Moving With Children
Moving to a New Home Should be an Exciting Time for the Whole Family
Few things make a household move more interesting than when it involves children. We’ve touched on this topic in the past and had some great responses from our customers. We thought it best to provide some additional details to make sure your next family relocation goes smooth and even fun for the little ones.
1. Get Them Involved
Children sometimes feel removed from big family decisions. Moving can be a big transition in their lives and they need to feel like they’re part of the process, even if they had no say in the decision to move in the first place. Let them know from the get-go that you value their input/help, even if it’s the smallest thing, such as finding boxes for the move from the local grocery store. Try not to make it a chore, make it seem as if you would be lost without their efforts, that you need them.
2. Planes, Trains, Automobiles, & Other Toys
One of the biggest challenges in moving with children is dealing with their collection of toys, books, and closet full of items that they’ve outgrown yet still have attachments to. You could cut their packing needs in half if only you could convince them to cut their “take with” possessions in half. This may sound like a tough task but by appealing to their altruistic nature you can easily convince your kids to donate their old toys, books, and clothes to charitable foundations. That way they’re giving up their goods AND feel great about it in the process.
3. Make them Decision Makers Too
In line with our assertion that children need to feel involved in the process, they should be allowed to also make decisions that impact their own personal space. Ask them what color they would like to paint their new room and if there are any reasonable minor adjustments they would like to make to it. We’re not suggesting building a walk-in closet for your pre-teen diva, but perhaps they would like blinds instead of curtains or a different ceiling light fixture in their room. Allowing them to make decisions about their personal space will go a long way in getting them excited about the move.
4. Make the Clean-Up Fun
You know those clean-up montage scenes common to 1980’s movies? The ones where the new owners enter a disaster area of a home or business with a frown and a sigh, only to be get ignited by inspirational pop music, grab a mop, throw on some gloves and go to work? While you may not have the benefit of living in fast-motion camera time, you can make the clean-up process fun for you and the kids. Play games and see who can get their assigned room packed up and cleaned first (accompanied by reward of course). Have impromptu water fights in the front yard when cleaning the exterior. Whether cleaning the old home in preparation for the new tenants/owners or moving into your own fixer-upper, the cleaning process need not feel like a chore for the children.
5. When in Doubt – Bribe
Whether it’s pizza & pop on moving day, or a new puppy for the new home, sometimes the old stand-by – bribery – can go a long way. While this may not be the most noble of methods, we have yet to see a parent who hasn’t used this very effective tactic. Warning – use sparingly, it may set a precedent (yikes!).
We hope this article was helpful. It’s taken years worth of first hand research to figure this one out (as much as anyone can). Please enjoy these other popular Moving Tips from Great Canadian Van Lines.