You’ve been looking at houses, dealing with potential buyers, managing the purchase of your new home in Durham and selling your old place, and now it’s finally setting in that a big move is coming. Even if you’ve found your dream home in the perfect area, the whole experience can still be stressful, especially when you’re moving home with children.
Uprooting your life might make sense to you, whether it’s for a new career opportunity, to be closer to family, or for a necessary lifestyle change. Your kids, however, may not be as understanding, since everything they know and are comfortable with is about to change. But, the process of moving with children doesn’t need to be a nightmare for the whole family. There are a few tips you can use to help the move go as smoothly as possible.
Tell Your Children As Soon As Possible
Some parenting experts recommend telling your children as soon as you can. It may be difficult to hide for very long anyway, as you’ll most likely have potential buyers popping in and out of your house, and your children will pick up on the fact that something is going on. You don’t want to hide anything from them because that will only add to the stress for all of you, so tell them early to help them feel included. If they’re up for it, you could also involve them and make it more exciting by letting them help choose the new house and plan what they want to take with them. However, some experts recommend only telling them a month before the move, as it gives them enough time to prepare but not too much time so that they ponder on it for too long. Whatever you decide, make sure to keep them informed and feel as though they’re being involved, even if the decision to move was your own.
Allow Them to Get Upset
It may be heartbreaking to watch, but when your children cry or throw tantrums, you need to remember this kind of reaction is normal and to let them be upset. Their entire lives are changing, and the move may be separating them from friends, beloved family members like grandparents, or a childminder they have known their whole lives. Be understanding rather than angry that they aren’t accepting the changes right away. Each child is different and accepts change at their own pace, but it usually takes around six months for kids to get comfortable with their new life in a new place.
Talk About What Will Remain the Same
With so much change happening, the stress can be overwhelming for your kids. Instead of focusing on what’s going to be different, remind them of everything that will stay the same. Their rooms may be different, but all their belongings will be the same. Their school may be different, but all their after-school activities will stay the same. It may still be hard for them to focus on what’s the same, so do your best to remind them as much as you can.
Keep Your Old Routines
Just because you’re in a new place, it doesn’t mean your old routines should change. Remember, you need to keep some aspects of your old life constant for your children to help them adjust, and one great way of doing that is to keep at-home routines going. If you have a family game night, keep that consistent. If they have specific after-school routines, make sure to follow them as best you can, even if some aspects change slightly.
Get Everyone Ready
Don’t let moving day sneak up on you unprepared! Starting the moving process as early as possible will help avoid a last-minute rush to pack and clean and will make your whole family feel prepared. It’s also helpful to make a ‘moving week plan’ with your family, down to the last detail, including what meals you’ll eat and where, who will be travelling in which car, and which belongings they can bring for the car journey. It’s also useful to pack an overnight bag for everyone for both the last night in your old home and the first night in your new one, so you don’t have to worry about immediately unpacking after a long day when you get in.
Have ‘To Do’ Lists
If your kids are old enough to handle simple jobs, create to-do lists for them to help them feel included and get some of the easier tasks off your own list. They can help with packing up their own belongings into colour-coded boxes or help with cleaning. If you have a to-do list, and they have one as well, it will feel like you’re all in this together.
Let Your Children Voice Their Opinions
Giving your kids a say in the entire moving and packing process will help them feel like they have more stability and control over the changes in their environment. Ask them what their opinions are about things like what to pack and how to decorate their new rooms, but also make sure that they feel heard and considered.
But, it’s not enough to just ask – you must also follow through and listen in order to make them feel comfortable and to ensure your move with children is as smooth as possible.
For helpful advice on all aspects of moving home, contact our friendly team at Moovd and we will be delighted to help. You can call us on 01919097020 or drop into our office.