Top 10 Tips for Moving House with Kids
There's no way to sugar-coat it: moving house is stressful. Add kids into the mix and the pressure increases tenfold. It's not even just that, you have to think about schools and childcare on top of everything else.
It's the fact that you have to juggle the normal stresses of a move with that troop of tiny people demanding your attention. A troop of tiny people whose needs and emotions need to be (and naturally will be) at the forefront of your concerns. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take towards making the whole process a lot less stressful for everybody.
Top 10 Tips
1) Call a family meeting to discuss the move
It's difficult to remember just how acutely we felt the smallest of injustices as children. But if you ever moved, or were faced with the prospect of moving as a child, you might remember a bubbling sense of panic. Kid's worlds are small. The prospect of being wrenched from their friends and familiar surroundings is scary, even if you're only moving a few miles down the road.
Tackle these feelings at the root by involving your children in the moving process as early as possible. Sit down as a family and talk openly about the move. Giving a child a clear picture of what's going to happen and a sense of involvement will make a huge difference to their feelings about the situation.
2) Challenge your kids to a research project
One way to convert any nerves into excitement is by turning the unknown into something to look forward to. Research the new area online together. Does the local pool have a big water slide? Is there a great playground down the road from the new house? Steer them towards the things you know will get them excited. You could even go and explore the new area together for real if that's a practical option.
It sounds obvious, but it can be difficult to conquer our inner hoarder. With fresh waves of presents hitting your home every Christmas and birthday and all the junk that kids beg for in between, families accumulate clutter like nobody's business. Be ruthless. If you (or your kids) haven't touched it in the last 12 months, chuck it.
4) Accept help when it's offered, and ask for it when you need it
We might nurse a vision of ourselves somehow blasting through all the packing and cleaning with a baby under each arm, but we know deep down that this is not a reality. The people in your life will offer you help at some point during the move. Whether that means them mucking in with the cleaning or watching the kids for a few hours, don't be embarrassed to give an enthusiastic YES. If nobody offers, ask. Take the pressure off wherever you can.
5) Pack an 'essentials' box and let the kids do the same
Wouldn't it be great if everything could just pause for a week or two while we're in the process of moving? Unfortunately, life gets in the way. The unpacking phase can drag out. You'll be doing yourself a huge favour by making sure everything you need for the first week is packed together and readily accessible when you arrive.
Having your kids pack their own essentials is also a great way to get them feeling involved in the packing process. Get them to pack their favourite belongings in their suitcase to give the move the holiday feel, or give them a plain cardboard box to decorate.
6) Keep packed boxes out of sight
It's a good idea to keep all the packed boxes away from the children, preferably together in one room, if you have a spare one. As well as keeping the house hazard-free and saving your well-organised boxes from the interference of small hands, it will keep the house looking as normal as possible (if a little bare) right up to the move.
7) Enlist the help of a professional removals company
Don't be afraid to get the professionals in. Moving all of your belongings from one property to another whilst keeping the kids entertained and out of harm's way borders on impossible. John Ryan Removals will do the bulk of the work, leaving you free to focus on easing your family into their new life.
8) Take the kids out of the equation
Even with a removals company taking care of the logistics, moving day will be hectic. If you can move while the kids are at school or leave them with a family member or babysitter, do. Let them leave home from one house and come home to the new one without having to deal with the stress and upheaval in between.
9) Make the kid's rooms a priority
Getting the kids' rooms ready for when they arrive is key to a seamless transition. Don't underestimate the comfort they'll find in having their favourite toys and possessions around them straight away. Decorate the new room as closely as possible to the old one to keep things familiar, or get them involved in choosing a new decorative scheme if they're ready for a change.
10) Stick to your routine — with some fun extras
Keeping kids to their bedtime and breakfast routines is one of the most challenging parts of parenting as it is. But routines mean normality, and can be paramount to salvaging as much of that as possible — even amidst the biggest of upheavals. Keep bedtime the same but don't be afraid to throw in a few treats. Arrange takeaway on the first night. The kids will love it and you'll definitely have earned it!
It might feel impossible now, but thousands of families successfully move each year. Communicate, stay organised, and accept the help you need; you'll get there. Soon enough you'll be settled in your beautiful new home and back to normality. It's all worth it in the end!
If you need assistance with your move, contact one of the most renowned removal companies in Melbourne, John Ryan Removals.
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