How to prepare children for moving
Whatever the reasons for your relocation are, there is a chance your children might not understand them and share your enthusiasm. For them, changing their house means changing everything in their lives. That is why it is extremely important to take your time to prepare children for moving. Let’s see how you can do that!
Be honest from the start
Breaking the news that you know the receivers are not going to like is never easy. But, honesty is always the best policy, especially among family members. As soon as you make the decision about the house move, you should share the news with your children. That will give them enough time to accept the idea. Plus, they will feel that you are in this together. Children are often afraid of moving since they do not know what to expect. If they feel that they can rely on you every step of the way, it will ease the transition.
Do your homework before you start packing
Apart from finding a reliable moving company, there are many decisions to be made, so you should do thorough research of your new hometown. Moving with children means that you not only have to find a new job and a new house, but take many other things into consideration as well. For instance, you will have to find:
- a new school or a pre-school facility for your child to go to;
- a paediatrician you can take your child to when the need arises – you can make an appointment to meet the new doctor right after you move so that he/she gets to know your child and their medical history;
- a sports club for your child to continue training their favourite sport;
- parks, theatres, libraries and other facilities for your children’s entertainment – although, these are not crucial and if you do not find time to research them before moving to a new place, you can get recommendations from your new colleagues, your children’s teachers, or other parents after you relocate.
Once you have all those things sorted out, you will be able to move with ease to another part of the world if that is your plan. Here’s an extra tip for moving long-distance: contact the people who have done the same thing before you since they can offer the best and most practical pieces of advice. Plus, becoming a part of an expat community will mean a lot to you after you move.
Include your kids in the preparation process
Even if you opt for a professional packing service, there are still a lot of activities you should do before the moving day comes. It is always beneficial to do some decluttering first. That means getting rid of the unnecessary stuff by throwing them away or donating them (if they can be of any use to somebody else).
After you declutter your home, you will be able to pack the items you do want to take to your new home quickly and more efficiently. The ewer items you have, the less expensive your relocation will be – bear that in mind if you are moving on a budget. Older children are able to decide what they want to keep, so ask them to declutter their own possessions.
Packing can be fun!
Even younger children can take part in the packing process. Give them some simple tasks like packing their toys in boxes. Once they fill a box, you can even give them colouring pencils or crayons to embellish the box and make sure that the movers you have hired know it is your children’s items they are dealing with. If some of the toys are fragile or extra sensitive, make sure that you put a label saying FRAGILE on a visible spot on the box so that such items can be handled with extra care.
The fun with the moving boxes does not stop there! After the relocation is over and all the items unpacked, the cardboard boxes can be used for playing. There are all sorts of animal costumes that can be made of those, or you can turn them into a playhouse, garage, or a dollhouse. For more ideas, you can always consult your child’s imagination (or the Internet).
Let your kids plan the layout of their new room
By including your children in this part of the decision-making process, you will help them feel they have some control of the situation. This is extremely important for schoolers and teenagers. If you are moving locally, you should take your child to see your new home before the relocation – that way they will be able to adapt faster. But if that is not an option, you can show them photos of their new room, or at least draw a floor plan so that they can plan the layout.
Organise a proper farewell party
Saying goodbye to their friends and neighbours will mean a lot to your children. That is why you should organise a farewell party and include your kids in the planning process. They can make a guest list, draw and send the invitations, and choose the snacks they would like to be served at the party. Once the party day comes, make sure that you take a lot of photos – you can use them to decorate your new place!
Make a new house feel like home
When moving day arrives, you should have your children’s favourite toys packed in the essentials bag, so that they can reach them whenever they want to. Having them by their side will mean a lot when stepping into a new place. But, that is not all! Maybe you can buy some housewarming gifts for your kids to welcome them to their new home. If you like the idea, you should plan that too, so that you can order the presents and have them delivered to your new address on time.
Once you prepare your children for moving, everything else will be a smooth ride. Good luck with your relocation!
How to prepare children for moving