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Whether you’re upsizing or downsizing, renting or buying, moving can be incredibly stressful for anyone, at any age or life stage. Working against the clock to pack your life into boxes, clear out your old space and create order and get settled into a new home isn’t easy. But the task of moving is far more anxiety inducing when you have to worry about your children on moving day, especially if they’re still young.
Children’s needs don’t change just because you’re moving! Meeting those needs while moving can be dizzying if you don’t have a sound plan in place. The good news is that with the right plan in place, moving with children can go smoothly, with minimal stress.
The All Jersey Moving & Storage team has helped 1000s of families with children move to their new homes. In part 1 of this article series, “How to Survive a Move with Kids or While Expecting”, we offer you insider tips we’ve learned in our years of experience moving that will help you and your kids have a successful move:
Warm Your Child Up to the Idea of Moving. Whether you’re moving a few blocks away or to another city or state, moving can be challenging for kids. Change is hard for children of all ages. This is true especially for children who are being moved out of their familiar neighborhood near friends and family to a new city or state. Taking steps well in advance to help prepare them can make the transition easier for everyone.
Once you’ve set a moving date, sit down to have a “family meeting” with your kids and let them know you will be moving to a new home. Share the news -with an upbeat, positive attitude because excitement can be contagious. Be sure to explain the reason for your move, whether it’s for a new job, to be closer to family, or to be closer to a better school. At the same time, be prepared to listen to and address your child’s concerns patiently and empathetically. Encourage your child to ask questions and share their feelings about the move. Remember that this news may be painful or worrisome and will take time for your child to digest and adjust.
There are things you can to help your child get comfortable with the idea of moving. Taking your child to visit your new home in advance can alleviate a lot of anxiety. If that’s not possible, show them pictures. Show them where they’ll be sleeping, play areas and outdoor spaces. Try to and visit the neighborhood where you’ll be moving. Stopping at local parks and bike paths, driving by or touring new schools, and patronizing local restaurants, shops and movie theaters can make the move easier for children of all ages. Try to involve your child in the decision-making process regardless of their age. Let them choose the paint color for their new room or choose a piece of wall art or new bedding so they can feel like it’s a space they’re excited and proud to call their own.
Don’t Leave Packing Until the Last Minute! To reduce the stress of moving, it’s always important to start packing early. But doing so is all the more important if you’re moving with children. When you have children who require your attention and care (whether it’s diaper changing, homework help, carpooling duties or simply keeping everyone clean and fed!), you don’t have the luxury of leaving packing until the week before your move. Your packing capabilities will be limited, whether you’re packing with interruptions on weeknights or weekends, or you’re only able to pack in the evenings once the kids are already sleeping.
All Jersey Moving & Storage recommends that families start packing early, at least a month ahead of your move if not sooner. Think about how many years it took you to accumulate all your belongings. It should be no surprise it will take time to sort through and pack them all. Give yourself time to get rid of, sell or donate possessions you no longer want or need, as well as time to organize the belongings and furniture you will be taking with you to your new home.
If your children are old enough, try to involve them in the packing process. Moving is a great opportunity to have your child try on clothing and get rid of what they have outgrown or no longer like to wear. It’s also a great time to get rid of toys or games that have lost their interest. Let them sort through their stuff and decide what they do and don’t want to bring along. Although getting rid of unwanted clothing and toys can be freeing, make sure not to force children to part with objects that hold sentimental value (which can be stressful, especially for a child who is struggling with the move).
If the idea of sorting and packing the contents of your home is too overwhelming, or you simply don’t have the time, consider hiring professional movers to help. All Jersey Moving & Storage offers partial and complete packing & unpacking services to help make moving less taxing for families as well as busy professionals and seniors. The financial investment may be well worth the peace of mind you’ll have.
Have a Plan for the Days Leading Up to Moving Day. One of the most important things you can do to make moving with children successful besides packing in advance is to adequately prepare not only for moving day, but the days leading up to it. Think carefully about what will be required of you the week before moving day and how hectic and tiresome these days will be. What will your kids wear, eat and play with on the hectic days leading up to moving day? It’s important that you set aside clothing, toys and any technology they will need, as well as plan a simple menu for the week leading up to moving day (even if it’s a take-out rotation mixed with dry-cereal and fresh fruit). Take advantage of any support you can get from friends, family and neighbors, whether that means out of the house play dates, a home cooked meal or assistance with last minute packing. The better you plan, the calmer you will feel and the easier it will be for your kids.
Hire Movers You Can Trust. One of the best things you can do to alleviate stress on moving day is to hire experienced, reliable movers. The last thing you want to deal with on moving day – especially when you’re moving with kids – is movers who don’t show up, haggle over price upon arrival, arrive late, damage possessions or your home itself, or don’t seem experienced or organized. Moving is infinitely less stressful when you know your furniture and belongings are in the hands of experienced professionals. All Jersey Moving & Storage has spent decades helping families move locally and long distance, and has developed a reputation as one of New Jersey’s most trust moving companies.
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Surviving Moving Day with Children. On moving day, you’ll need to be available to direct your movers (as well as pack up any last-minute essential items). That means you won’t be able to attend to your children’s needs as you usually do. Whether or not you need to arrange at home or ideally out of the home child care will depend on your child’s age. Hiring a babysitter or having a friend or family member care for your child for the day (or at least a portion of it) is strongly recommended, especially if you have small children. If that’s not an option, be sure to leave out toys and crafts to keep your child occupied and set aside a safe space for them to play. Load up an iPad or phone with videos your child can watch or games they can play (today is not the day to be worried about limiting screen time). Think about what your child will want to eat on moving day, and plan accordingly. While you don’t want to be left with a fridge full of fresh food, you will want to ensure snacks, fruit and drinks are available (while take out is a great option for lunch or supper, expect snack requests throughout the day).
Keeping these moving tips in mind will help make moving day easier for you and your kids.
After the move, you will likely feel peace of mind and a sense of accomplishment and relief that you and your family managed to survive moving day! But the prospect of having to unpack a mountain of boxes and get situated in your new home can also be daunting, especially when you are looking after littles ones. Here are some tips to help you and your children adjust to your new home:
If you have the resources, consider investing in unpacking services to expedite the process.
All Jersey Moving and Storage is here to take care of all your family’s moving needs from start to finish. While packing up an entire home and relocating your family might seem overwhelming, partnering with the right moving company can make that process much more manageable. As New Jersey’s top movers and as the recipients of numerous awards in the moving industry, All Jersey Moving & Storage is a company 1000s of families in New Jersey have turned to for reliable, professional moving assistance. Contact us today for an obligation-free moving estimate.
Also, stay tuned for part two of this article series, where you’ll learn tips for surviving a residential move if you’re expecting a child!