Before the Move
- Experts say children need time to get used to the idea of moving. It's best to talk to kids about your big move as soon as possible to allow time for them to adjust.
- Kids, like adults, may have mixed emotions about moving ranging from excitement and happiness to apprehension and sadness. Keep the lines of communication open and answer their questions to the best of your ability.
- Find places your kids will enjoy near your new home such as parks, libraries, play places, sports arenas, and more. If they're old enough, have them help conduct the research.
- Give your kids jobs to help with the move. Children love contributing and knowing they are an important, valuable part of the family. Be sure to reward their efforts with praise and appreciation.
- Pack your kids' items as late in the game as possible, especially favorite clothes and toys.
- Allow kids to help pack their "first night bag" with their favorite pajamas, stuffed animals, night lights, favorite books, and clothes. Don't forget to pack toiletries like toothbrushes and toothpaste, too!
- Enlisting the help of family and friends for babysitting with smaller children while packing can reduce the stress of both parents and kids. Kids will enjoy playing and parents can focus on packing.
- Let kids have some fun with your moving boxes! Offer some crayons or washable markers and invite your kids to decorate each box or create a box city! You can even draw faces or make astronaut or race car helmets with smaller boxes!
During the Move
- If the move is long-distance, a portable DVD player or tablet can help entertain kids for long journeys. Be sure to bring charges and make sure all devices are fully charged before embarking on your travels. Books, crayons, and magnetic travel toys are also great options.
- Walk through your new home together when you arrive so your kids know exactly where everything is.
After the Move
- If possible, invite family and friends to your new home shortly after moving day so your kids see familiar faces from your old home.
- Let the kids help arrange, decorate, and unpack their rooms.
- Re-establish your regular routines and schedules as quickly as possible. Most kids are creatures of habit and thrive on routine. Returning to your regular routine will provide reassurance to your kids.
- Take walks and drives around your new neighborhood together, exploring new places to play, eat, and spend time together.
Do you have more advice to share? We'd love to hear it in the comments!