Moving home isn’t a barrel of laughs, even when it’s just you. Now throw in children or a family and you’ve got an exponentially more difficult job on your hands. While we’re not claiming to take all of your house-moving anxieties away with a man and van service, but there are some things you can do that help your kids feel more excited and involved in the move.
1.Let them see the house before you move in
It’s up to you whether you take the children to every viewing, or wait until you’ve made a decision on a house before showing them. However you wish to do it, if at all possible, make sure you let them see the new place in advance of moving day so they can get a feel for their new home and to find out what what their new room will look like. If you’re unable to show them in person, take some photos to show them. This should take away any feelings of anxiety about moving and hopefully reassure them that they are going to a nice new home. While you’re at the viewing, or on a separate day (if you can), give them a short tour of the new area so they’ll have a bit of context, for example what their new commute to school will be like – this will be more beneficial of course if you are moving to a completely new area or if they are moving schools as a result of the move.
2.Give them a proper goodbye
Chances are you’ll be saying goodbye to neighbours that they see regularly. If you plan on keeping in touch, set some dates in the diary for meeting up so they know it’s not the end of the friendship. If it’s a far flung move, there’ll also be school friends and local people to say goodbye to. Make sure they get a proper goodbye in this case (perhaps even a party) and collect contact details so they can keep in touch.
3.Try and move when they’re at school
Not always possible, but great if you can. This also means you’ll be using a removal company during the week (it’s least busy time), so you may benefit from a cheaper rate, more choice between companies, and less traffic on the day.
Keeping the kids out of the way during the stressful part means that you don’t need to worry about making lunch or keeping them occupied. Just don’t forget to let them know that they’ll be coming back to a new home after school.
Bonus points if you can get the basics of their new rooms ready, like getting their bed(s) assembled and having some of their toys ready to play with when they arrive in the new place.
If you have to move over the weekend, see if they can spend time at a friend’s house for the day to spare them the stress and allow you to have as productive a moving day as possible.
4.Pack a ‘moving day bag’
Have a bag for each with all the basics they’ll need for a couple of days – this should include everyday things like toothbrushes, a couple of changes of clothes, snacks, a towel and anything else they can’t get through the day without. This will prevent you having to rummage through packed boxes to find the essentials when you really need them.