Moving is hard and parenting holds more than enough challenges, so is it possible to make moving with kids easy? The simple answer is yes! And the secret is using the 3 P’s—planning, play, and participation. If you are curious how to incorporate these 3 P’s into your next move to make it easier for everyone involved, just check out these 5 tips.
1. Enlist Some Help
Don’t be afraid to take help anywhere you can get it. Support comes in many forms and for your move it may look like:
- Asking someone to watch the kiddos for a few hours while you strike a few to-do’s off your moving checklist.
- Getting the kids to help with packing.
- Calling a friend over to assist you with decluttering your closet or another area in your home.
- Rounding up a few extra helpers for the heavy lifting on moving day.
- Hiring professional movers or packers.
2. Make Moving Day Arrangements
One day that it is highly beneficial to have a babysitter is moving day. It can help keep the kids out of your hair, as well as keep them out of harm’s way.
Can’t find a babysitter? Don’t sweat it! Instead, try making moving day fun with a movie marathon in a quiet room. Make it extra special by throwing in some microwave popcorn. If your furniture is already packed, simply scatter a few blankets and pillows on the ground for comfort.
3. Consider Comfort
Speaking of comfort, small things to make your kids comfortable throughout the move can help make them less anxious and more relaxed. A few things to consider include:
Car Comfort: If you’re moving long-distance, add a few blankets and pillows into the back seat. These are perfect for naps and to regulate temperature, so you won’t be fighting over the AC level.
Noise: With the tape gun screeching, movers coming in and out of the house, and everything in-between, moving day can get pretty hectic and loud. If you have any kids with noise sensitivities, it can be worth investing in some noise-canceling headphones—if you don’t already have some. Regular headphones playing music or some other form of audio can also do in a pinch.
Special Toys: Ask your kids to pick a few toys they would like to keep out until the last packing session. This can not only help avoid meltdowns but also allows them to feel more involved in the packing process. Also, remember to pack any extra-special stuffed animals or blankets into your vehicle—not the moving truck—the minimize the risk of them getting lost.
4. Leave Time for Fun
Moving is serious business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a break every now and then for a bit of play. There are lots of ways to incorporate fun into your move—and you and your kids’ imagination are the only limit! Here are some ideas to get you started.
Goodbye Cards: Grab some paper, markers, stickers, and anything else you need to make some goodbye cards. These are perfect for neighbors, teachers, or your children’s’ friends. Inside a goodbye card to a friend, you may want to get your kid to write a short letter, along with their new address, to start off a pen pal exchange. They will love it when their friend writes back and being pen pals can help maintain a long-distance friendship.
Box Forts: It’s hard to resist a good box fort, especially when you fill it with snacks and cozy blankets. If you still have an abundance of boxes after your move, you can also upcycle them for crafts like guitars, castles, robot costumes, home decor, etc.
Tree Planting: Grab a sapling from a nursery and plant it in your new yard. It will be fun to watch the tree grow with your family and this activity can help get your kids interested in gardening. Alternatively, if you don’t have a backyard or are moving in the winter, you may want to try an indoor tree. Umbrella trees are widely available and can grow up to most ceilings if you continue repotting them. However, please note that these plants are toxic to cats. If you have any pets, you may want to grow a Pachira instead, also known as a Money Tree. They’re non-toxic, easy to care for, and are said to bring financial luck—and who couldn’t use a bit of that!
5. Get the Kids to Participate
Chances are you have quite a hefty moving to-do list, so it can be tempting just to entertain the kids while you get stuff done. However, you may want to try getting them to assist with certain activities. This can help you bond as a family and make your children feel more involved—making them feel more at ease with the move. To get them to participate, you may want to:
Buy Supplies Together: Take a family trip to get packing supplies and allow each kid to pick out stickers or decorative tape to decorate their boxes. While this method is generally best-suited for younger children, everyone will enjoy it if you top the trip off with a special treat, like frozen yogurt or homemade ice cream.
Pack as a Team: Get your child to pack up their own bedroom. Smaller children will need quite a bit of help with this, but even getting them to pass you stuff or organize items into piles can be a big help. During this time, you may also want to get each kid to declutter their bedrooms.
Hold a Yard sale: If you’ve decided to declutter before your move, you probably have a few piles of unwanted stuff. Instead of donating or tossing it, try holding a yard sale. Older kids can handle making signs and managing money, while younger children are great helpers for sticking on price tags and organizing tables. Want to add a bit of incentive to the process? Let the kids split any money that the yardsale brings in. Alternatively, designate any money made to a fun family outing once you’re settled into your new home to give everybody something to look forward to.
If you want to throw any extra ‘P’ into the mix, don’t forget patience. Moving is time-consuming and comes with many challenges for adults, but it is also a big change for your kids. They are leaving their home behind, and possibly their school and friends as well. So try to remember that while moving is hard, getting through it as a family makes it a lot easier for everyone involved.