As one of the top stress-inducing events in our lives, moving home can be a fractious time when you simply want everything to go smoothly. Add children (and pets) to the mix and the levels of worry increase as you want to ensure nothing gets left behind (favourite toys), the journey to your new home is problem free (no tantrums) and that you settle in as quickly as possible. Here are some top tips for moving home with children.
Involve your children from the start
Buying a new home, whether in close vicinity to your current property or a relocation to somewhere further away, can be an exciting milestone in your life but might be scary or worrying for your children. If they have only known their current residence as their home, it will be their place of comfort and safety with all of their childhood memories associated with it.
It is best to include your children in the new property search process – maybe don’t take them to every viewing if you know you will have several – but when you have a shortlist or have found the right one, include them in the viewing and discuss which room they would like to be theirs. A fun activity would be for the children to draw a picture of their new room to help visualise how it will look – let their imagination run riot!
Moving home is an exciting adventure so remember to take this viewpoint when you chat about it with your children. When you research the new area, make sure you tell your children about nearby places and attractions that they will love. Try not to let the move take over everything in your family’s life – keep time free to do fun things as a family – that aren’t related to the move.
Packing Up Tips
When the time comes to pack up your current home, enlist the help of your children. They can help pack their belongings. Don’t leave it until the last minute though. Ask them to sort their toys into ones they want to take to their new home and ones they would like to donate to charity. There’s no point in taking everything to your new place and then having to sort it out and donate or recycle things. Moving home is an ideal scenario to de-clutter. Tell them they can decorate their moving boxes so the removal team know these boxes are for their bedrooms. A great blank canvas to decorate! Keep one box to house their most important things – their favourite toy or teddy that they take to bed, favourite bedtime story, pyjamas etc. Make sure these boxes are unpacked and put in their new rooms once you arrive in your new home.
Packing up the final items before moving day will require time and concentration so if you are planning to do it yourself, try to find a friend or family member who could look after the children. A sleepover at their grandparents for the weekend would be the perfect opportunity for ensure everything is packed safely and boxes are labelled for each room. Alternatively, to make life easier, you could use a removal company to pack up your belongings also.
Plan ahead and figure what you need in your new place once you arrive. Pack a box that will be unpacked first with your essentials in – kettle, toaster, enough mugs for everyone, tea/coffee/sugar, cutlery, plates and a loaf of bread. If the parents are planning on enjoying a celebratory bottle of bubbly when the children are all in bed, remember to pack the bottle and glasses safely. Depending on the distance of the move, it might be wise to have a cool box with milk and margarine.
Moving Day Tips
If possible, try to organise an overlap of a week between the old and new home. This will give a little breathing room to ensure both properties are clean. This might be an opportune time to employ a cleaning company to do the final clean. It’s also a period when you can ensure your new Wi-Fi is set up so any teenagers (or tweenagers) can seamlessly transition into their new abode, without lack of signal to add to parental stress levels.
When your moving day comes around, try to plan so that the children are at nursery or school. If this is not possible try to find a friend or family member to look after the children whilst you oversee the removal process. With all the heavy furniture being moved, it can be a dangerous environment so it’s best if they are safely elsewhere.
Pack up the bedding from their beds when they get up on moving day and keep it easily to hand so their beds can be made up in their new rooms for their first night. Familiar smells will certainly help them settle in the new space.
Unpacking in your new home
Get the kids rooms set up first with their bedding from the previous night and any familiar nightlights so they will settle after such a busy day. Ask them to unpack their box of important things so they know everything made it safely to the new home. The last thing parents need, having just moved to a new home, is a disrupted night’s sleep. This unpacking activity can keep the children busy and out of the to-ing and fro-ing of the removal team with furniture and boxes moving about.
Moving day is a special day so once you have arrived, all of your belongings are inside and the removals vans have gone, order a family favourite takeaway and enjoy a first night treat. After a manic moving day parents will benefit by sticking to routines and having dinner at the usual time and ensuring the kids bedrooms are ready for their usual bed time.
Regardless of the stress levels over the previous weeks, once safely in your new family home, you can relax and plan the next phase of your lives together. Now, where did you put those champagne flutes? To find out more about our array of Cumbrian Homes developments and properties currently available, click here.