Wow, have your anxiety levels just kicked it up a notch after reading that heading? Ours did. Anyone who has ever moved house with kids in tow knows it can be a very trying experience. Just discussing the topic with friends and family will bring out tales of nightmare tantrums, lost sleep and chaos, and that's just the adults. However, moving house with kids doesn't have to end up as a horror story. We've put together a list of ideas to make your packing and moving experience run as smoothly as possible.
- Speak with your children about the move and what will happen at each stage. Do this a few weeks out to give them time to get used to the idea and ask questions.
- Take a drive around the new area if it's near enough, or check it out with the kids on Google maps street view to familiarize them with the new surroundings.
- Explore the new school or kindy, even if it's just on the internet, to give them a preview of the new places they'll be going to.
- In the weeks (or months) leading up the to the move declutter your home as much as possible so you are not wasting valuable time and money packing and moving junk you really don't need or use.
- Get the kids involved in decluttering their stuff. Explain about giving old toys and clothes to the kids who don't have a lot and how happy it will make them.
- Got loads to throw away? Organize a skip bin, the kids will love throwing things in a huge bin.
- Label boxes clearly to avoid confusion when you get to the new house. Need some ideas? 8 ways to perfect your packing box labels
- Let the kids decorate the packing boxes for their rooms. Older kids can help pack their possessions, just allow extra boxes and make peace with the fact that it won't be perfect but it will be one less thing you have to do.
- Say 'YES!' to any offers of help, you'll be surprised how much you can achieve in a few kid free hours.
- Keep food on hand to fill hungry little tummies (and bigger ones too).
- Plan to do small bouts of packing so boredom (theirs) and patience (yours and theirs) don't create stress.
- Keep a constant eye out for hazards your children may encounter during packing and unpacking. Things like sharp objects, chemicals, electrical equipment and small items such as screws or bolts are often left lying about mid-pack.
- Take care of yourself. Moving itself can be a super stressful experience without adding the normal demands of kids to the mix. Eat regular meals and snacks, rest when you can, start early to give yourself more time to accomplish everything that needs doing (it will always take longer than you think), say yes to all offers of help and outsource where you can.
- Move mountains to ensure the moving day is mostly kid free. There are many dangers to small children while heavy furniture, boxes, and appliances are lugged in and out of the house. Plus, you can concentrate on making sure all the loose ends are tied up nicely.
If things do begin to go pear shaped just take a breath and remember the old saying, this too shall pass.
Do you have ideas for moving with kids that we've missed? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below.