Moving is a stressful and uncertain time in your life, and it can be more so for kids, especially when they need to change schools, neighbourhoods or even countries. Informing your children about the move and following these few ideas might alleviate some stress.
Take Your Time
Allow extra time during all stages of the moving process with kids present. Tasks will take longer, and allowing spare time will help make each step less stressful. Moving and packing preparation time will also need extra time to prepare for additional events such as friends dropping by, temper tantrums, and other challenges. It might be a good idea to hire a professional moving company to allow you more time with your kids during the moving period. Not only can the moving company help transport your items, but they can also help with the packing and preparation process.
Transparent Information is Key
Inform your children about the move—don’t keep it a secret. When you know you are moving, tell your kids immediately. Tell them in an age-appropriate way and explain to them where you are moving and why you are moving, and what the new house has compared to this one. The sooner you give them specific information about the move, the sooner they can adapt to the upcoming changes. Give your kids ample time to prepare and absorb the news. Keep them aware of what’s going on during the moving process.
Making Things Concrete
When moving, please remind your children that everyone in the family is coming with them, even the pets. Also, let them know all their treasures and possessions will be moved. Explain that the changes might be challenging but will be a lot of fun. That it’s easy to visit family and friends, they miss from time to time, and video calling and other communication are still available. Describe the new home, bedrooms and fun things to do in it. Share information like what neighbourhood their new school is in, if you are moving closer to family and friends, and describe the home, schools, or the new city or country.
If your children are older, include even more details about the move, such as:
- The new address
- The name of their new school
- The neighbourhood
- The name of your and/or your spouse’s workplaces
Visit The New Home
It might not be possible to visit the new home, but seeing the city or town where you will be living in is a good idea. You can visit the new school and try fun activities to do in the area. When your kids can visualize a new life with you, it will take a lot of stress out of the move. Consider a mini vacation to the new city or country and keep things light and fun. Choose some activities that the kids will enjoy, like different parks, restaurants, and playgrounds. Finding places your kids will like in the new area will make them feel more comfortable.
Plan Fun Things
Before you move, plan to see close friends and family—this allows you to say “see you soon” instead of goodbye. Plan another time in the future when you have already moved to visit family and friends, so there is something to look forward to. When children anticipate seeing friends again, it will comfort them that time isn’t far away. Once moved in, plan for some fun things to do, such as allowing the child to pick a new toy or maybe get that new pet they have been thinking about for a while. A teen might enjoy a shopping trip to the mall in the new area.
Involve Kids in the Move
Involve the kids in the move, bring them to the homes you look at, and ask their opinions on the house and area it is in if they are old enough. Take their thoughts and desires into consideration. Let them pick their bedrooms in the home and help with decorating them. Creativity is a great way to boost their mood and get them excited to be in the new house. Before moving day, let your children help pack boxes. Helping pack their things will help make the move feel real and allow them to feel like they are a part of the process—hopefully making the transition easier.
Keep Their Favourite Items Unpacked
Comfort items like favourite toys, blankets or stuffed animals should be left unpacked. These items are essential to little ones and should be at hand to soothe them during stressful points of the move. The last thing you want is the comfort items to be packed away, and there is a melt down the day of the move.
On moving day be flexible, and make the day as fun and stress-free as possible for your children. Spoil them with their favourite treats and a fun supper, like pizza. Don’t worry about this “special” day building bad habits. It’s a one-off day that won’t happen often. Toddlers can be especially challenging during moving days with all the uncertainty and strangers in their home. Let them play games or watch extra cartoons on a tablet to distract them from the things happening.
Find a Sitter on Moving Day
Having children out from underfoot during moving is crucial. Moving requires lifting heavy objects and boxes—often, large tools and machines are involved in the move, and it can be unsafe for children to be present. The best option on moving day, and even the days leading up to it, is to let them stay with a friend, have the grandparents take them for a sleepover or hire a sitter to be with your children. Doing this will help you and/or the movers do their job uninterrupted and give your kids a fun, joyous day!
Not only is it best to stay positive for your mental health, but for your kids as well. Situations can be stressful while moving, and it’s essential to keep your cool. Make this a positive family adventure, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Consider a few of these ideas about how to make your move less stressful with kids, and remember to let them be involved in every step of the process and keep them informed at all times.
Here is a small list of home renovations that would be nice to complete before moving into your new home. These things will disrupt your life the most if completed while living in your house. If you can, plan to renovate these areas before you move in to maximize the enjoyment of your new place.
Paint the Walls
The best part about purchasing a home is being able to make it your own and getting a fresh start. A coat of paint will infuse your personality into the space, and what’s better than painting without the obstacles of furniture? It is also ideal to avoid dreaded paint fumes and let the house air out before moving in. Painting rooms beforehand will allow you to live in your new home without the added stress of trying to move in and paint simultaneously.
Floor Refinishing or Changing the Floors
Chances are, if you are moving into a house, the floors will be in good condition, but what if they are dated or damaged? Replacing dated floors or refinishing existing ones before moving in is an excellent idea–this will help avoid damaging the new finish on the flooring and dust from removing carpets and installing new ones. You can attempt a project like this yourself, but allow extra time for errors and materials shipping. Involve professionals if you are uncomfortable tackling the floors and if your budget allows. Always make sure to have a solid plan in place before starting. Decide on the style and material of flooring you want and budget for extra costs.
Renovate the Kitchen
When purchasing a new house, it might be dated and not perfect. If you love the location and style of the house, but the only issue is the dated kitchen, it might be worth renovating it before moving in. Living in a construction zone and being unable to prepare meals for the first months in your home is not ideal. Before you get started, make a list minor to more significant updates you want to make to the kitchen, then decide on how much time it will take to finish them. Don’t forget to allow ample time to clean up the mess from construction before you move in.
Renovate the Bathroom
Similar to the inconveniences of not having a kitchen is not having a bathroom. It is probably the most troublesome renovation in your home, primarily if only one bathroom exists. If there are any problems with the bathroom in the house you are moving into or you want to renovate it, the best time would be before you move in. Like the kitchen renovations, make a list of larger and smaller projects, the amount of time each will take to complete, and plan accordingly. Hiring contractors can make this job smoother and stress-free than trying to renovate it yourself.
Renovate the Bedroom
The main bedroom should be a place of rest and relaxation. A few updates before moving in could make your bedroom the ultimate escape. Whether it is a few minor cosmetic updates or a complete overhaul, make it a priority to finish before moving in. Not having a designated bedroom is another room in the house that can be inconvenient if not move-in ready (not exactly sure how this sentence is supposed to read?, lol). Hiring professionals for this project will also be beneficial to finish it on time. If you choose to renovate yourself, account for setbacks and multiple trips to the decorating and hardware stores.
Installing a Furnace or Air Conditioner
There’s nothing worse than faulty equipment regarding heating and cooling. After getting your home inspected and if the furnace is older, think about replacing it before you move in. The same can be said for air conditioning. Decide if you want it installed before moving in. Installing or updating these will alleviate the headache of living in a construction zone and the loud noises that accompany it. Plus, you could negotiate a lower selling price by getting the old homeowners to include these as-needed upgrades. Or take more out for the mortgage through the bank.
Here are just a few things to think about renovating before moving into your new home. Renovations will give your home a refresher and infuse it with your style. Finishing specific renovations or home repairs before you move in will allow you to settle into your new home and enjoy it from the start.
If you need help finding the perfect home, contact your local REALTOR® today!