Moving house is hard enough on its own without having to worry about dealing with kids and juggling everything at the same time. Here’s your survival guide!
Keeping their routine as normal as possible during the inevitable transition period is essential, but it is possible to do without blood and tears. Here are some helpful tips that will come in handy if you are planning to move house anytime soon – with kids in tow!
1.Before the move
- Children need time to get used to the idea of moving house, so tell them about the move as early as possible. Show them the new house and start planning how to decorate their room (what colour will the walls be, where will the bed go, etc.)
- Re-assure your child that even though they are moving away, they will still be able to see their current friends and neighbours. Organise a ‘see you later’ party before moving and have them exchange phone numbers and your new address, so that their friends can visit them at the new house.
- Use this opportunity to de-clutter! Donate anything that you haven’t used in at least six months. It’s a simple win-win situation and it’ll make packing so much easier.
- Don’t be superwoman. Doesn’t matter where your new house is, engage professional packers and movers to help you. Save your energy and time for handling the kids!
- Depending on how old your children are, get them involved with packing up their favourite. For little kids, at the very least, let them decorate the packing boxes containing their items, so that they’re excited about unpacking later.
- Pack so that things you need immediately are accessible easily – the rest, you can unpack slowly as you settle in.
2.During the move
- Ideally, keep everyone’s daily routine the same on the day of the move. Plan your move exactly when the kids are in day care or school, so that there are no disruptions. If you need to, hire a babysitter for little kids at home, so you can supervise the move knowing the kids are safe.
- If someone offers help, accept it! You can’t do everything on your own, so don’t be afraid to ask for some help when you need it. Get a friend to stock up the fridge with essentials, get someone else to bring over dinner.
- If you have the children with you, stay calm and smile, otherwise they might pick up on your anxiety. Make moving day a fun and exciting family adventure.
- Get the kids rooms set up as a priority and get them involved in decorating it and settling in. Have them unpack their box of toys. If the kids are happy, your life will be that much easier!
- At the very minimum, have fresh sheets and mattresses ready so that bedtime is fun.
- If you do need to have your old place cleaned, consider hiring a professional cleaner to do it. You can set up a new house, look after the kids and clean up your old home all at the same time!
3.First night in the new house
- Make the first night in the new house as special as possible. Let the kids decide what they want for dinner (yes, junk food is allowed) and then have it picnic style on a sheet on the floor.
- Expect kids to regress a little from their normal behaviour. For example, you may need to use a nightlight in the new house until they are comfortable in their new room, or play music to hide out unusual noises at night.
- Make bedtime special by spending longer at bedtime and reading them their favourite book.
- Unpack what you can after the kids are in bed, but remember, you need to get some rest too! The unpacking can wait until they are in school tomorrow.
Written for Parents World by Priyanka Elhence. Priyanka is a busy mom of 9 yr old twin boys. She writes on anything from lifestyle and dining to parenting and celebrity profiles.