Relocating to a new town or city requires lots of planning and organizing, and when children are involved, it can make the process even more difficult.
If you are looking to move further afield with kids, you may be wondering where to start and how to manage it all, so we’ve put together some tips that should help.
Here are 5 things to plan and organize when moving cross country with children.
Have an informal family meeting
Moving away is a monumental change in a kid’s life, and you may not be able to gauge how they feel about it. Family meetings provide the perfect opportunity for your children to talk about their fears, worries, and things they may be apprehensive about. If it’s not something you already do regularly, it might be worth trying until they feel settled in their new home and are familiar with their surroundings.
Rather than having a formal discussion where they may not want to open up, order pizza, or make snacks and gather around the dinner table. The more comfortable and at ease they feel, the more honest they may be about their emotions.
Get them involved in the packing process
Packing can take a while, so why not get the kids on board with it too? Getting them involved will give them a greater sense of responsibility and may make them less anxious about the move. Ask them to go through their belongings and pack the things they would like to take with them. Items beyond repair can be set aside for the trash, and things they’ve grown out of or no longer want
can be given to charity or even sold.
If you aren’t sure where to start in terms of booking a reputable removal firm that specializes in long-distance moves, SFGate’s moving company ranking could help you narrow it down.
Visit in advance of your moving date
If you are locating to an area that you can visit without too much hassle, it’s worth taking a trip with the kids in advance of your moving date. It’s probably wise not to make it feel too much like a vacation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Take a tour of the local area and find out what there is to do locally that may be of interest.
If they are old enough, research the local area together and visit historic buildings, castles, or other points of interest. The more at home they feel, the better, so if it means taking a few trips back and forth to make them feel less anxious, that’s what you should do.
Your new home
If you haven’t yet found a property in your new location, ask the kids to help. Properties for both rent and sale are usually advertised online, so let them take to the internet and find properties for you to look at in more detail. Their priorities will, of course, differ from yours, but just making them feel involved could change their perception of things.
You may not want to take the kids with you to every property viewing, but once you have narrowed your search to 2 or 3 homes, their input may be invaluable. You want them to feel safe and secure in their new home, so if they know what to expect before you move, it could make things a lot less stressful for you.
Decorate their bedrooms
You may be more restricted with what you can do with your home décor if you are renting, but if you are purchasing a new home, decorating your kid’s bedroom as soon as you move in could help immensely. As soon as you get the chance, go shopping for wallpaper and paint and set to work making their new bedroom feel special. Let your children pick their own color schemes and allow them to have a say when choosing furniture, bedding, and other accessories.
There are some fabulous options when it comes to kids’ bedrooms these days, so regardless of their age, they shouldn’t have any trouble finding something they love.
Children are pretty intuitive, so although you may be eager to keep them in the dark about the move, you may find that being open with them (within reason) is a far better decision.
Moving might seem like a daunting prospect, but kids are resilient, and within a few months, your new place should feel just like home.