Moving is hard. It’s daunting. It’s chaotic. And even in the best of circumstances, it’s a little sad. You are apt to feel worried and nostalgic and busy, all at once. Add kids to the mix, and it seems you have a recipe for a total family meltdown on your hands. We’ve seen countless moves in our lifetime as realtors, and we can tell you that it is a huge endeavor, but there are ways to mitigate the tidal wave of terror that is moving with small children. Let us impart a few tips from our professional and personal experience, so that when you find your dream home you can move households with fewer frayed nerves and disasters.
Keep Kids at Bay
If there is one thing small children excel at, it’s unpacking a box you’ve just finished neatly packing. They are also quite good at packing the TV remote or your cell phone in a box labeled “misc” that you tape up and put in storage. In order for your moving effort to not be an exercise in futility, pack boxes while they sleep, or are at school. Hire a babysitter for an afternoon and have the sitter take kids to the park or library. You will be able to focus, stay on task, and if the remote goes missing there’s no one to blame but yourself.
Let Them Help
We don’t mean to contradict ourselves. There are parts of moving that must be done without children for the sake of your sanity. However, it is psychologically important for children to see and participate in the process. Have them help with their own belongings. Give them the tools to put their toys and treasures in a box, so they have a sense of control and ownership, and can unpack on their own treasures in their new room.
There will be a last-minute scramble. There are things that simply cannot be put away until the last minute. However, there is a lot you can do enough in advance to make a difference. What about tackling the basement or finally confronting the garage? With children in the mix, it is a given that their needs are constant and impossible to predict. They get sick at the most inopportune moments or they have early dismissal from school. Instead of putting off packing, dive into certain projects months ahead to avoid the stress of those unpredictable interruptions to your packing schedule. You will never regret early action.
Use Your Network
Ask for help. Call a friend to hang with you and the kids while you pack up the kitchen. Drop off clothes and toys they’ve outgrown at a local consignment store. Talk to their teachers about your move, so they can provide help and guidance if your child is expressing concern or hesitation. Your community is an excellent resource for parents, and during a stressful time like moving, it’s a smart idea to reach out. You will be happy to return the favor in the future.
Say Goodbye and Hello
Let your children grieve or say so long in their own way. Leaving a home can be traumatic; it’s where their memories are. They understand the weight of moving, so give them space to say goodbye. Give them a stone to leave in a special place where they used to play in the yard or bring with them an artifact to have at the next house; the ritual of continuity will support them in processing the move.
We are here and happy to help you sell your house or find a new place to live.Mandy McGuire will find your family a forever home.