Sometimes, moving into a new home with toddlers and/or grade school children in the mix can be challenging. By following a few simple tips, whether you’re moving into a new home in the same town, or across the country, the kids will have an easier time adjusting to their new environment.
Preparing your kids for the move
Children don’t like to feel left out, especially during moments containing a lot of change like moving. But explaining what moving really means, and including them, if age appropriate, into the process can help settle them down.
The first thing to do is explain, as simply and thoroughly as possible, what moving entails. Be sure to answer any questions they may have, and share with them all of the positive and exciting things that are to come from moving into their new home.
Letting the kids pack their own belongings like books, toys, and clothes (alongside you) will give them a deeper connection to the moving process. Sure, you’ll likely have to repack some things, but making sure they’re comfortable is important. If you’re putting some things in storage, let them partially decide what of their possessions will go into storage and what they’ll pack for immediate use upon getting to the new home.
Another thing to consider is allowing your child to have a small going away party, which allows them to say goodbye to their close friends. It also turns the sudden change into something fun.
If you think your child might have trouble remembering the old house they’re accustomed to, which many do at some point in the process, try filling a shoe box of things they can directly relate to the previous location. Whether it’s a small rock collection, some sticks from a nearby tree or even a picture of the house or their friends, having these items may help them feel comfortable while adjusting.
Starting their new life
Once you’ve arrived at the new house, consider getting at least a portion of the child’s room put together before starting to work on the rest of the house. It may be a hassle upfront, but it will allow them to have a place of their own. Additionally, if possible, try to keep your normal schedule regarding mealtimes and bedtimes to give the child a sense of familiarity.
If your child starts feeling lonely and misses their friends, remind them that they will make lots of new friends, and discuss some of the new, exciting activities your family can do. Go out and explore the new community, and show them all that it has to offer.
Remember to set realistic expectations for the moving process. Understand that adjusting to new surroundings takes time, and that’s okay. Good things can take time, but in the end it will all be worth it. You will have an exciting adventure to begin in a gorgeous, new home!
For more helpful tips on moving, please read our Planning Your Move – A Checklist blog.
Travis McKnight, a journalist for You Move Me, contributed to this story.