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Moving house with kids is stressful. I can’t and won’t sugarcoat it. We are currently in the process of moving and at times it has been a nightmare. No amount of home organisation or planning ahead prepared me for the upheaval of moving both myself and the children to our new home. I naively thought that because the children are far more mature than they were when we last moved home, it’d be a breeze. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. I’ve lost count of the amount of questions they’ve asked, and I’m really struggling with their idea of helpful packing.
I love them dearly for wanting to help, but as soon as they go to sleep I rearrange the boxes. Thankfully, I have found ways to ease the stress for us all. If you are moving house with kids this post could be your saviour.
How to stay sane when moving house with kids –
- Allowing the children free reign of packing their belongings is never going to end well. What they believe is essential to pack is entirely different to our idea of what is essential. I’ve told Theo countless times that we do not need to bring last year’s McDonald’s Happy Meal toys with us. However, that doesn’t mean they need to be kept away from packing completely. I’ve found getting the children involved with the packing helpful. We have a bin bag for things that are going in the bin, a bag for things to take to the charity shop and a box to pack. Giving the children these options helps them to think about the necessity of some of their belongings. I still have control of the packing, but they assist me, which helps me and helps them. Using this method of packing with your children will help to ease any anxieties surrounding their belongings going to a new home. Reducing anxiety will also reduce negative behaviour.
- A lot of negative behaviour around the time of a house move can stem from feeling unsettled. If your child feels a part of proceedings in some way, such as assisting with packing or helping to choose paint/wallpaper they will feel a part of the process and more often than not, will settle into their new home far quicker than if they are plunged into the unknown. We’ve visited our new home on multiple occasions which has really helped both Mia and Theo familiarise themselves with what will be their new surroundings, so I recommend showing your child/children around your new property before moving day,
For younger children, there is a wide range of books available to help children understand the concept of moving home. Below are just a few books that are highly recommended.
- The House That Wanted A Family (aff)
- My Very Exciting, Sorta Scary, Big Move (aff)
- Topsy & Tim Move House (aff)
- It’s easy to slip out of routine when you are in the process of moving home. I find scheduling normality beneficial for both myself and the children. A trip to the park or a dog walk allows us to escape the world of boxes and packing tape. Children need routine, but routine is difficult to keep up during a house move. Providing snippets of normality will help your child to feel secure.
- It’s vital that you don’t keep your imminent house move a secret from the children. You may think it’ll be a lovely surprise for them to have a lovely new home, but children need time to process just like adults. Give the children plenty of warning and time to get their head around proceedings.
- Finally, add a little excitement to the first day in your new home. When we moved to our current home, I ordered takeaway for the three of us and because we didn’t have any sofas, we sat on the floor and had a takeaway picnic whilst watching DVD’s. The children absolutely loved it and it provided a great distraction from the anxiety attached to the first night in their new home. When we move into our new home I’ll be doing the same again, but this time I think we’re going to have a Harry Potter or Avengers movie marathon.
If you have any tips and tricks for moving house with kids, and staying sane in the process, please do let me know in the comments below! If you’ve found any of the above tips helpful, I’d love to find out more. What worked? What didn’t work? I’d love to be able to update this post with more tried and tested tactics for fellow readers.