Moving is difficult for even the most organized people. When children are involved the difficulty increases. Whether you are going just down the road or to a completely new city, here are some tips to help ease the transition.
Let Your Kids Help
If they're old enough, let your children help you pack some of their personal belongings. Even at a young age, kids can sort their toys and help you wrap objects in tissue paper or bubble wrap. If you'll be putting some things into storage, ask them what they would like to keep and what they don't mind parting with for a while. Make sure your kids know that their toys and belongings will follow them to the new house and aren’t being thrown away. If you’re using cardboard boxes, let your child decorate them after they’ve been packed.
Alleviate Their Fears
If possible, take the children to see their new home and neighborhood in advance. This will help to take the “mystery” out of the move. Introducing your children to their new neighbors will reassure them that they will make new friends after the move.
Pack It Last, Unpack It First
Children of all ages crave stability and comfort. Make your child's bedroom a safe place for them in your old home and recreate that same sense of ownership for them in their new bedroom. Older children may not want their new bedroom to be identical to the old (in fact, new furniture or decor could help dull the loss of school friends and activities), but younger children will benefit from a room nearly identical to the one they left behind. Make the moving disruption as minimal as possible by packing your child's room last and unpacking it first upon arrival.
If It’s Important, Keep It Close
Never make the mistake of letting the movers pack your child’s favorite toy or special blanket. Keep these items with you at all times. This will help ease any separation anxiety they may experience from the changes, and minimize your stress when you arrive if you can't find it right away. If it's important to your infant or toddler, it should be just as important to you -- don't let it out of your sight when you're moving.
Help your kids to make new friends by getting them involved in extracurricular activities in their new neighborhood. Find local schools, churches, co-ops and other neighborhood connections that might make your transition and introduction to your new place smoother. Sports leagues, community kids' clubs and classes specific to your child's interests will keep them busy, introduce them to new friends and make them feel more at home in their new surroundings.
Have you made a move with a child in-tow? What other advice would you give? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page