Yes, moving is stressful especially to another state or school district. Add children to the mix, and that stress can feel off the charts. You can tackle it all though and still maintain your cool. After all, if you can handle the home buying and selling process, you can handle this move! Below are tips to help you navigate the process of moving with children as smoothly as possible. Spoiler alert: You and your family might actually have fun!
- It all starts with planning. This is where it pays to hire professionals — from our RE/MAX Real Estate Dewitt Realtors to movers. You can also organize your move by using a resource like imove that provides everything from a moving checklist to a packing calculator.
- Call a family meeting to clearly (using your most enthusiastic voice!) tell your children about your upcoming move. Your positive attitude will greatly influence your children’s response. The more you convey this move is going to be a fun new adventure, the more likely your children will view it that way.
- Involve your child with the move as much as possible.
- Share with them houses you’re looking at online. Depending upon their age, they can do online searches too. Let them accompany you and your realtor as you visit homes. If they can’t join you, take photos to share with them later. After choosing the home, make a special visit as a family to explore the new neighborhood.
- Make sure your children “say goodbye” to their old daycare or school. You might even want to bring special treats for your child to hand out on his last day.
- Ask your child to help you pack up his room. He’ll be comforted seeing that all his treasured belongings are going to your new house. Label these boxes with the ones that will be unpacked first. To keep your little one occupied, let him decorate your boxes with crayons, stickers, etc.
- Come moving day, set up your child’s room first so she’ll feel comforted by all her familiar things. This way, she’ll have her own haven to retreat to if she feels overwhelmed, too.
- On moving day, the greatest gift you can give your pets and yourself is to arrange for them to be with a sitter. You’ve got enough to worry about without worrying that Skippy wandered off during all the commotion. Moving is stressful for pets. Shield them from the chaos by boarding your dog. At the very least, you’ll want to confine him to a quiet, secure room such as your bathroom or his crate and hire a dog walker to make sure he has plenty of water and walks.
- Keep tabs on your child’s emotional well-being. Moving can be all consuming, so be sure to stop and take your child’s emotional pulse from time to time by asking questions and listening to him. If he expresses how sad he is to leave his friends, brainstorm for ways they can stay in touch. Acknowledge his feelings rather than downplay or dismiss them.
- Keep it lighthearted.
- Play upbeat tunes while packing and unpacking.
- Take a walk on the wild side and do things you’ve never done. Bury hidden treasure in your backyard for the next tenants to find. Suggest pitching a tent in the living room where all the kids can do indoor camping their last night in your house or the first night in the new house. For meals, try having a picnic on the floor with Chinese takeout or pizza delivery.
- Make this your motto: “When the unpacking gets tough, the tough can make box forts!” Have you ever met a child who can resist playing with cardboard boxes? Take advantage of it!
You’ll soon feel at home in your new house. You’ll feel like a new person, and you’ll see a difference in your children as well. They will have learned about teamwork and resiliency in a way not possible had you never moved. And that is something they can take with them wherever they move in life.
Questions? Contact RE/MAX Dewitt Office in Clinton County Michigan – 517.669.8118