Moving is stressful enough, but it can even more of a challenge when there are small kids involved. Not only will they likely make the job even more complicated, but they might have a problem with moving in the first place.
Considering how big of a job moving is, you'll want to take steps to make sure the process is as smooth as possible. Here are a few tips to help you move with your kids while keeping everyone - including yourself - sane throughout the process.
Pack Up During Nap Times
A sleeping child is a trouble-free child, so take advantage of nap times to pack up your things. This is especially true when it comes to packing their belongings. Kids have an incredible sense of ownership when it comes to their things and they don't usually like to see anyone messing with them.
Leave Their Favourite Toys Out
Although you have to pack up everything in the house to move them to your new home, you don't necessarily have to box up every item. Leave a couple of your kids' favourite things so they don't end up freaking out that they don't know where they are or don't have access to them.
Give Them Something to Do
While you don't necessarily want to give your kids the job of packing up your delicate glasses and dinnerware, there are still some tasks that they should be able to easily get done with minimal issues. Give them a cardboard box that they can fill up with their things. Although you might have to repack it afterward, it will still give them a sense that they are helping out and are somewhat in control of the situation.
Encourage Them to Talk About Their Feelings
Moving is an emotional process. You're likely feeling a little emotional about such a huge change, so imagine what your children are feeling. Gather some treats and goodies and sit around a table to encourage some conversation. Get them to talk about how they feel about moving and what may be concerning them. Tell your kids what it was like for you the first time you moved to help them feel as though you can relate to them. A little conversation can go a long way.
Get Rid of Unused Items Long Before the Move
Families with small kids tend to accumulate a lot of things. Many of these items are no longer of any use, so there's no sense in packing them up and moving them to your new home. This is just a waste of time and resources. Instead, start purging a few months or weeks before the big move so that you have a lot less stuff to have to pack and haul.
Get Some Help
Ideally, not having the kids around at all when you are packing up all of your belongings and hauling it onto a moving truck is best. If possible, have the kids stay at a friend's, neighbour's, or relatives house during the duration of the move. Not only will they not be in the way, they'll also be less likely to have a problem seeing their things being shipped out of their beloved home and into another.
Take Time to Scope Out the New Neighbourhood
Before you finally move out of your current home, visit the new neighbourhood a handful of times with your kids to help them get acquainted with it. This is a highly emotional time for your kids, and they may be uncomfortable in their new surroundings. You can help them get more familiar and comfortable with their new community by spending some time there before the big move.
Create Room Plans
You want your kids to get excited about their new home, and a great way to do that is to create room plans for the new home. They can pick out their own rooms, and even help to decorate and arrange other rooms in the home. Take them with you when you go pick out paint colours, new artwork, or anything else that your new home might need. The more involved they are, the more in control they will feel, which can go a long way at easing their concerns.
Moving is tough, but moving with small kids is even tougher. Keep the above tips in mind when moving with your children to help make the process as streamlined as you can. And don't forget to allow everyone - including you - to feel the emotions that will inevitably be felt and accept them as part of this big life change.