Moving house with children
Children of all ages can be unbelievably distressed when leaving a home that they have spent many happy years in; everything that they are familiar with is in that house. This is as big a move for them as it is for you, especially if this means they are leaving their old school and starting another. They might even be moving away from the friends that they have grown up with and started school with.
Whilst moving house with children is no easy feat, with these handy tips it does not have to be impossible. Taking you through the entire move, from start to finish, we advise on the best ways to keep your children calm, happy and entertained throughout the moving process.
Involve them in the preparations
Referring to the move as an exciting new adventure will help prepare your child for the change, so they can become accustomed to their new surroundings more easily. The best way to get your kids excited about the move is to actively involve them in the packing and preparation process.
When moving house, packing up all of the belongings is possibly the largest task that needs to be done. From organising what should and should not be kept, to packing items into appropriate boxes and stacking and storing them efficiently; there are a multitude of tasks to be covered.
Get your kids involved in the packing process by giving them important tasks to carry out, such as packing their own toys and labelling their own boxes. Give them the responsibility of packing any unwanted toys into another box to donate to charity or dispose of, so they feel as though they have some control over the situation.
Other preparation tasks that your kids can get involved in could include writing out their friends’ addresses in smart new address books or scrapbooks, so they can send out letters or postcards from their new home, wherever that may be. As well as this, you could set your kids the task of taking photos of the old and new houses, so that they can include these in their scrapbook.
Throw a leaving party
Every child loves a party, and what better excuse to throw a party for your kids than moving house; particularly if you are moving some distance from your old home. At your leaving do, remember to stock up on delicious party foods and snacks, provide good music and prepare lots of games for your kids and their friends to play. By holding a happy, fun event, you will throw a good light on the whole moving process which can often be a stressful and upsetting time for children. This will also give your kids the opportunity to say goodbye to their friends and take photos with all of them together.
On moving day
Whilst it is fun for your kids to be involved in the lead-up to the move, it may be comforting for both your children and yourself to have them elsewhere on the actual moving day.
House moving is not really a safe environment for smaller children; with so much going on, it can be difficult to keep an eye on your children at all times, and they can get in the way of the removal crew who might be carrying heavy objects.
If you have a family member or close friend who can take care of your children at their house on moving day, this is often the best option as you can get the job done more efficiently without having to worry about whether they are alright on the day.
If this isn’t possible – and if weather permits – have a secure play area in the back garden for the kids to entertain themselves in, or designate one parent to look after them for the day. Alternatively, you could make the most of having your children there by presenting them with small tasks, such as helping with the smaller bags or boxes, or even give them an empty room to sweep or clear up once it is empty.
Always remember to pack an overnight bag for moving day, as you will not be able to gain access to all your belongings when they are in boxes. For your children, this could include:
- Change of clothes
Don’t forget that you might require a high chair, cot, toys or other essentials as a matter of urgency at the delivery end, so ask the moving team to load these onto the vehicle last so they are easily accessible to you.
At the new place
Whilst the initial excitement of being in a new place may be enough to keep your children entertained, be prepared for some tears. It takes children time to adjust to new surroundings, new friends and big changes, so do not expect them to snap back to how they were at your old house straight away.
Introduce the children to their new surroundings as soon as possible; walk around the area that is closest to your house to find the local parks and the safest route to them. Make sure you plan lots of fun weekend trips in your new area – such as taking them to watch a film at the local cinema and perhaps a meal at a nice child friendly restaurant afterwards – so that they can see that it is a fun place to be. Not only that, make sure the mood at the new house is as positive as possible, so they can get a good overall feeling about being in the new place.
If room allows, perhaps you can create a fun activity by letting them choose their own bedrooms. The more choices they have about their new home, the more content they will feel and the less stressful the settling in process will be.
The Whittle Group
Here at The Whittle Group, we have over 130 years of experience in the removals industry, which means we recognise the importance of making your house move as stress-free and quick as possible. To find out more about our removals service or any of our other services, get in touch with our friendly team of experts today and we’ll be happy to help with any enquiry you may have.