It’s happening! Your family is relocating! You’ve broken the news, have a tentative schedule in place and everyone from biggest to littlest knows what’s ahead. Well, not the tiniest family members. Moving won’t faze the 18-month-old! But it might faze the 18-months-old’s brothers or sisters, so here’s our five suggestions for moving with children.
Kids’ Opinions Count, Too
They may not have a choice about moving, but they can have a choice in the search for your new home. Older kids especially can contribute preferences and suggestions.
For example, if your current home is the after-school gathering place, make sure your new home can do the same job. Keep everyone updated on the home selection process. Allow kids to chime in on the handful of finalists. Then, celebrate as a family after you’ve chosen your new home.
If you’re moving across town or somewhere within a few hours’ drive, load up the gang and check out your new neighborhood. You also can do this before you embark on the new-home search. And, again once you’ve chosen it. Up to you.
The more you can help kids get a feel for their new home and town, the less daunting a move is for them (and to your stress level). Always be honest. Don’t sugarcoat where you’re moving, even if everyone in the family can’t wait to get there. No place is Shangri-La. If you’re moving farther away and in-person visits aren’t possible, do the reconnaissance online. Get the kids to help you build photo galleries. Encourage older kids to do their own research, likely via social media, and report back.
Moving is the perfect excuse. No sense transporting outdated, duplicated or unused stuff that we all cram in drawers, closets and under-the-bed containers. Do you really want to move boxes that you must open just to see what’s inside?
Ask everyone to pitch in. Kids outgrow toys, clothes and hobbies (and sports equipment, electronics and furniture) just like adults. Ask them to help select items they no longer want or need — everyone in the household should do this,— then sell or donate the “clutter.” And kids, particularly older ones, can be helpers and salespeople during a garage sale.
Ask Kids to Help Plan Their New Rooms
Your 11-year-old is the next diva of decorating, so let her work her magic in her new room. Even kindergarteners know what colors they like and which movie or video-game characters they want decal-ed on their bedroom walls. Obviously, set budgets for each child. Shop together on big-ticket items like furniture. If kids have definite opinions about outfitting family living spaces, hear them out.
Play Tourist in Your New Town
Once you’ve moved and are semi-settled, take weekend drives around town. Visit parks and museums. Learn shortcuts. Take restaurant suggestions. Ask the kids where they want to go. What they want to do and see. You don’t have to experience it all at once. Make a discovery list and tackle one thing each weekend — or month.
Moving to Florida? As Florida’s Custom Builder, ICI Homes can help you locate the perfect new home for your family. Click here to get started.