I am a veteran mover. My husband and I have lived in around ten homes in the dozen years we’ve been married, so we are like a well-oiled machine when it comes to getting all our stuff from one place to another. Or, we were, anyway. Our last two moves went a little differently because in 2011, we had a child. Moving with a kid is a whole different animal, people. Just the process of packing and unpacking is sort of a nightmare when you’ve got a little one running around foiling you at every turn. Besides that, moving can be a tough transition for kids–especially if they’re leaving behind beloved friends or family members. If you’re moving with kids this spring, here are some tips to help ease the process.
Involve The Kids
Every child is different and has different ideas of what their dream home looks like. As you search for a home, get some input from them about what they’d most like in a new home. Make sure you explain that everyone has a wishlist, and you might not all get everything on your list, but that you’d keep it in mind throughout the house hunt. My daughter really wanted a tree large enough to hold a tree swing in our new yard, so we made sure to look for one at every home. Not every one had a large tree, and we certainly wouldn’t base an entire decision on that, but she felt heard and acknowledged, which made her feel included.
Point Out the Positive
Changing neighborhoods can be tough. One way to help kids get excited about their new stomping grounds is by checking out local attractions. Hit up a nearby playground, ice cream shop, or restaurant. Realtors always say “location, location, location!”, and that mantra goes for kids, too! Showing them all their new neighborhood has to offer is a great way to make them look forward to the move.
Leave Their Stuff Alone
If possible, make their bedroom the last stuff you pack up and the first stuff that comes off the truck. Our goal is always to have our daughter’s bed put together and set up that first night (which often means we sleep on our mattress on the floor). If you are a parent, you know that sleep is everything. If a kid’s bedroom is different and weird, you risk longer bedtimes and more restless nights. Plus, getting their toys out first gives them something to do while you unpack the rest of your things.
Old Fashioned Bribery
Do you know why parents bribe their children? Because it works. Think about what gets your kids excited. A swing set? New bedding? Choosing the paint color for their room? Money is always tight around moving day, but it might not take much to sweeten the deal for your kids. Especially if you were already planning to update some of their things.