Moving house at the best of times is extremely stressful! Packing numerous boxes, making sure everything is put correctly in the van, and transporting all your belongings to another house is enough to make you age by twenty years, but adding moving house with kids into the mix? We’ve broken out into a rash just thinking about it!
Moving house with children, especially small children and toddlers, should be planned out meticulously to ensure your stress levels are low, and the whole process is as smooth as possible. Children can tend to distract you, and this is usually when accidents and misplacements happen. We know there will probably be tears and tantrums involved, especially when waiting around, which means bored and impatient kids complaining they’re hungry or tired.
To minimise all these factors, we’ve provided a comprehensive list of tips below of all the things you can do to make moving house with young children easier. Here’s to a tear-free move!
Take your child to their new house
This may not seem like an obvious thing to do in the midst of a chaotic move, but first things first, be sure to take some time to properly explain the house move situation to your child/kids. They may not understand why you’re moving, and it’s essential not to cause any emotional upheaval for your children by explaining and even taking them to see the new property before you leave your old house.
By giving them a look at their new surroundings, it will be easier for them to adjust when you move into your new house. Some children get scared of change, and inviting your kids to take a look at their new home, choose their bedroom and how they would like their room to be decorated, will help calm them when you’re all settled in.
It’s essential your children know what is going on before the big move, as then less panic ensues during all the chaos, which inevitably will happen.
Set aside a creative area
Whilst you’re busy finishing packing up the house, you don’t want the kids running around and getting under your feet. Set aside a creative area in a de-cluttered space, either outside if the weather is nice, or in a setup room indoors. We’d recommend putting a small table together full of arts and crafts activities that your kids can immerse themselves with. Who doesn’t enjoy drawing with a set of new pens or opening a brand new tub of play-doh and getting creative?
Enjoy the peace and quiet whilst you can, and relish getting the final bits of boxing up done. A key thing to remember is that toddlers and small children should be supervised at all times (either indoors or outside), and if you chose to set up the recreational area outside during the summer months, make sure the area is not in direct sunlight and that the children are properly covered during peak sun times. Even if there is no sun (just cloud), make sure they have a high-factor sun block on, as children have delicate skin and can burn in shaded areas/when there is cloud cover.
Load up laptops & tablets with cartoons, films and games
Whilst we don’t think it’s productive for small children to sit on mobile devices all day, a laptop, tablet or phone is a great way to keep the kids quiet for a couple of hours when you’re trying to get a task done! Add their favourite cartoons, movies and games to your devices and when they’re starting to get irritable during the day, pop them in an area indoors away from all the chaos, so they can enjoy their favourite programmes and films.
Prepare snacks and meals
With boredom comes hunger, and preparing meals in advance before you pack up the whole kitchen will save you money on takeout and snacks during the day, as well as saving you time rushing out whenever the kids get hungry. When moving house with children make sure you have nuts, fruit pieces, cereal bars and yogurts on hand for snacks, and a good selection of sandwiches and crisps for lunch. If you don’t decide to head out in the evening for a meal after a hard day of moving, prepare a pasta dish the evening before to eat cold or microwave that night for the kids.
Pack a bag full of essentials
With all your clothes no doubt stored away in the deep, dark depths of your boxes, you’re best off packing a weekend bag full of your kids’ essentials including toys, books, night lights, pyjamas, clean underwear, spare set of clothes, toiletries etc. Then come bedtime in the new house, there’s no stressing over trying to find everything you need to send your children to bed and get them settled. Phew!
Arrange a house move babysitter
Moving house can be exhausting and needs your full attention, this is why sometimes the best option is to arrange someone to look after young children during this busy time. This ensures they are out of the way and having fun, while you can concentrate on one of the most stressful things a family can go through. Once the house is all setup, furniture moved in, curtains up and beds assembled, you can then welcome the kids to their new home.
Every parent has a different routine and take on how to keep their kids entertained during a house move, but we hope our tips have provided some insight into what can help during a stressful transition for everyone involved. Happy moving day, family folk!