Moving is always stressful, and moving with kids takes it up a notch. But there are ways to minimize the stress and improve the process.
De-Cluttering – Say Goodbye Before It Goes Into The Moving Box
When you’re going through the process of de-cluttering and packing, resist the urge to pack it all and then decide what to keep at the other end. Take up the idea of ‘short-term pain, long-term gain’ in this moment. Even if you must sneak old toys out in the dead of night, get rid of them before you move them. Does it bring you joy? No? Say your goodbyes to it now.
This also goes for clothes you don’t wear, kitchen stuff you’ll never use and random things you don’t even remember acquiring. You’ll have way less energy on the other end when you just want to get on with life in your new home – or worse, you’ll give up and let things linger in boxes for years.
Decide Who’s Going Where Before You Move
Moving is hard on kids too. To make the whole process more comfortable for the entire family, decide who is going where before you move. Which room is whose? Where is the TV going to be? Where will we eat? Where will I do my homework? If they can start to paint a picture of what life is going to be like, you can dial down the stress and work towards excitement – or at least acceptance.
Involve the Kids in the Pre-Close Visits
The Agreement of Purchase and Sale for your new home should include the number of times you’re allowed to re-visit it before you get possession (it’s usually 2 or 3 times). Plan one of your re-visits with the kids so they can get familiar with the new digs.
Label as if your life, or at least your sleep, depends on it
There is nothing worse than having to find one thing in a sea of boxes. Try and avoid MISC boxes and put like items together, label both what room something has come from and what room it’s going to. And don’t forget, when you clear stuff out in a hurry when you are preparing to sell, you’re going to be unpacking these boxes along with all the rest. The labels you use will allow you to settle in more quickly and ensure you’re not up all night looking for journals/helmets/4th favorite toys etc.
Timing Is Everything
In addition to room labels, make sure to “time stamp” specific for the things you’ll need the first day, first week and first month. If you can, bring the First Day boxes in your car, or have them placed in 1 specific part of your home. Everything from forks to favorite stuffies and blankets, bathroom stuff, kids’ bedding and kid-specific activity stuff should be labelled, so you know where to find the essentials that will make your kids feel right at home.
Pack Boxes For Each Child
If you want your kids to help on the other side, in each room, pack the things that belong to that child in their own boxes. This way they’ll be excited to help unpack. As soon as they hit the boxes with random “whole home” stuff, they’ll check out. So give them all their own things in boxes and lighten your load.
Buy Some Time
If possible, try and plan the timing of closing of your new home and when you need to be out of your current home, so there is some overlap. The all-in-one-day move-out, move-in experience isn’t ideal. Sure it can be done. And overlap can have costs associated with it. But trust us on this one – it’s worth it, especially if you are moving with kids.
Don’t Forget the Details
Moving is about more than booking a truck and packing the boxes. There are a lot of little decisions that you’ll need to make when moving your family. As you prepare for move day, don’t forget to consider potential school and daycare moves. Will you keep the same dentist and other health care providers, or switch? What about the kids’ activities? Some may be worth the drive. Others might be better to access close to home. Lastly, check the registration dates for community recreation programs, so you don’t miss the time to register for programs in your new area.