Top 7 Tips for Moving With Kids
Regardless of their age, moving with kids can be a challenge.
Moving with kids is a big transition for any family — leaving an old home for a new home, saying goodbye to friends, and disrupting your children's regular routine. The best way to minimize the stress of moving with kids is to look for possible stressors and make a plan for how to address them.
While you can’t totally eliminate the challenge of moving with kids, there are tips that can help ease the process. Here are our top tips for helping kids ease into the upcoming move.
1. Involve your kids in the moving process!
Between finding a new home, packing, and coordinating with your movers, it’s all too easy to overlook your kids in the moving process. Our top recommendation is to involve kids in the moving process whenever possible. Even the littlest task can make a difference in your child’s feelings towards their new home.
There are a few ways you can do this. The kids can help you run a yard sale, give their top three choices for repainting the walls of the living room, or even help you narrow down the homes you're considering. If you have little ones, there are tons of creative ways to repurpose packing material and create moving-day entertainment (think: a moving-box fort).
Alternatively, let the kids pack a few of their own moving boxes. As an extra tip, try customizing moving box labels with your kids' names written on them, and let them decorate their boxes with stickers — they’ll love it!
2. Use time to your advantage
In some cases, you may have months to prepare for your move, but in other cases, you may have a matter of weeks. Our main advice? If you have the time, use it to your advantage. Prepare the kids for the move by giving them as much information about your new home as possible, such as pictures of what their new bedroom will look like, where they’ll go to school (even try and schedule a school tour with their new teacher), or photos of the local playground they’ll visit.
If you’re moving on a short schedule or long distance, use the time at your old home to make a plan with your child about all the steps of the moving process. They may have questions about what will happen and you can assure them of all of the exciting elements of moving into a new home.
3. Visit the neighborhood you’re moving to
Not all parents will have the luxury of visiting their new neighborhood with their kids before moving day. If you can, plan on taking a walking tour of your new neighborhood, the downtown area, or their new school.
Before you visit, pick up a copy of the local newspaper, and find out what kids-oriented activities are happening during your visit. A visit to the local sports field or recreation center may help open their eyes to the new neighborhood. Moving with your kids doesn’t have to be a surprise event.
4. Partner with a kid-friendly moving company
On moving day, you’ll likely be bogged down with the logistics of coordinating with your mover and packing up the kitchen, which can leave your children feeling overlooked in the moving process. There are several moving companies out there that have created special measures to make sure the kids are taken care of on moving day.
Look around on the moving company’s website or blog, and see if they have special offers or services directed toward children. Some moving companies even pay for childcare or doggy day-care services on moving day. Other moving companies have invented creative ways to engage the kids on moving day, like providing a kid’s kit (think: coloring book and drawings) that they can work on during the move.
5. Host a goodbye party
Between your child’s final day at their old school, moving to a new neighborhood, and making new friends, there’s a lot to fear about the move. Hosting a goodbye party will help give them some closure as they leave their friends and old home. Host a party at your old home as a celebration of the time your family spent there and invite the neighbors. Alternatively, hold the party in your new home as a grand welcome to your new space and invite your new neighbors.
Encourage friends to bring small mementos to the party so your kids can remember them when they move on to a new town or school. These will make great keepsakes.
6. Minimize change upon arrival
Particularly if you’re moving with young kids, minimizing change is essential. You may be moving to a new house or even a new state, but you can keep things familiar by setting up their bedroom furniture in the same arrangement or maintaining the same morning routines. Moreover, try to preserve any traditions you held in your old home, like Saturday family movie nights or Sunday morning brunch. This will help ease the transition, trust us.
You won’t be able to keep everything the same, but the little pieces you preserve in the transition can make a world of difference.
7. Pack a "Moving-Day" Bag
Your children probably won’t want to be separated for the next week from their favorite teddy bear or Nintendo, so make sure that they pack a “moving day” bag in advance of the move. Explain that it may take a week or two for all of the moving boxes to be unpacked, so they should keep everything that they want close by in their "moving-day" bag.
You can even pack them a special moving-day bag as a surprise with snacks for the trip and a game or toy for when they arrive.
When moving with kids, the little things matter
Moving can feel like an overwhelming process, especially when planning a move for your children. Follow these tips to create a comprehensive plan for moving day that can make all of the difference when you're moving with your kids.