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Moving can be a chaotic and stressful time. When you have children, it can feel intense for them and for you. However with a handful of well-chosen preparations, you can ease through the process and into your new home painlessly.
Preparations are the key. Moving requires a great deal of prepwork, and some things, such as packing up your home are quite obvious. You should also ensure you are getting the best possible home for your lifestyle and budget, which means researching the best prices and neighborhoods in your region. For instance, the median listing price for a home in Sacramento, California, is $350,000. Know your market to make informed decisions. You may wish to visit open houses to get a firsthand feel for what’s available. It’s also important to prepare your children. When you’re moving with children, you can guide them through the transition by talking with them about what’s happening and providing activities to help them adjust.
Conversations and connections. Kids don’t always understand exactly what it means to be “moving.” Discuss the process with them and let them ask questions. Have your kids help with packing, and let them select what toys will be packed last. Make sure very young children know they will get their items back when you unpack in the new place and that the boxes will come along. Many children benefit from a goodbye party, bringing closure and an opportunity to see their friends. Also, as Better Homes & Gardens notes, it’s your job to convince your kids that moving is a good thing. Point out the benefits of the new place, whether it’s getting their own bedrooms, a bigger backyard or great local hangouts. If your kids need to leave behind close friends, one suggestion is to encourage them to connect after the move. Thanks to technology, kids can stay in touch via social media and cell phones. They can share experiences throughout the move and show off their new digs, thanks to video messaging and sharing texts and photos.
Packing up. Your kids can help pack their things to give ownership in the process, but it’s still your job to ensure they pack correctly. If their favorite toys are broken in the course of moving, it’ll add stress and unhappiness. Start packing as early as you can, as moving with children takes even longer than moving an all-adult household. Real Simple notes boxes should be labeled with contents and room designations to make unloading and unpacking more efficient.
Stage for success. If you are in the process of selling your home, you can use packing as an opportunity to put things into storage. Decluttering and depersonalizing your home is a key to selling, so HGTV emphasizes keeping potential buyers in mind. Be sure to store items off-site until the day of the move, since home shoppers will be looking into closets and storage areas. And those children’s items you don’t feel are worthy of moving? Box or bag them discreetly and stash them in your trunk, then deliver them to the trash or donation center when your kids either are sleeping or at school. Otherwise youngsters are bound to decide you’re discarding their favorite things, and you’ll have a new source of stress on your hands.
Moving day. After spending oodles of time and energy finding a great home, talking with your kids and packing belongings, moving day finally arrives. Ideally you’ll be able to have a friend or family member watch your kids during the event, but sometimes that isn’t possible, and moving can be hot, tiring and stressful. You may find tempers and anxieties reach a whole new level! Combat the chaos with moving-day activities for your kids. Pack a special tote for each child with a few favorite items. Include simple distractions like a deck of cards, toys or books to keep youngsters occupied.
Moving is overwhelming, but when you have children it can near bedlam. Ease through the transition by preparing your home and your kids well in advance. With smart planning you can make your move smooth, simple and efficient!
- Alexis Hall