The Ultimate Guide to Moving With Kids

Moving – whether across the country or town – is hard. Add kids to the mix, and it becomes exponentially harder for countless reasons, from coordinating school transfers to navigating the emotions of leaving friends and adjusting to a brand-new home. This guide will provide moving tips for families to help make your move as pleasant (or at least as painless) as possible before, during, and after the physical move.

How To Prepare Your Kids For The Move

Give them plenty of time to process this change and honor their emotions.

A big move often involves a grieving process, and it’s important to give your child or children plenty of time to go through this. As soon as you know you are officially going to be moving, let your children know. Give them space to talk and ask questions, and meet them wherever they are without judgment.

Give yourself plenty of time to prepare.

Kids are more intuitive and empathetic than they get credit for, and the downside is they can feed off of our own stress. Whenever possible, start packing early and give yourself plenty of time to accomplish tasks so that you can stay relatively calm and unstressed through the move.

Include older children as much as possible in the moving process.

Your child’s stress may be worsened by feeling like their circumstances are entirely out of their hands. Get your kids involved in the process whenever it’s feasible, whether that’s in house hunting, choosing schools, or picking paint colors.

Use books to help prepare your younger children.

Many children’s books about moving are excellent resources for preparing your child for this change. Find positive stories about moving to a new home or town and read them often before the family moves. As you navigate the moving day and the adjustment period, you can reference the characters in the story.

Show them their new home, school, and neighborhood – and speak positively about it!

For kids, the unknown might be the scariest part of a big move. Show them their new home, neighborhood, and school in person if you can. If not, show them pictures and videos. Always speak positively about the new environment, even when not speaking directly with your children. Plan ways to get involved in your new community as soon as you arrive.

How To Make Moving Day Go Smoothly

Include your children in age-appropriate moving day tasks.

Have you noticed a theme? Include your kiddos in moving day activities as much as possible, from helping pack and label boxes to meeting (and feeding) the moving crew. These tasks will vary in size and scope depending on their ages. Allow them to feel like they’re fully “in it” with you.

Arrange child care for younger kids.

For younger kids, the stress and chaos of moving day may be too much. Arrange child care in advance so they can spend the day having fun and doing something they enjoy while you do the heavy lifting without little ones underfoot.

Keep comfort items easily accessible.

As you pack up bedrooms and playrooms, make sure you keep a backpack of their favorite items to the side. They may be feeling big emotions on moving day, and it will be helpful to have favorite books, their cherished stuffed animal, or a comforting blanket at the ready.

Take time to say goodbye to your old house as a family.

Once the movers have cleared out and you’re ready to close your front door for the final time, take a bit of time to officially say goodbye to your home with your children. Reflect on your memories in the space and how you’ve seen them grow and blossom. Remind them that your new home will soon be full of special memories.

How To Help Your Kids Adjust To A New Home

Create routine and predictability as quickly as possible.

Routine provides comfort and safety. As soon as you can, start creating predictability for your children in your new space, from regularly scheduled meal and nap times to evening dog walks.

Allow them to make decisions and choices about their space.

As you settle into your new home, give your kids every opportunity to have a say. Do they want their bed against this wall or that wall? What color paint do they want for their bedroom? Even if certain choices seem like no-brainers, use them as chances for them to exercise their autonomy and feel like active participants in this process.

Set up children’s rooms first.

Before you finish your home office or hang all your clothes, make sure your kid’s rooms are furnished and habitable so they have a safe space within the chaos of this big change. Renting furniture from CORT is an easy and quick way to furnish the space, and it comes with the added benefit of taking stress off your plate. Remember, your stress is contagious!

Plan outings and fun activities upon arrival.

It can be difficult to pause unpacking and getting set up, but don’t forget to make a good first impression for your kiddos. Take time to have some fun in your new city, whether that means exploring new playgrounds, seeing local hot spots, or checking out your neighborhood library. 

Encourage (and help) your kids to stay in touch with friends and relatives. 

It may feel counterproductive to have your kids communicate with long-distance friends and family members back in your old home, but it’s important that they have the opportunity to stay in touch. Moving can feel lonely and isolating, and this can help create those warm, fuzzy feelings they may not have yet in their new home.

Communicate about their feelings with patience and honesty.

No matter how smooth and easy your move is, your children may still experience grief and other complex emotions about this major change in their lives. Provide space for them to discuss how you’re feeling, and don’t be afraid to share your own feelings, too. 

Cut Back on Moving Stress With CORT

Moves – whether permanent or temporary – are tough for kids and adults of all ages. It’s important to minimize stress for everyone and eliminate decisions wherever possible.

Renting furniture from CORT can be an excellent way to furnish your home and take another task off your plate. With flexible, customizable packages and timeless furniture, CORT is a simple way to furnish your space to fit your family’s needs. Visit your local CORT showroom in person or online to get started. Once you build a package, simply set a delivery date, and we’ll handle the heavy lifting. Then, when you’re ready to move on, we’ll pick up your furniture as well. Get started today!

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