Moving is stressful for anyone but for kids, it can be downright scary. A new house means a new neighborhood, a new school and new friends. And before all of that, you are asking them to pack away their most treasured items. Here are some tips for getting them moving.
Get Them Excited
Kids know they are moving. Preparation is less about telling them than getting them excited and relieving anxiety. If your home is being built, visit the construction site. Visit the new neighborhood. If your community has amenities, point those out. If you are moving to Jordan Ranch, show them our resort-style pool and the lazy river. Talk about all the fun you will have once you move.
Focus On Their New Room
If you can, take a picture of their new bedrooms. If not, maybe the model home will have a similarly sized room. Use that as the basis for talking about how they would like to set up their new living space. Ask them if they want to paint or make changes to their bedding. Plan a trip to a home goods store and let them choose a special decorative item.
Take a Trip to Staples
You are going to put treasured items in boxes. Young children may fear never seeing them again. Prevent anxiety by taking them to the office supply store for stickers, crayons, colored pencils and stencils as well as packing boxes and tape. Let your kids decorate their boxes. Kids know if it’s decorated, it won’t get lost.
Time to Get Packing
Once the kids are prepped, it’s time to get packing. Turn it into a game. Play music and break out the snacks. Plan on taking breaks. Resist the urge to create a donation box for young children. They are already worried their favorite items won’t survive the move. Putting things in a box that will be given away won’t make them feel better. Donate after you arrive.
For Children Over 12 Years Old
Allow older children to do as much of the sorting and packing of their bedroom as possible. Try to be tolerant of their decisions. Older kids are usually more willing to get rid of unused items. Provide them with plastic bins where they can store things to sell or donate.
Make an Essentials Box
This is important. This is the box you put their favorite items in. If it can be packed in the car instead of the moving van, do that. Once you are in your new home, unpack it first.
Give Your Kids Free Rein
As hard as it may be for you. Let your kids unpack their boxes and put their things where they want. Young children might want beloved items right where they can see them. You can always re-organize once your child has gotten used to his or her new surroundings.