We all want the best life possible for our children, and sometimes that can mean a move to a new home. Moving to a new home can be an exciting yet challenging experience for the entire family, especially for parents who are tasked with coordinating the logistics and ensuring a smooth transition for their kids. Whether it’s a local move or a cross-country relocation, careful planning and thoughtful consideration can make the process more manageable. Here are some essential tips for parents to help reduce stress and make moving home a positive experience for the entire family.
Do your research
Whether renting or buying, it’s incredibly important to thoroughly research costs of homes in your area. If you’ll be getting a mortgage, make sure that you understand the fees, interest rates and terms and conditions before signing any agreements. If renting, research average rental prices in the neighbourhood and consider additional expenses such as utilities, parking, and maintenance costs.
Learn about the neighbourhood
Research your new neighbourhood before making the move. If you have a remote job and freedom to move further, consider cities deemed as great for family living. We found this list from Compare the Market showing the best cities to raise a family in around the world. Once you’ve found an area that suits your needs, research schools, local parks, and recreational facilities that are close-by. By having a good understanding of your new area, you can better prepare your children for the transition and find activities that they will enjoy.
Create a moving timeline
A timeline can be incredibly helpful for making sure everything that needs to get done is done at the time it needs to be done by. Remembering all that needs to be done can be tricky, especially when there are small children involved. Develop a detailed moving timeline that includes key milestones such as packing, hiring movers, and notifying schools. Having a clear schedule will help you stay organised and reduce last-minute stress.
It’s always a good idea to have honest talks with kids, but keeping an open line of communication with your children throughout the moving process is particularly important. This allows them to feel like they can raise any concerns they may have, within a supportive and understanding environment. Explain the reasons behind the move so they know why the change is happening. Encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings to foster a sense of involvement in the decision-making process. This will help them feel more in control and make the transition smoother for them.
Explore the new neighbourhood
Take your kids to visit the new neighbourhood before making the move so they can get a feel for the area they’ll be living in. Visit local parks, schools, and other amenities to help them acclimate to their new surroundings. This can also help them feel a sense of familiarity and comfort when they finally move in. Encourage your children to ask questions and express their opinions about the new area, as this can open up dialogue. You want to make them feel excited about the move and new possibilities.
Declutter and organise
Let’s face it, we can end up with a lot of things we don’t really need… especially when we have kids’ items in the mix too. Moving is the perfect time to do a declutter. Before packing, take the opportunity to minimise belongings. Encourage your children to participate in this process by letting them decide which items to keep, donate, or discard. This not only streamlines the move but also teaches valuable lessons about simplifying and letting go.
Involve your children in the process
Moving can be overwhelming for kids as it means leaving behind friends, familiar surroundings and sometimes even their school. To help ease the transition, involve your children in the moving process from the beginning. Let them pack their own belongings. This not only eases the workload but also helps children feel a sense of control over their possessions. Also, give them a say in choosing their new room in the house.
Talk with other parents
Moving with kids is a common experience, and chances are some of your friends and acquaintances have gone through it. Talk to them about their experiences and ask for advice on how they made the move less stressful for their children. They may also be able to recommend kid-friendly neighbourhoods or good schools in the area. Building a support system of other parents can also help your children make new friends in the new area.
Pack a “moving day” kit
Prepare a kit with essential items for the moving day, including snacks, toiletries, a change of clothes, important documents, medication, and any favourite toys or comfort items for your children. Having these items readily available can make the first day in the new home more comfortable for everyone. It’s also a good idea to pack a separate box with items that your children will need immediate access to, such as bedding and toys, so they can start to feel at home in their new room.
Coordinate school transitions
Those with school-aged children should coordinate with their current and future schools to ensure a smooth transition. Transfer academic records and arrange a tour of the school so your children can get familiar with their new environment. If possible, introduce your children to their new teachers and classmates before the official start date. Try to plan the move during a school break to minimise disruption to your child’s education.
Celebrate the move
Turn the moving process into an exciting, positive experience by celebrating milestones. Have a farewell party with friends, take photos to capture memories, and create a sense of excitement about the new chapter in your family’s life. Try not to stress about the kids settling in to the new place too much. According to a study by Zoopla, 77% of children asked preferred their new home once they had moved in.
Moving can be stressful for parents, too. Ensure you prioritise self-care by getting enough rest, maintaining healthy eating habits, and taking breaks when needed. This will help you manage your own emotions and be there for your children during the move. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from family and friends, or even hire professional movers if needed. A well-supported parent can better support their children through the moving process.
Moving homes with children requires careful planning, open communication, and a positive attitude. By involving your children in the process, maintaining a supportive environment, and focusing on the exciting aspects of the new property, you can help your family navigate the move successfully. The transition to a new home can be an opportunity for growth, bonding, and a whole new space for making memories.