How to Move with Children

Moving can be  stressful time and if you add kids to the mix, it can become a chaotic process. As a mother who has moved 15 times in my life, I have some tips that will help your move with kids go as smoothly as possible.

As a mother who has moved her kids while they were in school, it’s ideally best to move during summer break or in the middle of the semester. This way there is a clear cut transition and your children have some time to process the move before going back to school.

Of course, you can’t always choose when you move, but there are some things you have control over. Some of these include how and when you start packing as well as how you explain the change to your kids.

There are different ways to prepare your children for moving. In this post we will cover how to move with children so the process is easier on everyone. We will also include tips to help your kids during the packing, moving, and unpacking stages of the moving process.

Packing for Kids

Depending on how old your children are, they may or may not fully understand why they are packing all of their things away. Smaller children tend to think that once their belongings are packed everything is going away forever. So it’s important to make them understand that their items are only going on a trip and they will see them again.

To keep your children from getting too upset, I suggest keeping a few of their favorite things out so they feel safe that their favorite belongings aren’t leaving them. These include toys, blankets, stuffed animals, and books.

Another idea is to get them involved in the packing process. Let your kids choose colored tape for their boxes and let them add any decorations, or drawings, if they want to do! You’ll be surprised how excited your children will be to make their boxes their own.

It might also be easier if you pack other household belongings while your kids are asleep or preoccupied. If they know you’re packing they may want to help or go through things. Ask family members or friends to help you pack or watch the kids while you pack to make the process go by more smoothly.

Make sure you let your children know when you will be moving and make a plan together to pack their room. Even if they forget, they will remember that they did have a say. This way they don’t feel out of the loop.

One way to get your kids excited is to make a plan for their new room! Make a plan together with your kids for a new theme or even new wall color in their room. Even getting them to pick out the shower curtain, anything to make them feel involved in the process. If your kids feel like they have a say in the decorations then they feel a sense of ownership for their new room.

You also want to make sure a few other items (mentioned below) aren’t packed in moving boxes so that you can take them with you in the car. This way during the trip (and when you first get into the house) your kids have these items with them.

For the move, have an overnight bag with enough clothes for a few days. Also include any blankets, stuffed animals, favorite books, games, and movies so that the kids don’t feel like all of their belongings are being packed away. These favorited items will be available for them immediately, so your kids won’t feel like they don’t have anything.

Moving with Kids

One of the most stressful parts of moving with your kids can be the drive. If you have more than an hour to your new home you may need to prepare in order to keep them occupied in the car! The first thing to do before you drive off is to say goodbye to the old house together as a family. Don’t stay on this too long because you want to get your kids excited about their new home!

On the trip to the new house, make sure you have plenty of books games, and if possible shows or movies for them to watch! If you have a tablet or iPad, download some shows and movies that your children love. This way they will be focused on their favorite film instead of how long they have been in the car.

Play games in the car and interact with them if you can. Have snacks ready and give them rewards for any long trips. For every hour you’re on the road make a countdown of when they get to see their new home! Once again, if you get them excited it will cut out a lot of the ‘how much longer’ whining that most parents dread.

Unpacking for Kids

Since moving can be a particularly confusing time for kids, their rooms should be unpacked first. Or at least the most important items to help them get settled in. The first step really starts prior to moving, as we stated before. It’s getting your children excited about their room in their new home!

If they are looking forward to their new room it will make the process that much easier. Remember, once you get into your new home help your kids unpack first. Get their bed made, hang some clothes in the closet, and find a new place for all their favorite belongings that they brought with them on the trip.

Be patient with your children during the moving process. They don’t understand how stressful everything is, they just know and care that their world has changed. Getting their rooms back in order and then getting your kids back on a normal schedule will help them settle back into your normal lifestyle as well as the new home.

Another thing you can do is make the first night in your new home exciting. Make a memory your first night in the house! We always ordered pizza and had a pizza party.

You can get the tv unpacked and have a movie night or something else, but make your first night in the home memorable! This will also help your kids settle in to their new home and feel comfortable.

Within your first week of moving into your new home, go do something fun in the area as a family! Any activity including bowling, the movies, or even going out to eat at a new or local restaurant is a great idea. You not only want to get your children excited about their new home, but their new city as well.

If you changed states, find a famous landmark that your family can go visit, even if you plan to see it months later. Just get your kids involved in their new environment. Soon, your new home and city will really feel like home to your entire family.

More Moving Tips

Moving with children can definitely take a lot of patience, but we hope the information in this post will help ease the process. While children tend to resist moving because it takes them out of their comfort zone, if you help get them excited about their new home then it will help the entire moving process.

If you’re looking for more general moving tips to help you with your move, we’ve got your back! We have covered a lot of details about the moving process in previous posts. For more moving tips, click on this link for our list of moving tips that will make your move easier!