Moving house is never easy and it is even harder when you have children in the house. Now you have to consider what you are going to do with them on moving day as well as how the move may affect them emotionally. Here are some tips to help get the kids involved in your house move to make it easier for everyone.
One of the best ways to ensure that moving to a new house doesn’t leave your kids anxious or upset is to get them involved them in the moving process. How you do this may depend on their age as older kids can help out with much more of the practical stuff, if you can get them to put their phones down anyway! Younger kids may be slightly more of a challenge but there are some things you can do to get the kids involved in a positive way.
Before you move
Get your kids excited about the move by explaining it like it’s an adventure. Go and visit the area you will be moving to and walk around the new house if possible so that your kids can see where they will be living. Explain the move in terms appropriate to the age of your kids and if they are old enough, involve them in some of the decision making process such as asking for their opinion regarding decorating or which room they would like.
Tell your children stories about previous moves you have made; the funnier the better. At all stages, reassure you kids about the move and if you are moving far away let them know how they can still keep in contact with family and friends. A “see you soon” party is always a hit for kids before moving house too.
It is a good idea to try and do as much packing as you can whilst the kids are at school, nursery, in bed or with a babysitter. If you can’t help but pack whilst the kids are about then let them help pack with you, the unbreakable items obviously! Now you may need to re-pack some if the bits they throw in but it gets them involved. Let your kids decorate the boxes to say what room they are from too.
You can also let your kids pack a special box of their most loved things which you can open as soon as you get in the new house. Try to leave their most treasured toys and teddies out as long as possible in their room but pack everything else. You can also dismantle their beds and let them sleep on mattresses and pretend they are camping to make the experience more exciting for them.
During the move
If you can, get a babysitter for the actual moving day as it’s usually easier all around as kids can be hard to entertain when you are worrying about a million other things. If they are with you, pack a bag of things to do when you get there such as a treasure map of the garden.
Also make sure you pack a picnic as nothing keeps kids occupied like food! You will all be glad of the rest when you get there too. Try to get the kids room set up ASAP and make it as homely as possible for them so that they don’t feel put out.
After the house move
Remember a house move is a big deal for kids and so they may play up to begin with, just give them time. Maybe invest in a nightlight for younger kids while they get used to the new house and you may also want to play some familiar music at bedtime so they don’t get spooked by new noises.
The biggest trick is to save a couple of moving boxes for your kids to play with. It’s amazing what kids can do with an empty box!