As I blogged about a couple of weeks ago, we sold our home in South Florida and bought a new house in South Carolina, over the summer. Moving is never easy, but making the jump almost 700 miles away and to a different state was a whole other story. I was extremely stressed and wanted to make the move as painless as possible for everyone.
Now that we are settling into our new home, here are my top five tips on moving with kids that I learned in the process.
Start Early – Much earlier than you expect. We decided to rent a storage unit right before we put our home on the market so that we could make it seem uncluttered. I used that storage unit the entire time our home was on the market to add our moving boxes into. With little kids home or kids home for the summer the more you pack early the less stressful it is and the less they can take out to play with while you have prospective buyers walk through last minute.
Make Packing Fun – My kids are hoarders, especially my middle son. When it came to their toys, they were less than pleased that they would be boxed up for several months. I decided for every box they completed with me they earned points for our new house. Which meant extra TV time or a night they got to stay up a little later.
Make A Fun Box – With a 12+ hour drive ahead of us, we needed more than just the DVD player in the car. When our house was under contract I hit up the dollar section at Target and Toys R Us. I bought a few little things to play with in the car. Things like coloring books, new crayons even card games came in handy. I held onto the until it became witching hour and pulled them out of the trunk as a surprise.
Moving with kids does not have to be stressful!
Reassurance – Kids do not really understand the concept of moving if they have not done it before. They need lots of reassurance as the whole process is going on. Take a few minutes each day to check in with each of them. Let them express their fears (especially if they will be attending a new school) and lean an ear to listen. Moms, this one was hard for me! I was sad to leave the memories behind as well. I put on my brave face and told them each day how amazing this move was going to be. They need to hear what things they can look forward to.
Ask For Help – I am not one to ask for help however with three kids, a husband that worked crazy hours and the entire move to plan myself was stressful! I was in over my head. Ask friends, neighbors or family to take the kids if they can for an afternoon. We were lucky enough to have family very close by to help me almost any time I needed it, even if it was to take a nap. Packing boxes will wear you out fast!
An important key to remember, kids are resilient all the worrying I did for months was all put to rest when they started their first day of school. They all came home saying they wished we moved here sooner.
Moving with kids can be stressful. The most important thing for me was a good solid plan and giving myself and my kids tons of patience.
What is your number one tip on moving with kids? Where did you move to and from?