How to prepare your kids for relocation

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There are many advantages to moving house. However, sometimes it’s hard for kids to focus on the good parts. All they know is that they are leaving their friends and home behind. That is why you should know how to properly prepare your kids for relocation. The better prepared they are, the sooner they will adapt to their new home. If this is your first time moving with kids, you should do as much research as possible. Lucky for you, here you can find it all in one place. Take a look at our guide for relocating with children.

Prepare your kids for relocation before you start packing

You should talk to your kids about relocating as soon as possible. Of course, if you start packing before you tell them about the move, they will know something is going on. This will only add to the anxiety they feel. Instead, talk to your kids openly. Let them know why you are moving your household, and encourage them to ask any questions they might have. The sooner you break the news, the more time they will have to come around to the idea of moving.

Don't throw away their toys when you prepare your kids for relocation.
Let them have a say in what they are taking.

If you are moving cross-country, make sure to hire a reputable professional moving company. It is always easier to change homes if you have the help of experienced movers.

They can help with decision-making

To relieve some stress that your kids might be feeling about the move, let them make some choices. For example, let them choose the color of their bedroom walls. Moreover, ask how they want the layout of their room to look like. These are small decisions, but they will help your kids feel like this is not something that is just happening to them.

Additionally, let them help with decluttering. Your children are likely to have some old toys or clothes, which you won’t take with you. Instead of throwing them out by yourself, ask them to pick out their favorite toys. On the other hand, before your packing services come, give them a box for things to donate or sell. If you organize a yard sale, you can give your kids the proceeds from selling their toys.

Visit your new neighborhood to prepare your kids for relocation

We don’t always have control over where we are moving. However, if your move is a local one, you can visit your new house. This will help your child visualize what their new life will look like. If you can’t go inside, you can still show your kids the backyard and let them share what they like and dislike.

On the other hand, if you are moving cross-country, this might not be an option. But you can still show your kids pictures or videos of the new house and neighborhood. Explore local shops and playgrounds for your kids to play at. Help them see that moving is not necessarily a bad thing.

Start a visual countdown to the move

Kids respond well to visual aids. It helps them to ‘see’ abstract concepts, such as moving. That is why you should mark the moving day on your calendar. Each day, let your child cross out a date.

Hang a calendar in your kids' room.
Help your kids see that moving day is something real.

Additionally, you can help them make a countdown paper chain in preparation for the move. They will rip off a chain every day as moving day approaches. In this way, they will feel like they have some control over the timing of the move.

Keep the routine when you prepare your kids for relocation

The disruption of a child’s routine during a move can be very hard on them. Not only are they leaving their home, but they are also surrounded by people packing and hurrying around them. To help them deal with this situation, you should not disrupt their routine. If they have a certain time they have breakfast or lunch, try to keep this during the move as well. Keep them distracted so that they are not a part of the hassle. Make sure they have their favorite toy or book with them. Also, when you get to your new home, it’s best that you stick to the same schedule, at least in the beginning.

Help them say goodbye when you prepare your kids for relocation

When kids move, it can be especially hard for them to say goodbye to their friends. Even if you are not moving far away, you should still give them the chance to have a proper goodbye. Organize a going away party for all of their friends. However, try to avoid having it at your house if you can. You will have boxes and furniture all around your house, and you don’t want to be stuck cleaning up after a party. Instead, you can hold it at a public place, like a park. Alternatively, you can ask one of your neighbors to host it. This will give your child the opportunity to have closure.

prepare your kids for relocation - Let them invite their friends and have fun.
A farewell party can be very beneficial for your kids.

Leaving doesn’t have to mean goodbye forever. Kids don’t usually understand this. So you will have to help them stay in touch with their friends. If they are older, you can show them how to make calls via Skype. On the other hand, you can let them write letters to their friends, which you can send. It is important that they know they won’t forget their old friends or be forgotten themselves.

Set up their room first

When you prepare your kids for relocation, make sure you mark clearly the boxes with their things. Once marked, load these boxes last onto the moving truck. This ensures that they come off first once you arrive at your new home. You should unload and unpack their rooms before any other in the house. This way, they have a place that is familiar even if the house isn’t. It is also helpful when you want the transition to be as smooth as possible, as their routine will be less disrupted. Additionally, they will have their toys to play with and occupy their time. While they are playing, you can unpack the rest of the home without any distractions.

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