Moving is often a stressful time. Many parents don’t realize that kids can also be stressed by a move. Even kids too young to talk can experience stress. They will adapt, maybe even faster than the adults, but it will take time and patience. Here are nine ways you can make moving with children less stressful for everyone involved:
1. Do your packing at night when possible. Trying to pack during the day, with the kids “helping” or finding ways to entertain themselves will only lead to more stress. If you start preparing far enough in advance, you can pack for an hour or two after they go to bed and still have time to relax before you retire.
2. Send the kids on an outing. On moving day, hire a sitter to take the kids to the park or a movie while the movers are loading the truck. This allows you to concentrate on the moving and still know the kids are safe.
3. Pack the kids things last and unpack them first. Kids are extremely attached to their things. By making their stuff the last to pack and the first to unpack, you limit the amount of time they are not available. Remember, these are the things that comfort them the most.
4. Do a goodbye walk-through. Consider that the house you are moving from may be the only one your children has ever known. It is like an old, safe friend. Give them a chance to walk through one last time and say goodbye.
5. Plan a special family day. The stress of moving with children can make everyone forget what is most important. Plan a special family day in the midst of preparing.
6. Use colored duct tape on boxes. By color-coding the boxes with different colored duct tape, you will be able to find things much easier on the other end of your move. This will help get your new home in order quicker, helping the kids settle in
7. Stick to routine. Children thrive on routine. While it may be difficult to keep to a strict routine during the whole moving process, try to keep things like meals and bedtime consistent. Try and follow the regular routines established for rising and bedtime and get these back into play as soon as possible on the other end of your move.
8. Prepare a surprise. When you arrive at your new home, have a surprise waiting for each child. This will give them a happy association with moving in. Try to order out or go to a restaurant that offers their favorite food for your first dinner. Make moving-in day as special as possible.
9. Be patient. Moving with children is stressful, especially since kids may not be able to express their emotions appropriately. Your nerves will be frazzled as it is. Be patient with both them and yourself. Take time for something fun and something to relax. It will make the move a lot easier on everyone.