For adults, moving to a new house usually brings feelings of excitement and eagerness. Even though it’s a lot of work, moving often means a fresh start. For children, however, it can feel very different. Parents often reach out when they need tips for moving with kids because it can be a challenging time.
Whether you are moving just yourself or the whole family, we are here to serve you. The team at Julia Monaghan Real Estate Group is the go-to real estate crew in Happy Valley, OR. Reach out today to start your buying or selling adventure.
Moving House With Kids Requires Extra Planning
Moving takes extra energy and careful planning when kids are in the picture. No matter the age of your children, the process will likely take a little more time and effort than it did in your kid-free days.
To set everyone up for success, try to be as thorough as possible in your preparations. It might be helpful to start a binder dedicated to moving. You can use this to keep all the information you need in one place:
- To-Do Lists
- Realtor Contact Information
- Open House Dates
- Storage Rental Information
- Moving Company Documents
- Rental Truck Agreement
- Packing Lists
- Utilities Information
Children Process This Transition Differently Than Adults Do
Even with the best-laid plans, moving with children is usually an emotional experience. As you handle your feelings, your children are trying to process theirs at the same time. And their response is likely to look very different from yours.
While you may feel excitement and eagerness, your child might demonstrate fear, anxiety, or anger. Or they may seem to show no outward emotions about the move at all.
In the busy days leading up to the move, check in with your children as much as possible. You may see some of these signs of stress and worry as the big day approaches:
- Difficulty Sleeping
- Change in Appetite
- Angry Outbursts
- Quick to Tears
In fact, you may find yourself experiencing some of these same challenges. Give yourself and your child some grace and patience as you navigate such a big change.
Moving day with kids in tow can be tiring and emotional, but it can also be a fantastic experience. There will be physical logistics to figure out, along with emotional needs to support, too.
Tricks and Tips for Moving With Kids
Here are seven of the top ways to help your child prepare for this new stage.
1. Tell your kids as soon as possible.
Delaying the inevitable news can rob your child of the opportunity to ask questions and process this transition. They likely will want to get details and have an understanding of the timeline. They do not want to feel that you were keeping something from them. It’s hard to know how each child will react to the news, but it’s best to let them know as soon as you can.
2. Give them accurate information that fits their developmental age.
Your three-year-old will not need the same details your 12-year-old will require. Tell them the facts you know and be honest about the facts that you don’t yet know. As information changes, let your kids know the updates that fit their age and understanding.
They will probably want to know details about the following pieces:
- Where is the new house?
- When do we move?
- Why are we moving?
- Do I have to switch schools?
- Will I still see my friends?
- Will our pets come with us?
- Can I keep my toys?
3. Speaking of toys…
As tempting as it is to do a massive purge of all the things, your child is probably not ready for that. Try to set aside a couple of hours with your child to go through their toys together. Explain logistics, as appropriate for their age, so that they understand space considerations for moving.
Work with your child to choose a charity that accepts toy donations. Then help them sort items into keep and giveaway boxes. As much as you may want to, don’t be sneaky and throw out things while they are at school. This plan is a surefire way to create distrust and heightened anxiety.
And keep in mind that, unless you are moving out of state, you probably have room to take an extra box or two of toys. Once you settle in your new home, your kiddo might be ready to part with more items.
4. Acknowledge and accept all of their feelings.
As a parent, it is instinctive to try to reassure children with quick and emphatic statements such as, “You’ll love it. I promise!” Parents often try to soothe worries by telling their children not to feel sad or anxious.
But the reality is that your kids need the freedom to feel all the emotions that hit them. It is normal and healthy to experience feelings safely. And these emotions don’t go away just because adults say they’re unnecessary.
If your child has to change schools, they are likely to have a lot of emotions hitting them at once. Give them the space to sit with these feelings.
It’s also great to share your own feelings with your children. If you feel nervous or sad or experience a feeling of loss, it’s ok to acknowledge that. And it helps your child feel that they are not alone in their emotional journey.
5. Give them control where you can.
This one is one of the most crucial tips for moving with kids. Much of this transition will be happening to your child with no input from them. Whenever possible, give them some authority. This step can help mitigate their confusion, overwhelm, and resistance.
Depending on their age and abilities, consider putting your child in charge of some of the following decisions:
- Choosing the paint color in their new bedroom or playroom
- Selecting which toys to keep
- Packing their bedroom items in boxes
- Labeling boxes
- Sending change-of-address announcements
- Planning a “goodbye” party for the old house
6. Prepare for moving day logistics.
Aside from the emotional support your child needs during this time, there are logistical needs to consider, too. Moving house with kids involves a lot of planning.
For a very young child, try to have a relative or friend watch them for the day. This help will allow them to maintain their normal eating and sleeping routines. And it lets you focus on the move safely and without distraction.
If your kiddo will be with you all day, be sure to plan plenty of breaks for eating and getting their wiggles out. Have a bag of snacks and drinks in the car to keep everyone fueled. Try to get their rooms set up as quickly as possible. Once their furniture is in place, older children can begin unpacking their boxes and arranging their things.
7. Be flexible and keep a sense of humor.
Moving to a new house is never quick and simple. And it rarely goes exactly according to plan. Expect the unexpected and be ready to make adjustments as needed.
Try to see the humor in any mishaps and remember that whatever you are feeling, your child is probably feeling it, too. Soon, the move will be complete, and you will be enjoying your new home.
Our Team Is Here for You
Buying and selling a home is a significant process. Make sure you have an experienced, patient real estate agent on your side. With Julia Monaghan Real Estate Group, you can rest easy. Our expertise and calm determination offer you a smooth, stress-free process. Reach out today to see if we are the perfect fit for your needs.