So, you’ve narrowed down the list of new homes, you’ve crunched through all the paperwork and you’ve set a date for moving to your new place. Naturally you might be dreading the imminent stress-fest, especially if this is the first time you’ve had to move house with your kids in tow. Children are rarely thrilled by such a massive change, but sticking to these tips can make the whole process much easier on you and them…
Have a Family Meeting
Once you’re sure you’re going to be moving, call a family meeting. Cook an easy dinner that won’t have you pulling your hair out, and get everyone around the dining room table for a nice, relaxed meal. Break the news to your kids gently, and explain how the move is going to affect you, your partner, and everyone else in the family. If you’re moving because of a big promotion, tell them how excited you are about it. Even at an early age, children can make the best of a new and scary situation if they know it’s making someone happy. Ask them to share how they feel about it, and answer any questions they have (there’ll be a lot!).
Have a Big Purge
Long before you start calling your choice of moving company to get quotes, you should carry out a big purge of all the stuff in your house. This will make the move itself much cheaper, and will make the process of unpacking much less stressful. If you’re like most people in the developed world, there’s probably a few garages’ worth of stuff that you can afford to get rid of! Let the kids know that you’re planning to get rid of as much stuff as possible, without making them think that they’ll lose their favorite toys and sending them into a full-blown panic attack! Have the kids help you go through the whole house, room by room, and ask them about anything you’re planning to purge. Most kids will want to cling to as much of their stuff as possible, even if you know they never play with a certain toy or electronic. You can often get around this by planning a yard sale, and letting your kids know they can keep any money they get from their things. Two dollars is a lot of money when you’re young enough!
Plan Out the Rooms
Another good way to get your kids excited about the new place is making them part of the room-planning process. Take a trip to your local hardware store, and look through all the paint swatches, asking your kids what colors they’d like their new rooms to be. If it’s in the budget, you can even buy them all some new special toy or bit of furniture as their “room warming” present. If you have a teen who’s not too thrilled about the move, give them a budget (that they have to stick to) and let them pick out colors, rugs, furniture and so on for their own rooms.