So they are used to the surroundings, they have friends in the neighborhood and they like the routine. Not to mention they may be moving school, town or even to a new country. So how do you make the process of moving house less of an upheaval for the children? Well here is our guide to making it a smoother process for them.
Get the children involved from the start
Give them control over their things. Let them sort and pack their toys, encourage them to de-clutter and get them excited about how they will be able to arrange the toys in their new bedroom.
It’s a stressful time and you want the kids to be occupied whenever you can so keep aside a small box of toys that they can play with whilst things are going on around them. Make sure their toys are accessible on the removal van – perhaps packed last to make them the first thing off.
Let them choose their bedroom. You can do this quite early on the process if they have seen the house but if not they can do it from the pictures online. Of course make sure you get first dibs on the master bedroom!
Encourage them to draw pictures of how they want their new room and let plan how they want it decorated. Butterflies on the wall or a football carpet – let them be imaginative (within reason).
Visit the new area first if you can – let them visit the local park, shops and school and get a picture of it themselves.
It is bound to be unsettling for the children so let them say goodbye. Take photos of their bedrooms, the garden etc. Make sure they swap contact details with their friends so that they can stay in touch and perhaps organise a little party to let them say goodbye if you are moving out of the area.
When it comes to move day
If possible arrange for the children to spend time with family and friends to avoid the stress of all the hustle and bustle and comings and going of removal men and helpers.
Try and get the kids rooms straight first. It may be quite daunting for them to sleep in a room without curtains that is stacked high with boxes so make this the priority. They need to feel safe in their own beds. The first night will be the strangest for them.
Don’t be too busy to acknowledge that it’s strange for them. Leave the unpacking and spend time watching a DVD and having a pizza maybe. Make it a family night. The packing can wait.
Life in your new home
It may take time for the children to get used to the new house and their new surroundings. They may be going to a new school and they will be unsure about going out to play or calling for a friend. Talk to them about it and explain that it’s natural to be anxious or nervous. Keep their routines the same as before – same meal times, same bed time etc.
Help them to make new friends. See if there are any local community groups perhaps Brownies or Scouts, maybe local toddler groups or pre-schools. It is a great way for you to meet new people as well.
Overall don’t worry. Try and enjoy the new experiences together. New adventures, new places to explore, new amazing friends that you haven’t met yet. This is only the beginning.