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Take the Headache out of Moving with Kids!


Learn Helpful tips for Making Moving Easier with a Family!
Posted: June 22, 2018 by Malinda McNutt

Moving isn't easy, but it can be especially difficult for children. Multiple studies have shown that moving can have a detrimental impact on their mental well-being. While you can't eliminate all of the stressors involved with transitioning to a new home, here are a couple things you can do to make the move a little easier for yourself and your family:

Timing and Prepping

When it comes to moving, timing is important. At times moving may be related to a loss of a job or some other unforeseen change, but when possible, consider what other changes may be going on your child's life before making the decision to move. If your family is dealing with a significant change such as a divorce, or death - consider postponing the move for a less stressful time. Additionally, if you have school-aged children, you may consider waiting until summer to reduce time away from the classroom and having to integrate into a new school in the middle of the year.

Perfect timing isn't always an option, and when it's not an option - preparation will make your life easier. A couple of things to remember to do for your:

  • Notify healthcare providers about your relocation and your new address, if you plan to change doctors’ offices gather medical records.
  • Gather recent report card, transcripts, and birth certificate for school to process the transfer.
  • Have some consistency. As much as possible during the move try to maintain your regular schedule for meals and bedtime.

Involving and Engaging

Rituals and consistency help us feel comfortable and secure. Drastic change can make it feel as though we have no control over your environment, and this feeling out of control can result in anxiety and depression. Allowing your children to be involved in the process can help reduce the feeling of loss of control. It's important to give them as much information and answer their questions about the move, as soon as possible. Consider creating a printed timeline (create a timeline here) ) of when the current house will be for sale, to deciding on a new home, packing, when they will move and start their new school. As the move date approaches, create an advent calendar or countdown, and give a treat with new information about the move, house or neighborhood. This will give them the play-by-play of what's to come, help them anticipate and get excited about these changes. Additionally, it can be hard to say goodbye to the only home they may have known, as it carries many memories. Help them keep these memories by working with them to create a scrapbook of your home and their favorite places in the neighborhood.

Beyond keeping them informed, it's important to involve your children throughout the process. This can help children feel like they have greater control over the changes happening to them. Many parents have difficulty deciding when's the best time to involve children, as they want to involve them but not overwhelm them. As Realtor, Laurie Westheimer points out "Don’t bring kids along to view homes in the early stages of house hunting, if possible. They often grow impatient and weary of the process." Particularly because of the constraints involved in the process of buying a home (e.g. budget, home availability). This doesn't mean that they can't be involved in the selection of your next home, “First determine a budget, your absolute needs and create a short-list of homes that fit your requirements – and once you have developed a short list of homes that meet all of your criteria, then allow the kids to have input on your short list," recommends Realtor, Vince Reidy.

In addition to having input in the selection of the home, there are many other ways that you can get your child engaged throughout the process:

  • Provide as much information as you can about the new home, city, their new school, the neighborhood and fun things to do close-by.
  • Explore the new neighborhood or let them explore using Street-View in Google Maps.
  • Allow them to pack and label. For young children, make sure to explain that you aren't throwing them away and keep out a few favorite toys to play with during the move.
  • If you’re downsizing and do need to donate your children’s items, “pack the kids toys when they are not home. It's easier to donate things that you know they haven't played with in forever if they don't see it happening” recommends Amy Depuy, Realtor.
  • Allow them to plan their new room. Let them pick their room colors or layout. For older children create a mood board and for younger children, check out these printable coloring sheets.
  • Plan a fun activity to do after the move like going to a local ice-cream shop or restaurant. Groupon is a great resource for finding fun and affordable activities in the area.
  • Print the helpful Coldwell Banker activity guide below! This provides a few activities to help keep your child busy the day of the move.

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