Moving is exciting and stressful, so if it's something you've decided on, you can't afford to dilly-dally. Plus, if you're moving with the entire family, there are lots of things to consider before the actual move.
While adults can find solace in the idea of a fresh start in a better place, kids are often emotionally attached to their schools, friends, and favorite places. This is why the preparations need to start before you know when or where you'll be moving.
Below, we compiled a few tips to help you make the experience more pleasant for everyone involved.
Are you moving for your or your spouse's job? Do you need to move back to your childhood home to care for ailing parents? Are you buying a house in a better neighborhood?
Each family has a series of core reasons for moving, and you need to identify yours because they will shape your next step – the destination. For instance, if you're thinking about leaving Chicago because of the high taxes and real estate prices, there are more affordable and welcoming options nearby. This way, the change won't be too drastic, and your family will easily adjust to the new surroundings.
On the other hand, if you are moving for a job opportunity or to take care of a loved one, you may have little say when it comes to the destination. Once you know the reasons, it's time to have a family talk and let the kids know about what's about to happen in the near future.
Once you have everything planned out and you know the date and destination of the move, it's time to start packing. It's best to start this process as early as possible, even if you're working with movers since things will turn emotional on the actual moving day.
Have the kids pack and label their own things (if they are big enough) and work as a family to pack the things that everyone uses, such as kitchenware, the living room, and so on. If you plan on donating some of the things, make sure everyone is on board with this.
Once you get everything to the new destination, spare no time to make your new location feel like home. This will help the kids get accustomed to the new house or apartment and keep everyone busy.
As soon as you bring everything to the new home and have everyone settled in, you should take a walk around the neighborhood. Ideally, you would have done this before the move to get the kids (and yourselves) used to the surroundings, but this is not always possible.
Regardless, things will look different after you've moved, as everyone will see the area with new eyes. Start by identifying locations everyone needs to know, such as grocery stores, transportation stations, schools, and so on.
Also, make sure to introduce your family to the neighbors and teach the kids how to behave when meeting new people in the area or the building. It's a good thing to get things started in a friendly manner and to get to know the people you might meet in the morning or when taking a walk in the garden.
No one really likes moving, which is why it helps to take it step-by-step and plan ahead. Even if things don't go as planned, you'll be able to take a step back and act with calm and poise. This will also help the kids process their emotions about the move and make the whole process easier for the adults.