One Savvy Mom ™ | NYC Area Mom Blog: 6 Easy Ways to Get Kids to Participate In the Moving Process

6 Easy Ways to Get Kids to Participate In the Moving Process

Easy Tips For Moving with Kids

As if moving wasn’t stressful enough without kids, the process can become almost impossible to plan when you have to account for them, too. People aren’t supposed to juggle that many responsibilities at once.

 More often than not, they forget to include something in the moving plans because they had their minds on their kids. Worse still, some people might drop the ball with their kids while they’re planning the move. Luckily, getting your kids to participate in moving preparations is a good way to kill two birds with one stone.

 On the one hand, getting the kids involved gives them something to do — while making them feel in control of their lives. On the other, it reduces the number of tasks on your to-do list. So without further ado, let’s see how you can involve your kids in the moving process.

How to Involve Your Kids In the Moving Process

1. Keep Them Apprised of New Developments

One of the most important things you can do to help your kids come to terms with a move is simply — talk to them. Rather than waiting until the last minute to notify your kids that you’re moving, let them in on the secret from the beginning. They could even help you pick a new home if you’re in two minds about it. Alternatively, if you’ve already purchased a new home, you can show them pictures or have a walk around the new neighborhood.

Of course, before they can do that, you’ll have to let them know that you’re moving. School-aged children tend to have the strongest reactions in these kinds of situations, so tread carefully. But whatever you do, don’t underestimate their capacity to understand what’s going on. Explain the reason for the move plainly and answer any questions they have.

On the other hand, if you have toddlers or preschoolers, you may have to use more innovative techniques. For example, you can explain the move through a story, acting it out with toy trucks. Ultimately, the method you use will depend on your kids’ ages, personalities, and levels of understanding.

2. Have Them Declutter With You

When you’re moving, you really don’t want to go to the trouble of packing items that will only get tossed out when you get to your new home. With that in mind, you should declutter your home before you start packing. However, that process can be a bit distressing, particularly to young children, who might think you’re looking to get rid of their stuff.

So have them help out. As you go through everyone’s things, deciding what’s worth keeping and what’s going in the trash, let them have their say. If you want, you can set aside a donation box as well, to lighten the load of the move. Let your kids know that the items you end up donating will mean the world to some other family.

6 Easy Ways To Get Kids To Participate In Moving

3. Let Them Help You Pack

Once you’re down to the bare necessities, it’s time to start packing. You’ll want to handle the small stuff before you get a moving company to pack up the big pieces of furniture. Boxing it all up yourself will help both you and your kids prepare for the next stage of your lives.

If your kids aren’t too young, you can show them how to pack certain items a few times and have them take over from there. It may not end up being the neatest packing job you’ve ever seen, but it will make them feel more in control. And as a bonus, it’ll take that task out of your hands and leave you free to pack up other parts of the house.

4. Ask Them to Prepare Their Essentials

Whether you’re planning to move within the same neighborhood or across the country, pack a box or suitcase of essentials. These are the things you’ll need as soon as you get to the new house. To you, that might be fresh sheets or even sleeping bags, toothbrushes and toothpaste, or clean towels. Box them up and set them aside — they’ll go in the car or on the plane with you.

And while you’re at it, tell your kids to gather the items they consider essential too. That’s another way to give them a sense of agency during a chaotic time. Besides, seeing the things they find essential will certainly give you new insights into your children’s inner lives. While older kids usually choose their laptops and chargers, younger ones often go for toys that have sentimental value.

5. They Can Label the Boxes

Even if you decide not to let your kids participate in the packing process, you can still have them mark boxes after you load them up. There are two ways to go about doing this. On the one hand, you can give your kids premade sticker packs for different rooms or types of items. For example, they can paste “fragile” labels on all the boxes that contain dishes.

Alternatively, you can just pass on some markers and have them write out the rooms everything should go into when it gets to your new house. According to the folks at Oz Moving & Storage, having clearly marked boxes helps movers figure out where to put them. Boxes that have those “fragile” stickers will end up on top of the others in the moving van. And when it comes to moving into the new house, the room labels will let the movers know where to set everything down.

6. Recruit Them to Help Clean the Place

Once the movers have emptied your old home, you may have to clean the place up for its future inhabitants. In fact, you could even have a clause in your rental agreement stating that the walls need to be the same color they were when you moved in. If you have painted them in the meantime, you would have to return them to their original state.

Luckily, most children find cleaning and painting walls exciting. So if they’re old enough, they can help you tidy up before you move.

Make Moving Fun for the Whole Family

Ultimately, the key to moving with kids is to take as much guesswork out of the process as possible. However, you should still be able to deviate from the plan if necessary. Your kids just need you to keep them in the loop and let them transition at their own pace. As long as you do that, they’ll fit into your plans quite naturally.