Cassidy's Moving and Storage
Moving House With Small Kids
Moving house can be an emotional upheaval, even when you’re heading off to a new dream home that will make your life better. For kids it can be even more difficult – whether or not they’re old enough to really understand what’s going on.
If your kids are young, you’re going to have some extra challenges to deal with, both emotionally and in terms of logistics. Try these tips to help make the move go easier on everyone – including you.
Before Moving Day
They key to helping kids cope with moving is to provide them with as much stability as you can throughout the process.
- Don’t bring young kids house hunting. It’s not only tedious for them, it can be confusing and frightening as well.
- Similarly, use a babysitter for some of the organization and packing sessions. Having someone your kids know and like will give you the breathing room you need to organize and pack.
- To help young kids get ready for the move emotionally, read them children’s stories about moving and use toys to act out what will be happening. There are a lot of great articles online that can help you understand moving through children’s eyes and how to help them understand it, like this one and this one.
- Have one play area for them that will be the last thing to pack, to help provide them with as much stability as possible.
- Have their favourite toy “friend” stay with them even during the move – whatever you do don’t pack it!
- Take some time and make it fun. Ask your kids to put some items in boxes so they can play along, even if you have to repack it later. Bubble wrap popping is sure to be a big hit if all else fails!
- Do clutter clearouts on your kids’ things after bedtime. That picture they drew years ago and has stayed in a drawer ever since will become a cherished treasure if they see that you want to throw it out. Even worse is if they find it in a garbage can. Clearing out the mess should be done without them, and the evidence taken right out to the trash to avoid meltdowns.
- If you are moving locally, a visit to the new house may help.
- Find ways to “say goodbye” to the old house – take photos or press flowers from the garden. Come up with other rituals that will help your child process the experience.
Overall, do your best to stay calm and relaxed – kids often pick up on their parents’ stress. Start packing early to give yourself the time you need. The more upbeat you are the more likely your child is going to cope with the situation reasonably well. Emphasize the benefits of the new home, like a bigger room or a beautiful park just down the street.
On Moving Day
The big day has finally arrived!
- It’s essential to have someone dedicated to minding the kids for moving day, when giant strangers with equipment are walking around with boxes full of their family’s things. There’s a safety component to consider – excited small children are apt to wander off or even get hurt. That being said, it’s often recommended that the kids be able to watch the move from a safe distance, so they can get a real sense of what is going on.
- If the child is old enough, consider having them “take care” of the family pet. It will give them something to do and reassure them that the pet will be coming along. Bear in mind that in all the excitement the child may be less responsible than usual, and factor in how the pet is likely to deal with the stress as well.
- Having the kids’ room be the first to be unpacked may help kids understand that all their favourite things are still with them, and to start building a sense of familiarity with the new home as soon as possible. At the very least, the bed and favourite jammies should be ready to go.
- As much as possible, stick to your kids’ regular routine, and have dinner and go to bed at the same time. Remember that the new house will have new noises, smells and shadows to get used to, so consider starting the bedtime rituals a little early to allow more time for stories and questions.
- Have an extra special breakfast in the morning when your kids wake up – having one box with the pans and ingredients for this ready and labelled will make this as easy as possible.
Above all try and see things through your childrens’ eyes as much as you can. It will open up a whole new world for you, and help you understand their perspective and find ways to make things easy on them as much as possible.
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