When it comes to moving home, adults, for the most part, are on board and understand the ins and outs of the process. However, it’s a completely different experience for children who have little to no input in the decisions. This can make relocating more stressful and emotional, especially if this is their first move. Are there any tips or hacks to make this easier for long-suffering parents?
The best way to start is, to be honest about the upcoming relocation with your child or children. Wherever possible, involve them and include them in things like packing and decluttering. You can also organise a farewell party, but we’ll go into more detail on that later. Let’s begin this Move, Store & More blog with some stress-busting ideas for your upcoming move with a young family.
Moving with Small Children – How to Reduce Stress –
When discussing stress during big decisions such as moving, it manifests differently between children and adults. To be honest, it differs tremendously from one person to the next, but in general terms, there are common threads. While an adult might, on the surface, mask stress better, it tends to creep out eventually. For kids, you might notice them becoming more irritable, or they might lash out as you plan and get closer to the day of the relocation.
All relocations come with the admission that stress and frayed nerves are likely, so it’s worth looking at ways to take the sting out of heated situations. But it’s not always straightforward to know how to help the little ones when they begin showing signs. Luckily, the same methods translate across all moves, and preparation is the key factor in reducing stress and chaos.
Don’t exhaust yourself reading every article about this subject – pick one or two that make sense. Take care of the simple stuff, such as a moving checklist, and start the process early. Giving yourself plenty of time is the most effective way to mitigate stressful blowouts. Then follow some of the simple steps in this blog for reference. A lot of it will come down to being honest and involving your kids wherever possible.
Move, Store & More Tip #1 – Create a moving checklist and include every task.
Be Honest About Your Upcoming Relocation –
All relocations take time to organise, involving months of pre-planning to get to the point where things start getting real. You’ll typically ponder it for a while before getting anywhere near a decision. You can utilise this time to put some feelers out for reactions to see how a potential move might go down. This will help lead up to the unenviable big talk with the family.
Before you get to that stage, you’ll need to visit your potential new city, town, or village at least once, preferably a few times. An overnight visit will give you a better idea of what life will be like there. Plus, the kids can unwittingly start to find their favourite places. You can also double-check it’s a suitable area for young families and whether it becomes louder at night-time.
Now that you’ve been sneaky and smart, you’ll need to be honest with them about your intentions. You can dangle a few light questions about whether they like the location first. Eventually, you’ll need to tell them about the move and not spare any details. Let them know you want their input and help you organise. And if things don’t quite go to plan, try to avoid shutting down the conversation if they’re angry. If you notice anything that aligns with their interests, use that information.
Move, Store & More Tip #2 – Plan a visit to your new location.
Involve Them in the Move and Assign Some Tasks –
Since it’s a family relocation, please take advantage of the numbers to hoodwink them all in and assign duties. You’ll probably be a lead person, but that doesn’t mean doing it all yourself; otherwise, you’ll become exhausted. The busier you keep the little ones, the better, especially the grumpy faces in a huff with you. It might take a bit of bribery to swing them in your favour.
Start by working out what tasks are safe for them to tackle and asking them to give you a hand. It’s probably a good idea to evaluate this first to avoid arguments if they catch you off-guard by requesting to undertake something unsuitable, like packing away dad’s tools. It’ll be a bonus to connect them to the planning to feel like they have some control over the situation.
Why not start by getting them to plan the decoration of their new room? You can offer them rewards for their involvement by providing them with new wallpaper or bedding. Create a sense of ownership and excitement; even the headstrong ones might cave in and start to warm to the idea of relocating.
Move, Store & More Tip #3 – Assign tasks for every family member.
Try and Make the Relocation into an Adventure –
You’ll have to put your creative hat on now to make this preparation more fun and engaging. Why not turn it into an adventure to beat the relocation blues? All you need to do is think about the children’s favourite TV or film characters and work with some ideas from there. An example would be pretending to be pirates sailing off to find buried treasure, placing an X on a map of your new location.
When they complete a task, reward them with a sweet treat or promise of a nice meal that evening. It’s wise to avoid over-extending your pledges if you face stern opposition. You might regret if you up the ante too early and have no bargaining chips left because they’re already expecting a grand prize when they arrive. And save the bigger rewards for when you’re in the new home.
There are some smaller tips for adding some colour to the proceedings. Compile a playlist with their best-loved songs to accompany each packing and decluttering session. You’ll probably need to spread this over a longer period to help you balance out dips in mood or waning levels of participation. If you don’t, it’ll soon turn into a solo exercise for you.
Move, Store & More Tip #4 – Brainstorm ideas to add fun to the relocation.
