Talking about moving across the country with kids in tow is a rich theme for jokes, but it’s only funny in retrospect. As the adventure itself unfolds, it’s no laughing matter. It’s difficult for both the children and the adults.
In many defining ways, moving to a new home is a rite of passage for the entire family. It teaches parents about the nuances of child-raising and it instructs kids about adult tenacity, meticulousness, and cynicism in the face of unexpected setbacks, delays, and mishaps.
If you happen to find yourself embarking on this phase in the life of your family, here are 3 tips for making the move as easy as possible on everyone’s nerves.
1. Work with seasoned professionals.
While there is much to be said for the DIY approach, it’s not always a good idea. Rugged individualism may have worked in the days of the wild west to survive the hardships of a wagon trip in a strange land, but it doesn’t work well in the modern world. We have too many things and too little time to get organized. What’s more, it’s not easy to coordinate the help you need to get the entire contents of a household packed, loaded, and ready-to- go.
A better way to prepare for the journey ahead is to use the service of professional movers like North American Van Lines who can provide a wide range of moving resources to guide you every step of the way. Let’s face it, moving is stressful and a little help goes a long way. There is the stress of selling one home while working on buying another, the pressure of packing up year’s worth of stuff for transportation, and the nostalgia of leaving your old life behind.
2. Prepare your kids for the move.
Even if the move promises to improve the quality of your family’s life, there is still some grief associated with pulling up roots as well as some anxiety about starting over. Since your kids may be ambivalent about the whole idea, it’s a good idea to talk to them about what moving means.
Before you move, be sure you take care of your children’s school and medical records. You’ll need to collect school records or arrange for them to be electronically transferred to your kid’s new school. You’ll also need to contact your pediatrician, stock up on any prescription medications, and collect medical, dental, and vision records. Later, after you move, you’ll need to register at the new school and visit with potential pediatricians before your kids get sick.
It’s also important to help your kids have some closure with their circle of friends and favorite places. Have a goodbye party for your kids and visit their favorite places; and, of course, be sure to take plenty of pictures.
3. Make the road trip fun.
Since a professional moving company will be trucking your household goods, you and your family will be traveling in one or two cars on your own schedule. This means that you can treat it more like a road trip and have fun traveling to your new place.
Here are 4 tips for traveling with kids:
- 1. Make sure everyone gets plenty of rest and is well fed before leaving. This means going to bed early and having a good breakfast.
- 2. Pack the cars the night before to give everyone plenty of time to get things done.
- 3. Have a clear idea about the route way ahead of time, including where you’ll be stopping for meals or spending the night. Avoid settling for a general idea of the route and then just winging it. If you have the time, you might even want to stop at a few historical sites.
- 4. Figure out the entertainment options. Car trips can be long and boring. If the weather is too hot or too cold, it can also become increasingly uncomfortable. By setting out the entertainment options–board games, books, and videos, music, and games on a mobile device—ahead of time, it will make the journey more bearable.
In closing, it’s always better to overestimate how difficult it will be to move than to underestimate all the problems that may arise. By preparing ahead of time, everything will be easier: so, hire professional movers to assist with the logistics, help your kids transition from your old home to your new one, and make the car trip as pleasant and as comfortable as possible.