Moving house can be difficult at the best of times, and has been proven to be one of the most stressful things you can do. When you consider that, on average, people move eight times during their lives, that’s at least eight highly stressful periods that you and your family go through. There’s so much to consider – where did all that stuff come from, how are you going to get it all in the moving van, and which box did you pack the kettle in? But if you have children then that stressful time could get a lot worse!
Moving house as an adult is bad enough, but for children, it can be deeply traumatic. It’s a big change in their lives and could mean leaving friends and even family behind. It could mean a new school, new people, and a new environment. So if you are moving house, here are five tips that can make it a much less stressful time for the little ones – and for the grown-ups, too.
Before you decide to move house, you need to sit down and have an honest conversation with your kids. When you have young children, moving home can be a huge issue for the little ones, especially if they’re settled into a school routine and have built up a circle of friends. Listen to their concerns and provide them with reassurances about the process. Keep them involved throughout, and give their concerns proper consideration.
It’s a part of moving anyway, but decluttering can be a great way to introduce younger children to the concept of moving house. Children grow out of clothing and toys every few months, so a declutter can be a way of introducing other concepts such as sharing (as well as making more space in the moving van!). That old kitchen playset that hasn’t been played with for months could be donated to a charity for at-risk children or the local children’s hospice or hospital which gives you the opportunity to teach them about sharing and charitable giving, as well as helping them to let go of stuff that they no longer need.
Try to ease your children gently to the concept of living in a new home by taking them to see the property before moving in day. Let them choose their own room (not the master bedroom, obviously!) so that they feel that they have their own space as soon as they move in. Talk about how they want to decorate their room, and what special touches could make it feel more like home, more quickly.
It’s never too early to start packing when you’re getting ready to move house. It’s a long process, which could be made even more complex if you have young children around. Even if the move is several weeks away, get started on the packing early. Stuff that isn’t used regularly can be boxed up and, if necessary, put into storage for a few weeks until you’ve moved to your new property. As the house is gradually boxed up, young children will become more acclimatised to the idea that one chapter of their lives is closing and another one is opening up.
While it might be tempting to try and unpack everything at once, young children need some sense of familiarity as quickly as possible to make settling into a new home easier. You can help them make that transition by unpacking some of their things first, like their favourite toys, their bed, and their clothes. By making things familiar for them as soon as you can, you’ll find that they settle into their new home much faster.
While it’s important to make moving a less stressful time for your children, it’s also vital to ensure it’s a smooth and hassle-free transition for you too. Talk to a conveyancing professional to help ease the stress and make sure all the paperwork and legal processes of moving house are as stress-free as possible.
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