Your Survival Guide to Moving with Kids
Whether you’re moving to a new home or condo, upsizing or downsizing, moving can be incredibly stressful. The very idea of packing up your life into boxes by a set deadline and having to re-settle in a new space can be nerve-wracking, even if you’re the type of personal who is organized and well-prepared.
But there a few things more anxiety inducing than trying to juggle all the responsibilities that come with moving when you have children, especially if they’re young. Children’s needs don’t change just because you’re moving, which means you have to find a way to keep them happy and safe while literally packing up your life! This is not easy feat. The good news is that with the right strategy and lots of planning, you can still have a smooth, successful and even minimally stressful move!
As experienced New Jersey movers at All Jersey Moving & Storage, we have helped countless families with children execute safe, successful moves. Here are some helpful moving tips to keep you and your kids happy on moving day:
Surviving Moving Day Madness.
Little hands and feet pose big risks and add unnecessary stress on moving day. If you have young children, sending them to friends, family or neighbors for the day will make your move much easier – and safer! If that isn’t an option, consider hiring a babysitter or mother’s helper whose sole responsibility on moving day will be to keep your children fed, entertained, and safe. If you are moving during the summer months, this is a great time to take advantage of local parks, movie theatres and even the backyard. If you have older children, try to arrange for them to get together with friends out of the house on moving day.
The number one factor that will guarantee a safe, successful and efficient move when children are involved is advance planning. Before moving day when you are packing up your children’s clothing and belongings, be sure to leave out enough clothing and toys to keep them occupied as moving day approaches and on moving day itself.
Also, as you clear your fridge in preparation for the move, think about what food and drink you will need to have on stock so your kids won’t be hungry during moving week or on moving day. Moving week is a great time to enjoy the hospitality of good friends, keep it simple at home with cereal and sandwiches, and – if budget permits - take advantage of local restaurants with tasty takeout.
Preparing Your Kids for the Big Move.
It doesn't make a difference if you're moving to another state or around the corner, kids normally aren't happy that they have to move. When you move, keep in mind that you're changing your child's physical and social environment. And change can be tough, for little and big kids alike. This is especially true if you are moving out of your neighborhood or state, away from the comfort and familiarity of friends and family. The good news is that there are things that you can do to make the transition easier for your children -- and you in the process!
One thing you should do as soon as you’ve decided you’re moving and have a date set is to have a family meeting. As you know, kids can be sensitive. Pick a day for a family meeting to casually speak to your kids and let them know you'll be moving to a new home. Be sure to have an upbeat, positive attitude. If you're excited about the move, your kids are more likely to be.
Tell your children why you're moving. Will you be closer to family? Did mom or dad get a new job or promotion? Whatever the case may be, be sure to express your excitement about moving day. At the same time, encourage your children to ask questions and share their feelings about the move.
Remember change is difficult for kids, so the more time you give them to adjust to the idea of moving to new home, neighborhood or state, the better. In addition to encouraging your children to ask questions and talk of about the move as much as they want or need to, take them to visit your new home if you can. If this isn’t an option, take pictures. Show them around, especially where they'll be sleeping.
If you're kids are young, start familiarizing them with the "lay of the land" in advance. If they're older, tell them about exciting things in your new neighborhood that they'll be able to do – skate parks, biking paths, movie theatres, etc. One way to help older kids adjust is to make them part of the decision-making process. Consider letting them choose the paint color for their new room so that they can make it a space they want to call their own.
Start Packing Early!
Before a professional moving company can help execute your move, you need to pack, pack, pack! This is especially true when you have children. Young children require constant care and attention. Older children often need help with homework and require transportation to after school activities. If you have children, your packing hours will therefore be limited. That’s why it is absolutely critical that you start packing early, at least a month ahead of your move if not sooner. It takes decades to accumulate your belongings, so don’t underestimate how long it will take to sort through and pack them all. Leave yourself plenty of time to sort and pack the things you want to keep; put items you don’t have room for into storage; and sell or donate things you no longer.
