Moving home is a very stressful event. Add some upset, moody kids into the mix and it’s very easy to become overwhelmed.
It’s easy to get in a rut sorting out the practical aspects of a move and it’s important to remember the emotional impact this has on your family.
Often things are easier when you have a list, or a guide if you will. Follow this ultimate moving home checklist for families if you’re making a move anytime soon and you’ll be well suited to make the move as smooth as possible!
Don’t Keep It A Secret
The worst thing you can do is delay telling your children about the move. The weeks leading up to the move are critical for getting them accustomed to the idea, preparing them for such a big transition. They need time to process.
Make sure you show empathy, however they react to the news. They might not share your enthusiasm at this stage, but don’t get angry at them.
Be prepared to answer any and every question they have. For a child, moving home may signal ‘loss’ of their friends and familiar environments, so make sure you emphasise the positives of the move.
Sharing happy memories of your past moves or reading a book about a family moving home may help.
If you have older children, make sure you demonstrate that you’re really listening to their concerns and share some of your own reservations about the move too. Perhaps, give them their own role in the move so they have something to keep them busy.
Streamline Your Admin
Kids pick up on emotional cues so make sure that you keep organised to avoid displaying signs of stress and anxiety in front of them.
Make a checklist of all the admin tasks you have to do to prepare for the move and designate one tidy folder for all your important documents and contact details.
Change your address with all your household utility and insurance companies, subscription services, your doctor, dentist, and children’s school. Set up a postal redirect too to catch all the things you’ve forgotten all about.
Contact a removal company as soon as possible and register your children at their new school too. This way you can jump straight back into life after the move and the little ones can make new friends as soon as possible.
A Decluttered Home Makes A Decluttered Mind
Decluttering minimises the stress of packing and is an opportunity to get your kids involved in the moving process, giving them a bit of control.
Lay out 3 boxes: keep, donate, or recycle. Inject a bit of fun into the task by playing some music and organising juice and snacks. Inspire a sense of generosity in them, demonstrating the positives of the move by emphasising that another child will benefit from their old donated toys.
Anything you can’t give away but don’t want to move with you can go into a self-storage unit where it will be secure and easy to access.
Let Their Imagination Run Wild
A fresh canvas in a new home is a fantastic way to get your kids using their imagination.
If you can, take them to the new home or show them photographs. Encourage them to imagine how they’ll arrange their furniture and toys, and what colours or designs they want on the walls.
Take them to the new area and show them the local facilities. Arrange a trip to their new school too so they can meet some of their teachers and classmates. This will all help them visualise life after the move, getting them excited about the new things they can get up to.
Pack, Pack, Pack
Packing up their belongings is bound to cause some stress for your kids. It makes the move feel more permanent and their familiar environment is starting to disappear.
Start by packing up the areas you use least, like your garage or attic, so that you can maintain your normal routine for as long as possible.
Let your children help to pack up their own belongings. This way, they’ll feel secure knowing where everything is. Explain to them that they’ll get their things back in the new home.
You can get your kids involved in packing the rest of the house by tasking them with labelling all the boxes with their destination and contents. Having an important job will distract them from their anxiety of moving.
‘See Ya Later!’ Party
Before the big move, it’s a nice idea to have a leaving party where your kids can have some quality time with their nearest and dearest.
Take lots of pictures and compile a list of everyone’s phone numbers and addresses.
Make plans to visit again or invite your children’s friends to the new place so they know this isn’t the end of the road!
After all that groundwork, it’s crucial to make sure that moving day doesn’t turn into a chaotic mess!
If your kids are really young and you don’t have far to travel, maybe organise for a friend or family member to look after them on moving day.
If this isn’t an option, you’ll need to be prepared with a moving day kit. Pack a first aid kit, changes of clothes, toiletries, special toys and books, snacks and drinks.
Let your kids know exactly what the plan is for the day and what jobs they have to do.
Try and keep their routine intact as far as possible.
Older children might want to pack a personal bag with their phone and charger, headphones, and magazines.
Unpacking and Settling In
Unpacking task number one should be setting up your children’s rooms. This will help settle them, familiarising them with their surroundings.
Prioritise the rest of the unpacking in terms of the rooms you need to make the space feel homely, like the kitchen and bathroom.
Don’t rush all the unpacking but focus on setting up the most important rooms. Your whole family will need the first night to unwind so chill out with some movies, board games and your favourite food.
This checklist should keep you on the right track for moving home with your family, making sure everyone is on the same page and calm. Once you’re done unpacking, it’s a case of getting to know your new local community and starting afresh!
About the author
Carol is a freelance writer for Storage Vault Glasgow and is absolutely bonkers about storage and productivity.
If not writing lists, press releases or blog articles — you can find her exploring the Scottish highlands with her Macbook and notepad looking for inspiration and adventure.