Top 10 Tips for a Stress-Free Move with Kids13 Mar 2024

Moving home is a significant event in anyone’s life, involving a high degree of planning, preparation, and of course, a fair share of stress. But add children into the mix, and that stress level can skyrocket, as you not only consider the logistics of the move but also the emotional impact it has on your little ones. As a parent, ensuring your children feel secure and comfortable during the transition is a top priority.
Harcourts, renowned in the real estate space for its commitment to family-friendly moves, is here to share ten indispensable tips for ensuring your move with kids is as smooth as possible.

1. Involve Your Kids in the Process Early On
The key to a successful move is to involve your children in the process from the very beginning. This helps them understand what's happening and gives them a sense of control. Start by having open conversations about the move, and allow them to express their feelings—whether it's excitement, fear, or a mix of everything. Let them have a say in choosing new bedroom colours or even new furniture. When children feel like they have a role in the decision-making process, they typically handle changes better.

2. Keep Communication Open
Communication is vital when it comes to moving home with children. As you share news and information, be mindful of the language you use. Avoid words or tones that might add anxiety. Be sure to discuss how things will work during the move day, from simple logistics like who's taking care of the family pet to more complex tasks, if the children are old enough to assist, and listen to their concerns and ideas.

3. Plan a Day to Explore Your New Area
Familiarity can significantly reduce stress, so if it’s possible, plan a day to explore your new neighbourhood or city. Visit the new house, and if you can, check out the child's new school or childcare facility. You might also want to discover local parks, restaurants, or attractions your kids might enjoy. This pre-introduction can help make the move itself less daunting.

4. Create a Moving Day 'To-Do' List Together
Sit down with your children and create a moving day 'to-do' list. This could involve packing their personal items or labelling boxes for their room. Having responsibilities gives them a sense of purpose. It can also be a great way to bond and make the move feel like a team effort.

5. Maintain Routines as Best as Possible
Moving can throw routines out the window, but consistency and familiarity are essential for children, especially during change. Try to stick to regular mealtimes and bedtimes as much as possible. This helps children feel secure and provides a sense of normalcy during what can be an upending time.

6. Pack a Special Bag for The Move
Create a special 'moving day' bag for your children. This bag can include toys, books, electronics, or any comfort items they might want during the journey. It's also a good idea to pack essentials such as snacks, a change of clothes, and their favourite blanket or stuffed animal.

7. Enlist Help on Moving Day
If your budget allows, consider hiring professional movers. This will help take off a significant load from your shoulders (quite literally) and free you up to focus on your children. Additionally, if you have friends or family who can watch the kids for a few hours, or if you can arrange for childcare, it can make the day much smoother for everyone.

8. Make the Unpacking Fun with a Game
Unpacking can be tiresome, but it doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Turn it into a game by making a family treasure hunt out of finding items in boxes. Assign points for each item found and make sure there's a fun reward at the end. This approach not only lightens the mood but also encourages working together as a family.

9. Explore and Set Up the New Home Together
As you unpack and settle into your new home, involve your children in the process. Allow them to help arrange their rooms, unpack their personal items, and again, have their say in room layouts. This action can significantly help with the sense of closure from the old space and the embracing of the new one.

10. Create Rituals to Mark the Move
Lastly, create family rituals or traditions that mark the milestone of your move to a new home. This could be something as simple as a weekly family dinner out or a special movie night in your new living room. As time goes on, these rituals will become the new 'normal' for your family in your new home, and a close connection to the positive aspects of the move.
Navigating a move with kids can be a challenging feat, but with Harcourts top ten tips, you can ensure the process is as stress-free and positive as possible. Remember that your attitude and approach to the move will greatly influence how your children respond to it. Keep calm, communicate openly, and focus on creating a positive environment for your family to adjust to their new home.