If you’re a parent with young children, you know how difficult even the simplest of tasks can become. Bringing a toddler or two along to the grocery store can turn that excursion from a simple shopping trip into an hours-long ordeal. So if you’re moving to a new house soon, you’re probably stressing about how to get everything ready with your rambunctious kids around. Here are a few quick tips to make moving with young kids simpler and easier for everyone.
Make Sure They Understand
Toddlers and preschoolers may not have a firm grasp of what is happening. If you’ve lived in the same house since they were born, that house is “home,” and understanding that that is about to change can be very difficult. Take the time to sit down and explain what is going to happen, and why things need to be packed up. Answer their questions patiently, even if you have to answer the same questions multiple times over the coming weeks.
Let Them Help
This is an important tool in helping them to understand what is happening. While you will likely be far more efficient trying to pack things yourself, you should allow your child to help wherever possible. Let them help you sort their toys, and help put some of their own things into boxes. Not only does this help them feel included in the process, but you’ll be keeping them busy while still getting things ready for your move.
Time It Properly
While you don’t always have control over when you have to move, whenever possible, try to time your move for a somewhat calm period in your child’s life. School schedules are a big consideration, and moving during the summer will avoid uprooting your child in the middle of a school year. You may also want to avoid moving during certain big changes in a child’s life, such as during potty training, or any sleep transitions. Too much change at once can quickly lead to meltdowns in young children.
Save a Box of Toys
One of the most difficult things about moving with young kids is keeping them entertained while their toys are packed up into boxes. Be sure to hold back a box of your child’s favorite toys that they can continue playing with up until moving day. This box can even become the designated place for cleaning up the toys after playtime is over. Then, when moving day rolls around, all you have to do is tape it shut and put it on the truck.
Pack a Special Bag
You should also have a special bag of favorite items that will stay with your child throughout the move. Invest in a small backpack or similar bag for your child to put their favorite toys, activities, or comfort items in. These items can help keep them entertained on the plane ride or car trip, and will help your child to feel more secure during this big change.
Label Their Boxes Very Clearly
While you may be just fine labeling the boxes for your room with vague labels like “Clothes” or “Books,” you should consider more detailed labels for the boxes that contain your kids’ toys and other possessions. As a parent, you likely know how particular kids can be. So, when you get to your new house, and your toddler wants that one specific toy, your life will be made a lot easier by detailed labels that make it fast and easy to find that specific toy.
Find Somewhere for Them to Go
When moving day finally rolls around, both you and your young child will be a lot happier if they aren’t in the home while the truck is being loaded. Seeing all of your possessions and furniture being taken out of your home can be extremely difficult for some kids, and having them underfoot will make you less productive while trying to keep things moving along. So, ask a neighbor, friend, or family member to watch your child for at least a portion of the day. They’ll be happier, and you’ll get more done.
Help Them Feel Secure
Amid all this change, kids can often begin to feel stressed, and may start to worry about losing other important things in their lives. Do everything you can to help them feel secure and safe. Maintain familiar routines wherever possible—especially after you’ve moved into your new home. Point all the things that are similar between your old home and your new one. And, as much as you can, reassure them that, no matter what else may change, you will always be there for them.
If handling a move on your own with your young children around is too much for you, contact us. We’ll take some of the weight off your shoulders, so you can focus more on ensuring your kids have the support they need throughout the upcoming move.