We’ve all heard it: “Moving house is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever do.” Certainly for some people this might be the case, for others everything goes to plan and it’s plain sailing.
But there’s bound to be some stress along the way – even though you’re the one who took the decision to move and who has made all the plans and arrangements. So, imagine how stressful it can be for children who may not understand what’s happening or be on board with the idea.
From our own experiences, and that of our removals customers over the last 50 years, we’ve pulled together some top tips to help make moving with children as stress-free (for everyone) as possible.
Keep them informed – no one likes being kept in the dark. It might feel wrong to tell them about the move if it’s potentially a long way off but give them time to get their head round it and feel part of the process. If you’re upbeat and positive about it they’re likely to follow your lead. Take them to see the new house if possible. Explain in an age appropriate way how the process happens so it’s not a surprise when stuff starts getting packed up – and they don’t worry it’s being got rid of!
Start the clear out as early as possible – everything takes longer with kids around and it’s amazing how quickly time flies. Get your removals team booked (we know an excellent one…) and start decluttering as you’ll probably be doing it in dribs and drabs. You can always consider using self storage to help with the clear out.
Pack in peace – you may struggle to pack with a toddler around, as they can empty boxes as quickly as you fill them. If it’s possible to have them out of the house or otherwise entertained while you’re packing it will probably be a lot quicker!
Pack toys in stages – Pack toys they rarely play with whilst they’re not around – or they’ll end up wanting to keep them out. Keep their favourite toys unpacked until last, so they still have things to keep them entertained.
Label everything – this is a packing must-do for everyone, but even more so with children. Make sure you label all the boxes clearly so you know what they include and the removals team know where they need to go in the new house. That way if something is needed quickly, you know exactly where it is.
Let them have some control – whether it’s helping pack up their favourite toys or choosing paint for their new walls, if you get them involved it may help them feel more in control of the situation.
Move Day – you know your kids best, but if you feel they’ll find it upsetting, get underfoot or you’ll be worried about them dashing out of an open door, it may be wisest to look for childcare on move day itself. Otherwise, try and get them involved as appropriate or set up a room they can stay in and entertain themselves away from all the to-ing and fro-ing. There will be a lot of heavy things being moved so you want them, and their things, to be safe.
Say goodbye – give your kids time to say goodbye to the house before they leave (if they would like to) to help them process what’s happening.
Emergency kit – it makes sense to have emergency items kept with you such as medicine, food, matches, nappies, toilet rolls, tea bags and anything you know your child might need in the first 24 hours.
Time for bed – keep bedding and pyjamas in your own vehicle so if your move is delayed and you don’t get in until later than you expect you can get everyone settled quickly into bed and tackle unpacking in the morning. Don’t forget favourite teddies and books too!
Plan some treats and be patient – moving is a big upheaval for everyone, even if it’s something you’re excited about. Plan some nice things to do or treats and be prepared in case people are a bit out of sorts. It’ll soon settle and you’ll be able to enjoy your lovely new home!
If you’re planning a house move, why not get in touch? We work with homeowners all over Yorkshire and beyond and have self storage centres in Leeds, Harrogate and Wakefield. If you have any questions, just give us a call.