Moving house can be a stressful and tiring time for all involved. A new house may bring a series of minor or major life changes and any change can be scary, especially for children.
Whether this be the first move or third move for your kids, moving houses means losing their familiar surroundings and refuge. It can also mean a new school, new neighbourhood and even new friends. When it comes to trying to make moving as stress free as possible for children, here are 5 tips to help ease them into the moving process.
- Discuss it: One of the most vital tips in moving house is to discuss the move with the whole family. Talk about why you are moving, when you are planning on moving and where you are planning on moving to. Talk about what the kids can expect of the move – from the packing to the unpacking and the time that it can take to organise the new house. Discussing everything at once could be overwhelming to younger children, so consider times that the discussion could continue to ensure they have as best understanding of the process as possible. Open and honest communication with your children will give them an understanding of the moving process and take out any possible surprises, making the move far less scary for them.
2. Let them have input: Ensuring that the kids feel included in moving houses is key to helping them feel comfortable with moving. The best way to do this is to give them a say in making decisions. For younger children, this may be simply letting them choose their bedroom or letting them choose how they will lay out their furniture in the bedroom or even simply how they would like to decorate it. For older children, this may involve giving feedback on the house when choosing. Whatever it is, make the experience positive for them.
- Get the involved: Find a way to get them involved in the physical process. If you can, take them to explore their new home before the day of the move so that they may get a head start on familiarising themselves with their new home.
For younger children, there can often be concern as to what will happen to their own personal items – which can cause them a lot of stress. Get your kids to help you pack their things into boxes, and let them write their own name on the box. Let them know on the day of the move that their boxes will be placed in the moving truck with all the other boxes and will be driven safely to the new house where they will be unpacked and put away in their new bedroom.
4. Plan The Day: Moving day is likely to be a busy and stressful day, so it is important to plan it carefully. Consider leaving the kids on care of family or plan the move on a day when they will be in day care or school.
This will not only take the worry out of the kids wondering off or having to entertain them whilst trying to move but also ensures that the removalist can freely and quickly move through your home without having to worry about tripping over or hurting an inquisitive child. For older children, it can be beneficial for them to be there on the day, as being away from home and not knowing exactly what is going on can cause some anxiety.
Unpacking and setting up in a new home can be very time consuming. To help your child feel more comfortable faster, it is a good idea to have some of your child’s favourite things in a separate box which you can quickly unpack.
- Explore your new surrounds with your child: Take the time to research the area before you move. Look out for any local parks, sporting clubs, movie theatres or anything that may be of interest to your child.
If you are moving to a new suburb, kids may begin to miss their old neighbourhood. The best way to try and combat this is to show them that there are lots of fun things in the new neighbourhood. Make it an adventure – go and explore your new surroundings with your kids!
Anita Genrich, Orbit Property