We won’t mince words: moving to a new house with kids is no walk in the park – especially when they’re young! There’s bound to be some chaos somewhere along the way. However, instead of losing your cool and locking yourself in a closet while downing a glass of wine, here are a few tips to make moving with kids a little easier this fall.
1. Have a heart to heart conversation
Moving to a new home can be difficult for children, especially if that is the only home they know. It’s going to be hard to get them excited about the move and don’t expect them to be that much of a help when it comes to packing. You can help them understand why you have to move and tell them some of the good things to come (making new friends, going to new parks, decorating their room how they’d like, etc.).
2. Make packing fun
It’s okay to admit that packing is one of the worst parts of moving. Who really wants to go through every single thing they own and put it into a box? Or worse… having to part ways entirely (either by donating it or tossing it). One way that we like to help the kids to not see packing as a boring chore is to turn it into a game.
Ideas for packing games:
- Ask the kids to put all of their green toys in a box (and go through all the colors)
- Play “I spy” and have the children pack the items (eg: “I spy books about animals”)
- Give the kids a scavenger hunt challenge and tell them to put items in the boxes
- Create a timed challenge to see who can pack the items the quickest
3. Get stuff done when the kids are asleep or at school
The best time to pack is when the kids are either at school or are asleep because they won’t get in the way and you don’t have to answer a gajillion questions. You can get a lot more done when that’s the only thing you need to worry about.
There. We said it.
4. Color coding can be a fun game
Color coding is a popular way of organizing rooms and the contents. It isn’t just useful for the movers (if you’re hiring a moving company), it’s useful for your own organization and peace of mind. Now, the way you color code things is entirely up to you. You could use the colored stickers people use at garage sales to organize things. You could even use colored (or patterned) duct tape to mark boxes as well.
This is helpful when you’re unpacking because you can go around the house and put a piece of tape on each door. Then you can ask the children to take a box and put it into the room with the same tape color. It keeps the kids entertained and out of the way while still getting things done.
Note: Make sure that when you remove the tape, it doesn’t peel the paint off the wall or door. If you’re using this method of packing, the peeled tape could play a role in an appraiser’s assessment of your home and your results of using a net proceeds calculator could be off.
5. Be ready for tears
Packing up one house to move to another is going to take an emotional toll on everyone in the house. You’ve spent years making the house a home and all of the great memories will bring at least someone to tears. If your children are the ones to be upset, we recommend having a box of tissues at the ready and pulling them aside so they can talk about what they’re feeling.
With a little bit of reassurance, love, and encouragement, moving with kids can be a pleasant experience. It won’t be at the top of the “Things I Love Doing” list, but it’ll at least be a family bonding experience!