Celebrate the Last Week and Have a Farewell Party –
Even if you manage to pull off each of the previous sections and the whole family is feeling positive about your move, the final stretch will take some emotional heavy lifting. The current house is where they grew up for some children, took their first steps, and learned to ride a bike. They’re also leaving behind best friends and neighbours they know and trust. This is going to take a lot of hugs and understanding to navigate.
Moving on requires catharsis, and a straightforward way to approach this is to have a leaving party. Invite your family, friends, and neighbours across for a final farewell a few days before the relocation. You’ll have plenty of time to clear up afterwards that way. It doesn’t need to be an expensive or elaborate event; a few snacks, some cake, music, and plenty of laughter are more than enough.
Then get everyone’s contact details so your kids can stay in touch with their friends. The phone calls and messages may eventually taper out, but this will be an invaluable way to help them transition from one location to the next. You can also invite family and friends to visit after you settle in and are ready to host guests for overnight stays. This is all about closure and being able to make positive last memories.
Move, Store & More Tip #5 – List ideas for a farewell party.
Back to Practical Considerations – Prepare Early –
One of the things most people don’t initially realise (but soon will) is that you might have to take on most of the planning and organising work. You can do your best to get everyone to participate, but the crucial aspects need someone to take the lead. This will place you under a significant amount of pressure and build up if you fail to do one thing – give yourself enough time.
No matter how you phrase it, stress, panic, and anxiety all increase if you’re running against the clock. And the main thing to remember is that it’s relatively straightforward to remedy. Start today and retain this mindset throughout your move. You’re probably reading this and shrugging your shoulders because you haven’t made any final decisions yet. Even people at this concept stage can take some form of action now.
You also need to be aware that something unexpected might occur, leaving you in a predicament, especially if you’re feeling unprepared. Try starting a moving checklist and seeing what tasks you might include. As the details become more apparent as your relocation takes shape, you can edit it. Not to mention something people often forget to factor in – family and work time.
Unless you’re the luckiest person on the planet, it’s unlikely you can take time off to concentrate on your move. Apart from the usual work duties and deadlines, we need to focus on family matters. To help your kids cope with this transition, you’ll need to give them your full attention whenever possible. Quality family and one-on-one time could be the crucial component of success.
Move, Store & More Tip #6 – Refer to the moving checklist and do a task today.
Research Local Council Information –
Most people associate their council with the dreaded municipal rates and issues with their bin collections. However, a lesser-known facet of your local council offices is their information. And this can be an invaluable resource for people when they move, especially for schools. If you know where you’re relocating, go online and find the relevant council for that area. The county might have several, so you’ll need to know the postcode for your new home or a rough idea of it.
You’ll find lists of all the local nurseries, preschools and schools with contact and website links. Councils also host community groups and events, including baby playgroups and school holiday camps. We can’t guarantee this, though – each municipality will offer different services, and their budgets will also factor in. The next section will discuss more in-depth advice on schools and related information.
Another convenient source of knowledge is the transport system. Most of the bus and train providers will have associations with the council. This makes it straightforward to access things like timetables, prices, and ways to make payments in one place. You can also read up and inquire about concessions that might be available, in addition to discounts for weekly, monthly, or season tickets.
List all Schools and Preschools – Arrange Meetings –
We’re changing things here and providing you with a step-by-step guide for finding a preschool or school in your new city, town, or village. The latter might be trickier to find online information, so refer to the previous section and discover the closest council offices:
- Use your new location’s postcode – click here for assistance
- Council – find out which office represents that area here
- School and preschools – go through their website and find the relevant pages
- Save the website and contact details
- Ofsted – click here to check their scores
- Check Google Reviews and Trustpilot – in the event a nursery or preschool isn’t listed on Ofsted
- Email and/or phone – discuss your upcoming move, arrange a meeting for applications
You might need to add a relevant point to your situation, but this list of topics should push you in the right direction. Also, send any queries to the local council to see if they can assist. The more proactive ones might also refer you to other vital resources for new residents, including registering for council tax.
Move Store & More: Giving Parents Savvy Tips when Moving Home –
That’s it for another article from Move, Store & More. There’s no such thing as an easy relocation, but it becomes infinitely more challenging when you have a young family in the balance. We hope you find some helpful tips and tricks in this article to soften the blow.
Our mission is to dig through the knowledge out there and report what we discover. Then, we’ll read it, compare it, compile, and assess everything before deciding which bits work best. It’s about balancing this online advice with our professional and personal experiences.
Moving to a new home is never easy when it involves children. You have our sympathy, but we’re also here to assist wherever we can. If there’s anything you’d like to discuss directly with us, feel free to contact us, and we’ll get back to you asap.
We’ll be back with a new blog shortly. Until then, go well, and we hope you’ll Move, Store & More with us soon.