Tips for Moving with Small Children

Moving house can be particularly stressful for the adults in the equation, so it needs to be acknowledged that our kids will feel that same stress, coupled with the confusion they will feel of waking up somewhere new the very next day.

Recently having become a mother myself, I began looking around my property thinking this really isn’t a child friendly home. I know one day the time will come that we will need to pack up our belongings and relocate somewhere new. When that time does come around what I’m hoping for is a transition that is simple, safe, and stress free. Having said that, I cannot guarantee that will all go 100% to plan but having a plan none the less will ease my mind that little bit and give me some strategies to move forward with confidence.

Moving house can be particularly stressful for the adults in the equation, so it needs to be acknowledged that our kids will feel that same stress, coupled with the confusion they will feel of waking up somewhere new the very next day.

In the lead up to the big move there are a few things that you can do to make this transition a little smoother.

  1. Start the discussions early on with kids about the move – this is a time to be gentle with them and approach the move in a way that will excite them. If you are moving locally, take a drive and show them where the new house will be, the local parks and any places you think you would frequent with your children. If you are moving interstate, show them pictures of the new house and get them to pick their bedroom based on the images they see, again use online images as an opportunity to familiarise yourself and them with some local landmarks and encourage excitement. Using phrases such as “Can you believe how cool our new home is going to be!” or “You’re going to have so much fun playing on that playground!” will get them thinking about the benefits at the end of the move.
  1. Being as organised as possible is key in the lead up to moving day. Having enough time to go through your belongings room by room and evaluating what needs to go and what needs to follow you to your new home will eliminate some last-minute stresses. Taking some time to sell or donate and throw out any items that won’t be making the shift with you. Trust me, the pre-move declutter can also save you dollars on the removal itself as you may cut down the removalists time and truck space, allowing for back loading on the truck.
  1. Keep the kid’s rooms set up as they are for as long as possible by packing them up last and feel free to encourage them to join you in the packing process. Get them involved in picking out their favourite toys to bring with them, let them help wrap them up and put them in the box. Allow them to bring some toys along in the car for moving day if they’d like to. This can also be a good time to sort through and donate some clothes that are no longer worn and toys that are no longer played with, anything broken or damaged can be tossed… Remember the rule – if you wouldn’t lend it to a friend, toss it.

Moving day has finally arrived and you are now moving co-ordinator as well as parent. However, if you’re only moving within your local area, it can be extremely helpful to move on a day the kids are at day care or enlist the help of a baby sitter or family member to watch the littlies. Their safety is extremely important and you don’t want them running around the feet of the removalists or the truck. Upon pick up, you can use this opportunity to get them excited about seeing their new home for the first time.

If access to external help on moving day is not an option then here are a few things to consider:

  1. Snacks and lots of them! Can anyone relate to hearing the words “I’m hungry” coming from their children’s mouth. Often it happens at the most inconvenient of times but by keeping plenty of snacks at the ready for your kids to munch on this will help occupy them for a little while so you can focus on making sure all your items are packed and out the door.
  1. Entertainment - I have always said I don’t want my kids to drain their eyeballs in front of an iPad for hours, but desperate times calls for desperate measures. Nursery Rhymes, games, songs, cartoons – anything that YouTube has to offer that will keep the kids still for a while is ok by me.
  1. Keep aside some spare boxes or bubble wrap, these items always seem to hold kids’ attention and they can often make fun games out of them.
  1. Give them little jobs to do as well, they want to help and want to be involved. This will make them feel important and help them embrace the move if they may have been hesitant at all. Don’t forget to praise your little helpers on a job well done either.

Moving house with young kids can seem daunting to start with however if you plan ahead and keep things light hearted with your children and assure them before, during and after that their new home is going to be a great space for not only them but the family as a unit. In no time at all this new house will become the home it’s meant to be.

Written by Bec Wimsett from B Free Home Lifestyle Management

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