Moving is an experience that often involves a mix of emotions from parents and children. The goal is to make the transition as smooth as possible. There are some basic starting points that can help you achieve that goal.
Have the Talk
It’s extremely important that your kids find out about the move from you rather than from other kids who have heard their parents talking or from hearing you discuss the move when you think they’re not listening. Get the family together and tell them about the upcoming move. Answer their questions as honestly as possible. Keep the conversation positive. Allow them to express their anger, fear or disapproval of the move, but also point out the positive aspects of moving.
Set an Example
Before moving, let everyone know that it’s time to de-clutter or downsize. Taking clothes no one wears, toys that the kids have outgrown or gotten tired of, sports equipment that has been collecting dust in the basement or garage, dishes that you haven’t used in years and all of the many other unused items around the house will simply add to the expense of moving. Also, you don’t want to clutter your new home with items no one needs or wants. Let your kids see you creating a donation pile and help them create one of their own. You might want to have a moving sale and let the family vote on how to spend the money from the sale. As a motivational tactic, you could let the kids keep the profit from the sell of their toys.
Renting a storage unit prior to moving can make life easier for you. You can use a storage unit to store items that you think you may need in the future but don’t actually need to take with you on this move. If you anticipate relocating again in a short amount of time, becoming a self storage expert is a great idea. It’s often best to take a minimal amount of things with you and store the remaining items until you are ready to settle down for an extended period of time. Any items that you or your kids absolutely cannot comfortably part with can be stored rather than moved. At a less emotional time, you can sort through the items in the storage unit and make permanent decisions as to what to do with the things you have in there.
Introduction to the New Neighborhood
If possible, take your kids to the new neighborhood. Point out the features that you know will make a positive impression on them. If traveling there isn’t feasible, show them photos and talk to them about the fun adventures that await.
Acknowledge the Need to Say Goodbye
It’s best to acknowledge that there will be some sadness as you and your kids say goodbye to family and friends living near you. Even though you’ll be busy with moving plans it’s best to continue meeting up with friends and letting your kids have as much play time as possible with their friends. This is a good time to take photos of special people and places.
Starting the discussion about moving in a positive manner can make the news less daunting for the kids. It’s important that you keep a positive attitude throughout the packing process and pre-moving activities so that your kids can follow your example. It’s helpful to keep things as normal as possible prior to the move. Stick with your daily routine, continue having family night and have your kids remain active in the activities they are currently involved in. Organization and consistency can help make the move go more smoothly for everyone.