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Our Top Hacks For Moving With Kids

Monday, March 27, 2023
Young mom and dad pushing their daughter in a moving box into their new home

Moving is a stressful situation for anybody, but especially for children. Everything is changing for them, and that is why you as their parent should help better prepare them for the moving experience. Certainly so, if it is a big move. Luckily we have our top hacks for moving with kids to make their (and your) move easier.

Telling The Kids About The Move

Relocating with kids can be a tough step for the young ones since their whole world will change. They will have to make new friends, go to a new school and get used to a new place. This is especially true if you all are moving across the country, or moving to a new state/ school district. Plus, you cannot hide that the family is moving, and it is best not to even try. 

Therefore, you must tell your children as soon as possible. This can give them time to mentally prepare even if they do not know it. Another form of good moving advice is to give them details about the move. Such as when are they moving, what are they moving into (apartment or a house), how and where are they moving, will they get their own room or share one, etc.

Young boy holding up a thought balloon with a question mark inside and question marks around him

Basically, just answer all their questions in as much detail as you can. Doing this will help them feel more at ease, and you can also give them suggestions on how to stay in touch with their friends after the move.  

And, you should try to make them feel excited about moving to a new place. This can be tricky depending on the kids. But, you can try and use the old saying that they will be starting a new, and fun part of their lives.  

However, one of the most important things you can do for them is to help them understand their feelings. They could feel afraid, worried, uncertain, confused, etc. You can try to explain these feelings to them with the use of TV shows, cartoons, books, even your own personal stories from your youth.  

Furthermore, you must explain to them that it is normal to feel these things and that you probably did too at their age when you were moving to another state or city. But, do keep a positive attitude. If you are excited then they will become excited about moving, too.

Make Packing Fun 

One of the best relocation assistance you can have is letting your children help with the packing. This benefit will also make them feel more a part of the process of moving. First, you would have to do it to sort out what you are taking with you, what you are selling or donating. The children can then pack up what you will be taking, once you show them how (if they are very young). Or you can make it a family activity by helping them with packing.  

However, it is a great idea to make sure that you do not pack away their favorite stuff first. You should leave this till last, and if possible put it in a travel bag for the ride to your new home. These can be their favorite toys, books, etc.

A little girl in pink jacket ready to move hugging her favorite toy

Another way to get relocation help is by offering them treats to help packing. This can be in the form of snacks, sweets, etc. or you can offer to buy them something new for their brand-new bedroom. Or you can increase gaming/ TV time as a way to motivate them to pack as well as to get them excited about the new move and the new home. 

If you have more than one child close to age, then you can make it into a competition on who can pack the most. This can make packing go quicker as well as be quite fun for them. But, make sure that they do not accidentally pack away their favorite stuff first. So, keep your eye out on children packing.  

Add color and text to the packing boxes so that you know which box goes into what room. 

Get the moving help you need

Moving Out with Kids- Pre Moving Day

One of the best hacks for moving, even without kids, is to start planning, packing, and cleaning as soon as you can. This way moving day will not “jump up on you unexpectedly” causing stress and even more confusion when it comes to the kids.  

Create to-do lists to keep them invested. This does not only have to be packing and cleaning, but it can also be more fun stuff like activities. And they can do these things also on the moving day so that they do not “get in the way”.   

Keep to their routine as close as you can. Take them to school, sports, art activities as you did before. Their lives should not change too much during the packing process. Also, keep meal times the same even if you are tired and have to order take-out a lot more.

Happy little children sitting on the floor at school

You must make a moving-week plan which you will tell your kids about. This is so that you can plan what they can do, as well as what they will eat and how they can help moving. The latter is done to cut down on leftover food. However, if you and the family cannot then you can donate it to Move4Hunger such as canned food, etc.  

Plus, you should make a packing schedule so that there is some structure to what has to be packed and when. But, still make it fun and rewarding for them for their relocation assistance. Another thing you also have to plan is who goes in what car on the moving day.  

Also, make sure that you can throw out a lot of “junk” that your kids have collected. You should do this when they are out of the house so as not to make a fuse. These include old, holey clothes, pieces of paper, random rocks, etc. But do not throw out their favorite rocks if they have any.

Close up of a group of different color stones on a wooden table

A type of moving advice that is often overlooked is letting your children have a say. This can be on what to keep, what color for the moving boxes to use, or anything that they can have a say in. This will give them control over the situation and that their viewpoints still matter. They may need a reminder of that even when there is chaotic packing going on. But try to pack up their room last before the relocation. 

Get help relocating your stuff

And take pictures or keep pictures of the old home. Unless you are a military family that moves around a lot, children often get attached to their old homes and would want to have a reminder of it.

