This is the last of four in a series of posts about handling the challenges of moving your family – from the initial decision through moving into your new home. Earlier posts covered Focusing on Family, Involving Your Children in the Move, and Timing Your Move.
From packing to saying goodbye to adjusting to the new home, there are several things you can do to help ease the transition from one home to another.
Packing is a huge undertaking. In practice it is easier to pack without the children, but keeping them involved can be worth it in the long run. Some children need to be part of every process and want to help. While that may mean more work for you, it may also mean an easier transition, which is well worth the extra work.
One way to involve younger children is by providing them with stickers to decorate their boxes. This will make it easy to identify the boxes that should be opened as soon as you get to your new home. Be cautious about letting young children pack by themselves; they tend to throw all the most important things — those things you’ll need at bedtime — into the first box. Instead, help them pick out a few things to take with them on moving day. Set aside a closet or small room in your home for items that you don’t want going on the truck. Be sure to keep out important items like pacifiers and blankets for younger children, journals and address books for older children.
Take the Time to Say Goodbye
A going away party is a great way for your child to say goodbye to his friends. Take lots of pictures. Assist your child in assembling a scrapbook. Make an autograph book for friends and family to sign. An address book is a great going-away present for children of all ages.
Be sure to let your child’s coaches, troop leaders, music instructors know your moving date so they, too, will have a chance to say goodbye to your children.
If you must travel a long distance to your new home, try to make the trip fun. If possible, plan the trip so you can take your time, site-seeing or visiting with friends or family along the way.
Before the movers come, have your children make signs identifying each room so the movers can easily figure out where the boxes go. Unpack your children’s rooms first so they have some familiar surroundings early on.
In Your New Home
Emotions run high during a move, even if you don’t have kids. It can be difficult listening to unhappy children when the move is also a major change for you. Try to remain patient. With time, they should adjust and the crying and whining will stop.
Staying in Touch
The internet has made it really easy for kids to stay in touch with their friends instantly. Nevertheless, it’s still a good idea to compile an address book for them. Share your new address with the parents of your children’s friends and ask that they help their children stay in touch. Your kids will be thrilled if they receive mail as soon as they move in.
A Word About Safety
Accidents increase during a move, especially with young children, because they have access to things they otherwise wouldn’t and they are less familiar with their surroundings. Be sure to keep hazardous and dangerous things out of reach even while packing and unpacking. This is a good time to ask friends for help to watch your young children, especially when you are moving out and moving in.
A Parting Word
Talk to your children. Involve them in the move as much as possible, from preparing the home you’re selling to settling into your new one. Help them find ways to say goodbye to friends and stay in touch after you move. Focus on the benefits of moving, yet be willing to discuss what they are leaving behind. Be patient – it takes time to get settled and adjust to new surroundings, for the whole family.
Shawn Buryska, Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty, Licensed in the state of Minnesota