Finding a new place to live can be a major decision, but moving can often provide a bigger obstacle than the house hunt itself, particularly for parents of young children. Moving day can be stressful, chaotic, and disruptive for little ones, who don’t always understand what’s going on and are rarely in a position to help bubble wrap china or lift boxes. Make your move a stress-free one and keep your kids happy and entertained by following these easy tips:
Bring snacks: The number one cause of meltdowns in little ones is, undeniably, hunger. When you’re moving, cooking full meals is likely out of the question, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep your kids full and tantrum-free on the big day. Stock up on snacks before the move or treat them to some takeout before the movers arrive — it will make moving feel like a happy occasion instead of something stressful.
Keep them entertained: Whether you’re just moving from Midtown to Moore Park or schlepping from Saskatoon from San Francisco, the best way to maintain calm throughout the hectic moving process is to keep them entertained. Even if you have hard and fast rules about screen time most days of the week, now’s the time to let them slide in favor of a peaceful and pleasant trip. Load tablets with their favorite movies and shows, pack plenty of books, and get them activity books and travel-friendly games to play during transit.
Divide and conquer: Instead of trying to wrangle your kids with your significant other while instructing movers, divide your tasks as much as possible. Let one parent wrangle the kids while the other handles the movers, or take shifts throughout the day.
Let them help: Your kids may not be able to lift heavy moving boxes, but that doesn’t mean they can’t feel like an important part of your move. Letting your kids help pack their own possessions into backpacks before the big day, secure boxes with tape, or buzz in the movers can help them better understand the process of the move and feel included, which can help keep any scared feelings they have about moving to a new place at bay.
Don’t deviate from their schedule: Moving involves a fair amount of upheaval, so do whatever it takes to help them stick to their usual schedules. Even if their usual playthings are packed, keeping sleeping bags out so they can take a nap at their usual time, having food on hand for meals, and maintaining something close to their regular schedule can help them get through the day without a meltdown.
Moving with kids can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Making and executing a plan of attack before the big day can make all the difference between your move being a bust or a breeze.