Involve Your Kids in the Packing Process.
Another way to help your kids feel empowered during the moving process is to encourage them to help with packing. Children are always growing and their interests are constantly changing and evolving. That means that they've probably accumulated a lot of "stuff' --- clothing, toys, etc. --- that they don't want to bring along. Leaving behind the clutter and starting fresh is one of the greatest things about moving. If you have younger kids, try your best to make them part of the sorting and packing processes. While encouraging them to choose to donate clothing that doesn't fit or toys they no longer use, make sure that they know they can keep things that hold important memories.
Moving with Pets.
Like moving with children, moving with pets presents many challenges. Although professional movers will take care of your moving needs on moving day, it’s a busy and action-filled time. You likely won’t have the head-space to give your pet the care and attention they need. They may also be spooked or agitated by all the unfamiliar faces and unusual activity. Consider boarding your pet for the day. Boarding your pet will simplify your move whatever the season! Alternatively, ask a friend to pet sit so you can focus on other aspects of the move.
Here are 3 other tips to keep in mind if you’re moving with a pet:
- When you’re packing, be sure to leave out all the supplies you’ll need for the week prior to your move as well as moving day. Make sure you have access to sufficient dog food or kitty litter, toys and grooming tools to keep them comfortable.
- Remember to contact your vet if you’re moving to a new area. Be sure to take records and any prescription medications you need with you. Ask your vet if they can recommend another vet in your new neighborhood.
- As much as possible, try to keep your pet away from the action while packing and unpacking as well as on moving day. If you don’t want to or aren’t able to leave your pet with a friend or a kennel on moving day, help reduce their stress by keeping them in the quietest area possible. Leave out food and water for your pet and set yourself reminders to check on your pet and let him/her out. It can be easy to forget in the midst of the action of moving day.
Make Moving Fun!
Because moving can be so stress for children, try to make the experience as positive and exciting as possible. Create simple maps of your route. Build a Lego house and buy some characters representing your kids so they feel they have some control over the move. Put some inexpensive surprises in their new cupboards. Bury a treasure chest of chocolate coins in a flower bed. You know your kids best – think of a special way to make the move exciting! And don’t forget the adults – some bubble bath or a celebratory bottle of wine for the first night at your new home builds good memories for you too.
Stay Sane and Remember to Breathe!
Even when you’re well prepared, moving and all the preparations it entails can take its toll. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, make sure to take some time to re-boot, whether that means going for ice cream with the kids, treating yourself to a badly needed massage or just making sure to get enough sleep. When you're well-rested and more relaxed, you'll be better equipped to handle the moving process. Of course, using professional movers like All Jersey Moving and Storage makes the moving experience a lot less stressful.
The Best Choice Movers for Busy Families: All Jersey Moving & Storage
Keeping these moving tips in mind will help make moving day more pleasurable for you and your kids. Don't forget that the best decision you can make is to invest in New Jersey's preferred moving and storage company to do the job right. Visit All Jersey Moving & Storage for more information about:
- Residential moving
- Commercial moving
- Long-distance moving
- Piano moving
- Packing and Unpacking
- Self-Containerized Storage
If your family needs to move, don’t fret. The experience may be a challenge – but it definitely doesn’t have to be a nightmare. With advanced planning and an experienced, reputable moving company in your corner, you will survive your mom intact.
All Jersey Moving & Storage has helped 1000s of families move to their new homes, whether they are moving to a new neighborhood, city, state or even across the country. We understand the added challenges and stresses of moving with children. That’s why we always do our best to provide families with the moving tips and tricks we’ve learned from decades of experience to make the move as stress-free and seamless as possible. Our movers are with you every step of the way and do everything they can to make settling into your new home easier and more enjoyable.
If you want or need to schedule a move before the end of the summer, we will do our best to accommodate your needs and date preferences.
Stay tuned for Your Survival Guide to Moving with Kids - Part 2, where we’ll share the best time of year for family moves.