Moving home is stressful enough, but add a little one (or two, or three!) to the equation and you could be left tearing your hair out. It’s not only you who could end up stressed either. Youngsters often feel impacted by the whole process too, which is why we’ve put together some tips for moving house with children for you to take a look at.
Let's dive straight in!
Talk them through it
Simply saying you’re ‘moving’ home may be a little abstract to smaller children, so try and sit them down and explain exactly what they can expect when moving day comes around. Getting them used to the idea will go a long way to alleviating any anxiety they may have about leaving their old home and venturing into a new, and strange, property.
Take them to see their new home
Another great way to bring them into the reality of what is happening is to bring them along to a second viewing or even simply taking them for a walk around the area you are moving to. Getting them comfortable is the name of the game, and by introducing them to the neighbourhood and the property itself you will be helping them get used to the concept of changing homes before it actually happens.
Ask them what’s on their mind
While point one was all about speaking to them, it’s equally important that you listen to their concerns too. If they raise any issues, give them proper consideration and try to answer their questions honestly and fully. Children are insightful, and they may even open your eyes to points you may not have thought of yourself, so give them the freedom to be able to make themselves heard.
Choosing your moving day
Selecting an appropriate time to move isn’t always easy, but the more thought you put into it the better it will be for your child. While many parents opt for moving days in the middle of the summer holidays, others find it easier for their children if they move during term time, as this helps occupy their mind and gives you extra time without them under your feet. The key thing is to assess your situation and incorporate your move into your child’s routine as best you can.
Turn it into a game
One of the best tips for moving house with children is to turn the whole day (and even the lead up to it) into a bit of a game. This will help get them interested in what’s going on and it’ll also help you relax and enjoy the moment too. Moving home is a massive step, but we often get caught up in the whole ‘stressful’ thing simply because we’ve almost been programmed to do so. Let go a little and lighten the day up, both for your child’s sake and your own!
Make a list of new things the area has to offer
If you are moving to a completely new area there will be untold things you and your children can explore together, so make a list and talk about them. Getting the children excited about the move will help avoid those grumpy faces when the time comes around, and it’ll also add to the sense of adventure moving home can bring.
Get them involved
Another great way to make the whole process more real and tangible for your kids is to get them involved with the process. This could be something as simple as letting them help you pack certain items as you gather up your old possessions ready for the move. Not only will they feel included, it’ll also give you the perfect opportunity to have those little chats about how they’re feeling without them coming across as contrived and forced.
Make sure you know where everything is
Be sure to up your labelling skills during the packing process when dealing with your child’s bits and bobs. While simply putting labels such as ‘clothing’ on boxes will do for your personal effects, it’s a good idea to be a little more specific when it comes to your children’s belongings. It’s at times like these when they’ll ask for the most obscure item in their inventory, and being able to put your hand straight on it will keep them happy...and you sane!
Don’t pack everything
Packing your belongings correctly is essential if you want to minimise any damage or losses during your move, but take into consideration your child’s needs as you go along. Is there any items they simply cannot do without? If so (providing they’re not huge and bulky), keep them aside so they can have these things with them during the move.
Settle them in
Once the removal lorry pulls away and you’re left in your new home with your kids, it’s important to settle them down as quickly as possible. Getting familiar items out of the boxes quickly will help ground them and make them feel at home, but it’s just as important for you to stick to old routines as well. Bedtime is still bedtime, even if you are in a new home.
Remember to have fun
Above all else, have fun during your move. Children pick up on our feelings, so if you’re stressed they will be too. Relax and let the day unfold. If things go wrong, take a step back and ask yourself if it will really matter in a year's time. Chances are this will put things back into perspective and allow you to laugh off any minor mishaps along the way.
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