You’ve probably already heard the famous phrase that a house move is the most difficult thing to do right after filing for divorce or dealing with the loss of a loved one. And if you ask any family that has passed through this stressful rite of passage, you are likely to arrive at the same conclusion. However, this challenge becomes even greater if you’re moving with children.
Whether you’re about to move with small children or teenagers, there always comes a time when you have to sit down and explain to them that you will no longer be living in the same house, neighbourhood, or even city. If you don’t know where to start, the move out experts from Star Domestic Cleaners prepared 8 steps that will help you and your children to successfully cope with the upcoming drastic, 180 degree changes.
Step #1 Gather ‘round the family table
First things first – you cannot discuss such serious matters on an empty stomach! Cook a few dishes that you know your children cannot resist or order some takeaway and sit down for a casual family talk. But don’t drop the “we’re moving out” bomb just yet. If you do that, convincing them to help you out with the move will almost certainly become a mission impossible.
Instead, ease your kids into the topic by speaking about your new job or the area where your new home is located with joy and enthusiasm. Then, monitor their reactions closely. If their faces reflect some of your excitement, then you can gradually begin shifting their attention towards the move. If not, then you should probably postpone the news come next dinner.
Step #2 Introduce them to their new home
You can’t expect your kids to like the idea of moving out without knowing where they are going or when they are expected to leave their home. When relocating with children, it’s important to involve them in the process from the very start. You can do so by having them help you choose your new home. If your kids are too little to really give you any actual opinion or if the property is located in another city, you can simply show them a few pictures or take them on a virtual walk around the neighbourhood so they could get more used to the whole idea of moving.
Step #3: Deal with all the clutter… together!
Now that your kids know what their new home looks like, it’s time to direct their attention to their soon-to-be-vacated family nest. Inspect each and every room of your house for items that won’t really benefit your new home. Start by gathering all things that you and your children hold dear into a neat pile. Drawings, funny poems, pictures – whatever it is, make sure to label it appropriately to keep tabs on your family treasure at all times during “The Big Move Day”.
With your family belongings packed, it’s time to figure out what to do with all the things you don’t really need. It might be broken toys, old clothing, dusty electronic equipment, ancient furniture… the list is usually long enough to put Leo Tolstoy to shame. You can, of course, unload everything near the closest dumpster or give it all to charity. OR you can host a garage sale!
To do the latter, just split all items into relevant categories, let your kids price tag everything, and advertise your event at your local newspaper or online. Once you’re done with the sale, decide with your kids on how to best spend the earned money. It could be a giant TV, cutting-edge stereo system, a new bicycle – whatever it is, make sure that everyone’s happy with the choice.
Step #4: Make packing fun by offering rewards
Packing can be a stressful process for your kids. After all, everything they’ve ever known and loved about their home is about to get placed inside identical-looking cardboard boxes. But that doesn’t mean that packing can’t be fun. All you have to do is to let your children help you out. This will give them some sense of control over the big changes that are happening in their life.
If you have small children, a generous bunch of their favourite sweets will usually be enough to convince them that helping you out instead of watching TV will be well worth the effort. Just make sure to give them clear instructions of what goes where and keep them as far away from scissors, knives, and other dangerous objects as possible. As for teenagers, a new video game or seeing the premiere of that one big blockbuster can really do wonders for their productivity.
Step #5: Accept other people’s help
When moving house with your kids, you will likely receive countless offers from your friends, family, or neighbours to look after your children, pack heavy furniture, and to otherwise help you do all the things that drain your energy faster you could say “I feel tired”. Our advice to you is quite simple – accept any and all help that comes your way! By doing so, not only will you have enough time to get more work done, but you’ll also feel much more inclined to do so.
Step #6: Awaken your children’s inner designer
The closer the day of the move is, the more your current home will become stripped of its own identity. This could have a very negative effect on your children’s consciousness. So, when moving with your kids, you can help them regain that sense of identity by letting them decorate their new rooms in their favourite colours and with furnishings of their choice.
Set aside some budget and have your children describe “the perfect room”. After that, make sure to purchase all required materials and visit your new place to make their dreams true (as long as the requirements are reasonable, of course). Once the project is complete, you can invite your children, as well as your friends and family over to celebrate this achievement.
Step #7: Make your move feel like a positive change
Saying “goodbye” to your best friends is something that both adults and children tend to struggle with. So, it almost goes without saying that hosting a “See you soon” party is very crucial part of the entire moving house with children process (or any form of house move, for that matter).
Exchanging hugs, taking group photos, filling in autograph books, and sharing contact information are all great ways to reduce anxiety and to make everyone forget about the move, even if it’s just for a couple of hours. This will also ensure that your kids will have an easier time keeping in touch with their old friends while they are getting used to their new surroundings.
Step #8: Explore your new neighbourhood together
You’ve bid farewell to your old home and managed to move your boxes into your new place without breaking anything. But this is just the beginning. Start feeling right at home by unpacking all those familiar items that bring everyone in your family fond memories and comfort. Then, make sure to unpack your kids’ belongings first before moving on with everything else.
As the days go by and things are slowly getting unpacked, take your time to explore your new surroundings together. If you’re in a new city, grab a guide and map out all interesting locations that you and your children want to visit, be it the local park, a science museum, a music venue, or just a good place where you can have some really tasty pizza.
Whatever the activity is, always try to show your kids the best of what your new place has to offer. You should also You should also introduce them to your neighbours’ kids to help them make potential friends, as well as pick a school that has all the extracurricular activities that you know they enjoy. Once you’ve done everything, your children should be able to start their new lives with a positive attitude and you will rest assured knowing that the whole venture was well worth it.