Leaving a house that you have spent a significant amount of time in and grown as a family in can be upsetting for adults, so if it has been the only place that your children have known, moving all of their belongings out and setting up in somewhere completely new and unknown can be very distressing to a child who doesn’t quite understand what is going on. To help you handle the moving process with children, we at Hadley and Ottaway have collated a few tips that you can utilise before the move, on moving day itself and after the move to make the process as smooth as possible for your children.
Before the Move
• It is important to be positive about the move otherwise your children will pick up on a negative vibe and be even more concerned about what is to come.
• Be open and honest with them from the outset so they know exactly what is going on, answering any questions they may have on where they are moving to, why they are moving and when.
• Before the move, take a trip to your new house so they can see it from the outside whilst also exploring the surrounding area for any parks or attractions that they can then look forward to using.
• Get them involved in the packing process, possibly making them responsible for packing their own room if they are old enough or alternatively giving them a box to fill with their favourite toys and games if they are a little younger to make them feel a part of it all.
• If possible and especially for younger children, try to get a family member or friend to look after your little ones on the day of the move itself so you can concentrate on getting everything out of your old house and into your new one without any distractions.
• If you have your children with you on moving day, assign specific tasks for them to complete if they are old enough. For instance, they could be responsible for moving each box from their room downstairs ahead of it being loaded onto the moving van.
• For younger children, set up a play pen so they are surrounding by their favourite toys but safely kept out of the way whilst you and the removals team work around them.
• Try to arrive at your new home before your removals team so your children have a chance to explore their new surroundings before it is filled with boxes.
After the Move
• Make sure you spend your first evening together in your new home to help settle everyone in. Order a takeaway and play a few games to make the new house feel like home straightaway.
• Stick to your regular routine so that your children don’t see the new house as being any different to the old one when it comes to dinner times and bed times.
• Attempt to ensure their boxes are some of the first to be unpacked so they have as many familiar items around them as possible in order to avoid the space feeling alien to them.
• Take the time to explore the new area you are living in as a family, visiting all the new attractions that they can enjoy and will lead to them soon forgetting about their old home.
It will take some time for your little ones to settle into their new home, however if you follow these tips before, during and after the move, you should be well on the way to making them as comfortable and settled as possible throughout the house moving process.