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Tips for moving house with children

Tips for moving house with children

Whilst moving to your new family home can be an exciting experience, moving house with children can also become a stressful and upsetting time for them, particularly if they’ve previously only ever known one home. But with a little foresight, planning and some good old distraction techniques moving to a new home need not be traumatic.

 

Before moving:

  • Keep the children as involved as possible in the process of moving house. Before you start looking for a new place, talk to them about what they’d like a new place to have, or even draw pictures of what they want their new bedroom to look like.
  • Have them research your new neighbourhood and make a list of places they’d like to visit and explore once you’ve moved.
  • Once you’ve bought a new house, if you can, take the children for a walk-through so they can see their new bedrooms and play areas like the back garden. If this isn’t possible, have them search for the house online and show them through the photos and floorplan.
  • If possible, make a few visits to the new neighbourhood before moving so the children can see where their new school is, or where the local playgrounds are and take some time to walk around so everyone can get their bearings.

During moving:

  • Let each child pack a box of their favourite toys, then have them write their name on it, and decorate it. Make sure they help load it into the car or moving van so that they know it’s going with them to the new house.
  • Give each child a special responsibility on moving day like “head toy packer” making sure everybody’s favourite toys are accounted for, or “chief librarian” to make sure all the favourite books are packed, or “head gardener” responsible for collecting all the pot plants.
  • Keep calm! Children will pick up on your stress and anxiety about moving, so try and focus on making it a fun adventure however and whenever you can. It may even ease your own state of mind!
  • Keep a supply of snacks and drinks on hand to keep them occupied as well as refuelled.

 

After moving:

  • Once you arrive in your new house on moving day, unpack and set up the children’s rooms as a priority so they feel more at home. Make sure the rooms are welcoming and recognisable as theirs with familiar blankets, furniture, toys and books.
  • Plan a special celebration “first night” dinner, that easy to prepare and fun – try a pizza picnic on the lounge floor.
  • After moving day try and return to a normal routine, of normal bed times and meal times, school and play as quickly as possible to help everybody settle.

- Mark Forde