Moving house is stressful and is meant to be one of the most stressful things you will do in your life. If you have a family of screaming kids and grumpy teenagers, then that is a recipe for disaster. Well, unless you have a strategy in place to get them all involved and work together in harmony. In a study, two in three adults say that the stress and anxiety alone is close to starting a new job or getting a divorce, so that says a lot. With that being said, that is just what we adults think, tie that with what the kids are thinking and we can understand as a whole why it can be a stressful time. That’s why we have created this cheat sheet for moving home with your children.
Talk To Your Children
When everything is up in the air and the stress of moving is high, it can be easy to forget to discuss everything with your children, obviously it doesn’t have to be in-depth but it can be helpful for both the parents and the children to talk things out. Explain the process of what is going on, the action plan about moving, why you are moving, and how the new house will benefit them to remove any doubt they have about moving. This will in turn help them get on board with the move.
Get The Label Maker Out
The label maker should be your best friend when moving house. The key to a successful move is, of course, being organised and having everything labelled. Once you have the label maker, you must ensure that you know exactly what is in each box and also what room it goes in. Once you have everything labelled, it will make your life so much easier when unpacking, as you can even get them to help unpack.
Get them Involved
This may sound chaotic, but the truth is, they will behave much better. One reason why children get stressed when moving is that they feel like they are getting left in the dark and forgotten about. Another reason is more than likely they are bored. Pending on their age will determine the types of jobs they can do to help. For example, you could get them to start packing their own thing, this is obviously not going to be as pristinely packed as us parents, but at least it will keep them busy. If this is something they can’t be trusted with, then get them to start labelling boxes or making boxes up. This will give them a sense of involvement, remember this is their home too so they need to be part of the decision making.
Create A First Night Box
Usually, you would have one box for the first night, but when you have kids this goes out the window, if you need to have one per child, then so be it. This will create a sense of excitement for the kids as this is going to be the first box that gets unpacked. This box will have all the essentials that are needed to spend the night in the new home. This will of course have enough plates, cups, cutlery and baby washcloths to last a few meals.
Other Essentials Include:
- Bath Wash
- Change of Clothes
Prioritise Their Belongings
This may sound a little backwards, but prioritising your children’s toys doesn’t mean pack them first, it’s actually quite the opposite. It’s best to leave your children’s toys and belongings last, but when unpacking, you should unpack thor first. This will save so much time from screaming kids because they want their toy which is under a tonne of boxes. This will help to create a successful stress-free transition.
Keep Your Child’s Old Bedding On
To make your children as comfortable as they can be for the first couple of nights, keep their old bedding on their quilt and pillow. This will have their old bedroom scent on it so it will give them some comfort. Sleeping in a new room or house can be strange and it will make them feel uneasy so it’s best to have some familiarity within the room they are going to be moving into. Once the room is all sorted and your children are settled in, then you can finally clean those old bedsheets and put fresh bedding on.
Tears Are Part Of The Process
If you have young children, you should already know that there will be tears. Whether this is telling them the news they are moving away, or the start of the moving process. This could be an anomaly, but some children get extremely excited about the move so it’s best to keep them that way. The tears and the anger are purely due to the fact that the kids have an emotional bond with the house itself, just remember, this will pass.
Make It Fun
When you are moving into the next home, it can be easy just to get tunnel vision and get things done as quickly as possible. This doesn’t happen when you have kids, so instead of stressing over things, why not make things fun for you all. For example, you could think of some games to have when unpacking, put music on, make a games night for the first night or you could even make a movie night out of the first night. This will help to create some fun experiences in the new home which will, in turn, help the kids to relax and have a better attitude about the new home.
Don’t Burn Out
Parents get all the stick and the stress and always put their children first before themselves so it’s important to remember that you don’t burn yourself out. It is easily done, especially when you have the children to deal with as well as the whole process of moving. The best way to get through the process is by taking your time, don’t rush and move things in small sections or room by room. Stay organised with your labelling and keep in mind that it will all be over soon, you just need to keep breaking these barriers. If you need some time for yourself, then go for a walk and leave the other parent and then, of course, alternate.
If you are moving house with children it can be an extremely difficult and stressful time so remember to enjoy the process as much as possible and keep a positive attitude. If you acknowledge these helpful tips, it will make things a little easier for you. So good luck and we hope you have a successful moving process.