You have just secured an amazing new house. Perhaps you found a great rental or you’ve recently become a proud new homeowner. Now, all that lies ahead is the big move to tackle with the help, or at least the companionship, of your children. But how can you have a great moving experience with your kids?
When you need to move from one house to another, your children can be your best buddies. While not yet experts at packing boxes, children can grasp how exciting it is to pack everything up and go somewhere new. With the right approach, moving with your kids can become a fun family adventure and a memory you will cherish as a time when the whole family worked together for something great.
Whether this is your children’s first big move or you’ve tackled the big relocation before, it can help to start with a plan and a few smart tips to keep your kids on track and having fun the whole time. Here are some tips for a great moving experience with kids.
7 Tips for a Fun Moving Experience with Children
1. Moving as a Fun Adventure
Kids love new things. While you may be worried about the schedule and the costs, your kids only need to worry about how much fun it is to pack boxes. The best way to make this a fun family moving experience is to introduce the move as a chance to do new things, go new places, and completely redecorate an entirely new house.
No matter the age of your children, from toddlers to teenagers, you can often pitch the move as a positive experience and get whatever help your children are capable of doing.
We’re in This Together
If you’re feeling a little nervous about the move, your kids may sense this. The best way to handle the issue is to ask them to be on your side. If you say “This is a big change, but I can do it with your help”, children from 2 to 18 will help you form the family team and tackle the move together.
2. Teach Your Kids to Pack
- Packing a stable box
- Choosing the right sized box for heavy or light things
- Wrapping delicate toys and objects in a t-shirt
Children in elementary school and older are usually able to pack most of their own rooms and any shared toys. Once they get the hang of it, your little helpers might just try to pack everything in the house. For kids, it’s fun to pull books and games off the shelf and stack them in boxes. However, children don’t actually know how to organize boxes, yet. Even teens who have never had a big move may lack the organizational skills for a well-packed room.
So sit down together and teach your children to pack. Talk about how they want to build a “Tetris” stack where each layer is a good, solid support for the layers on top. Talk about how heavy things go in the bottom of a box with lighter things on top. Teach them how box sizes should be chosen so the contents aren’t too heavy. Then help them pack a few boxes of clothes and toys from their room and show them how to lay things neatly. Show them how to wrap delicate toys and electronics in t-shirts to keep them safe during the move.
Once your kids get the hang of it, they’ll soon be roving the house looking for more things to pack.
3. Nothing is Ever Lost: Take Pictures and Connect with Friends
- Take pictures and video tours of the old house
- Connect with friends (or their parents) online.
Some children are very attached to their current house and, despite your happy face, may respond tearfully to the news of a move. Comfort your child (or teen) by reminding them that we never lose anything in the modern world. You can take pictures and videos of the house to preserve all their early memories, and friends connected online are never far away.
In the old days, a parent would help their child build an address book of their school and neighborhood friends. Today, all you need is Facebook. For younger children, connect to their parents and explain the situation to improve your moving experience.
4. Moving with Babies and Toddlers
What if your children are too young to help with the move? They can still keep you company and lift your spirits while you pack. However, you should also keep them safe from stacked boxes and disassembled furniture. Babies may enjoy watching you pack from their car seat, baby carrier, or bounce chair. You can talk to them about what you’re packing or listen to music and sing together.
Toddlers can be set up in a nearby playpen, or you can use one of the big boxes to make a fort or playhouse and let them draw while you pack the living room.
The Fetch and Carry Game
Children who are almost old enough to pack with you may enjoy helping. Pre-school-aged children will happily become your tape-caddy, helping you keep track of your packing tape and colored markers as you seal and label each box. Children at this age can learn about packing and may even start bringing you similar items to go in each box. After all, sorting and categories are right at your preschooler’s current learning stage.
5. Keep the Kids Busy on Moving Day
When it comes time to pack the truck, your movers will be moving fast with heavy objects, so it’s best to keep your children out of the way and occupied. Set them up in an empty bedroom with devices to watch TV and play games while you and the movers take care of the boxes. Make sure there’s a bathroom they can visit without being in the path and check in often.
Older children can usually be trusted to stand back and watch the movers if they are curious and don’t want to hide watching TV. Teens can often help out if they’ve been an involved part of the move so far.
If you have a baby on moving day, your movers will understand and appreciate that your infant or toddler is your primary focus. With a good team, they will take care of everything to improve your moving experience and check in if there are any questions.
6. The Big Road Trip
- Make sure the house is ready for your arrival
- Pack an overnight bag for each family member
- Pack a fun & snacks bag for each child
- Plan your stops and don’t push too far
Finally, you’re ready to embark on the grand adventure with your children. Longer road trips make the adventure feel bigger, while a trip across town will be easier on your stress levels.
The first step, before you get in the car, is to make sure the house will be ready for you. Have the utilities turned on and the fridge plugged in when you get there. Have the key or make sure the key will be available when you arrive.
Plan your stops ahead of time, knowing how far you will go and what hotel you will stop at for the night. This gives you time to make sure each stop is safe and welcoming for your kids, with the amenities you’ll need to stay healthy and happy.
When you pack up, you’ll want an overnight go-bag for each family member. For each child, also pack a box or bag full of snacks and road trip entertainment supplies. If you’re well-prepared and embark on the trip as a family, your children will help you remember to enjoy yourself.
7. Arriving at Your New House
Moving into a new house can be exciting and refreshing. If you are feeling stressed about your moving experience, simply see it through your children’s eyes. Every day is an adventure, and the new house is a whole new world to explore and make your own. You have just secured a wonderful new house and a home to raise your children.
Now, what color do they want to paint their rooms?
For more insights on buying the perfect home for your family and plans, visit Weidel Real Estate today.