while you pack other items in the same room could work. Alternately you might want to wait until they are at bed or in childcare to get stuck in to it.
- Moving Day
- Small children may be confused about what’s happening, so it is important that you have their most important things in a place that you know where to find it – the one teddy they can’t sleep without or their favourite goodnight story for example. My daughter moved quite a few times when her kids were small and always had a box of these most important things in the car (not the moving truck) so they were easily accessible straight away.
- Help – accept all of those offers of help! Moving goes a lot better with helpers and if you have small children the best help might be someone taking them for a few hours. Older children can help with moving, they love having tasks and are generally quite happy to pitch in as long as they know what you want them to do.
- Food – make sure you have snacks and drinks handy for everyone, don't forget to keep some cups, plates & cutlery out. A plan about dinner at the end of a long tiring day is good – it’s ok to get takeaways just this once (and a bottle of bubbles for yourselves)! Hangry is a thing and won’t help!
- Bathroom - have soap, towels and toilet paper handy for the new home.
- Beds – get the kids beds set up at the new home as soon as you can so that the children get a sense of home and normality as soon as possible. Big kids can help get their rooms unpacked once the furniture is in place too. Keeps them out from under foot and helps them to feel like they are getting settled.
The rest can be chaos, but a familiar bed and those special items go a long way to help settle in.
Do you have any tips for helping the move go smoothly with children?