A happy family taking photos in their new house

Think About Storage 

While you must clear out your clutter and only move what you need, it does not mean that it is easy to do so. Certainly when it comes to kids’ old toys and clothes. Therefore, you can make a plan on where you are going to store all their old stuff. 

A good suggestion would be in your new garage, basement, or attic if you are going to have one. You may want to keep an eye out for those while house hunting before the move. But, if there is no such thing, or you are moving into an apartment, then storage is an option. 

 You can find storage that is small to house their old stuff. But, keep in mind that renting it can get expensive and should be for the short-term until you find a long-term option like building a garage, or a shed.  

The reason you would want to keep with old stuff is that you may need it in the future. For example, if you are planning on having more kids then hand-me-downs are the way to go since clothes can be expensive. Children grow up quickly and a lot of the time the clothes that they wore were only used like twice, making them almost brand new. 

The same can apply to baby cribs, strollers, and toys, or books. You can reuse it, or you can simply donate the old clothes to those in need.

A baby room before the move, with a white closet, a white crib, different toys and a circle carpet on the floor

After The Relocation

When you and the family have moved into your new home it is a wise idea to get the kids settled as soon as you can. This means to make sure that their room is in order before you unpack the rest of the house. Also, give your child a say in how they want their room to be set up. This can help them with the transition to the new place and post-relocation adaptation.  

It would be advisable to find a move-in ready home before relocating, since this can help make the new home feel like a home and not a work in progress.  

Plus, when your kids go to school you should go along with them in preschool or kindergarten to meet their new teachers. If your kids are teenagers you may just want to drop them off on the first day and get to meet their teachers if possible, not obligatory. After this, you can figure out the bus schedule if there is one.  

Regarding teens, you can also take them back to their previous home a while after the move so that they can meet up with old friends. Encourage them to keep in touch with their other friends after the move through email, social media, texting, etc. So they don’t feel lonely after the relocation.

A teenage girl smiling while reading her texts lying on her bed in her new home

It is also extremely important to give your kids time to adjust to their new life. Some teachers expect new kids to feel comfortable with their new location in a month and a half. However, this is not a rule since every child is different and will react differently to a move. Certainly so if it is a big move or their first one.  

Some may need less time, while others require more time to adapt to the new environment. 

Therefore, make sure that you are there for them when they need to talk and understand that they are going through a lot of emotions. Especially when they are preteens who spent their lives at their previous school or home. They could get homesick which is normal. But, do not make them feel bad about it and just be patient with them, as well as understand them. Put yourself in their tiny shoes.

If you suspect that something is really up with their emotional transition to the new home, then you may want to think about talking to a family therapist to help them, and yourself, out. 

Get Back to Their Routine After The Move

Now that you and your family, kids and all, are in the new home it is important to establish a routine as soon as possible. Such as when meals are, when bedtime is, and what time school starts. If you have moved during summer vacation then you want to check out what there is for your children to do in their new home town.  

Plus, you can also befriend the neighbors since they can help you out with advice around the new town. Even better if they have kids around your kids' age to play with. Either way, try to get them settled in the new home as soon as you can with an established routine that they had before. And, never stop answering their questions and showing them that you still care about them by listening to them. And a few hugs also will not hurt them, certainly if they are toddlers.

A mom hugging her son outside a green forest, the son is smiling while holding his mom tight

How to Make Relocating Even Easier 

When you decide to move, you should plan out everything ahead of time. Where to move, how to move, when to move, who to hire, etc. This can be a long process that can take away time from helping your children get ready for the move. Plus, while you are sorting everything out can also mean that you cannot answer their questions since you do not have the answers.  

Children can figure out when something is up without you telling them, and this is important to keep in mind. Therefore, you should let someone else do the organizing such as Shyft. Shyft is your personal moving organizer that will do the paperwork for you. They will find you three quotes, from three different, vetted moving companies with the prices guaranteed.  

All you have to do is fill out their little form and give them a video call at the time that suits you, not the other way around. They will do your inventory list, and send it to you within half an hour. Plus, they can also give you tips and hacks about moving out, even with children. 

Furthermore, Shyft also has a marketplace where you can buy great new items such as mattresses or customized furniture that will be delivered to your new home.  

Overall this means that you can spend more time with your kids to help them get used to the idea of the move. Plus, you would also have time to check out their new home with them before you get to packing. This can make them feel less stressed about the relocation as well as have an image of the new house and neighborhood. Shyft’s relocation packages can really help you when you’re moving with kids.  

Moving with children does not have to be a difficult process. Make sure that you keep your lines of communication open with them. As well as make them feel involved and be patient with them. Happy moving for you and the kids.

Playful couple sitting on the floor with cardboard boxes over their heads, with smiley faces drawn on them