If you’re the type of adult who finds change difficult, you can understand the challenge it is for kids. This is especially true when moving to a new home. Fortunately, there are ways to keep kids engaged and facilitate the transition. Below are 10 tips recommended by relocation experts.
1. Involve your kids in paring down possessions.
Preparing for a move is the ideal time to eliminate clutter and reduce packing volume. First, take a tour of your home with the kids, room by room. Ask them to identify items they wish to keep and those they no longer want or need. HowStuffWorks advises to assure your crew they can retain objects associated with cherished memories.
To sort efficiently, try to handle each item once, placing it in either a “Keep” or “Toss” box. Objects that are gently worn but still usable might best be given to charity. Others in good condition can be sold.
2. Enlist the help of your children in holding a weekend garage sale.
- Ads – Ask the kids to help you write an ad to place in your local paper. HomeTips.net reports that some newspaper editions offer free advertising for garage sales. Another option is placing a free online ad with Craigslist.
- Flyers – Print flyers indicating your address, sale dates and times, and some of the big ticket items you’re selling. Then, head to town with your clan to post them. Ideal locations are bulletin boards at grocery stores, libraries, and laundromats.
- Signs – Have kids make neon posters, using bold markers. Letters should be at least three inches high and one-half inch wide so they’re easy to read. Position one sign on the street corner nearest your home and another directly in front of your property. Then have kids tie balloons to the signs.
- Price Tags – Kids can assist with writing price tags and affixing them to items with masking tape.
- Sales Promotion – Computer-savvy kids can go online, print up ads for items you’re selling, and attach them to objects. When shoppers see the original prices, they’ll be more inclined to buy.
- Layout – Children can help organize objects by category. To facilitate book browsing, have kids arrange texts in a bookcase versus putting them in a box. They can also put clothing items in size order and hang them from racks.
- Atmosphere – Create a pleasant shopping ambiance with background music. According to BestGarageSaleTips.com, easy-listening music on CD is preferable, such as the Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel, and Fleetwood Mac. Feed your crowd from a snack stand run by your children. Kids can make lemonade or tea and help bake cookies for the cause.
- Check-Out – Have kids create and operate a check-out station, equipped with boxes, bags, cartons, and old newspapers for wrapping fragile items. Older kids can write out receipts. To identify yourselves as sellers, you and your crew can wear snazzy aprons, fitted with pockets for stashing cash.
- Conclusion – When the sale is over, ask your kids to assist with removing flyers from bulletin boards.
- Obtain your kids’ input for what to buy with some of the garage sale profits.
Hold a family meeting and vote on what to purchase that can be enjoyed and shared by everyone. An item for the new house will generate excitement about moving.
4. Help your kids research the new neighborhood.
Go online with them and look up websites on their new school and community. Obtain magazines, bulletins, and periodicals on your prospective locale for kids to browse. In this way, you’ll spark their interest in joining new school groups, sports teams, and community organizations. The weekend edition of the local paper is a helpful resource for social and civic activities.
5. Collaborate with kids on room plans for the new house.
Create blueprints based on how children want to decorate their rooms and arrange furniture. If you aim to paint walls, let kids choose their room colors. Have them accompany you to the hardware store to examine paint swatches. If the kids’ rooms will need new furniture and rugs, take them with you to shop.
Young children enjoy the “Imagine Game.” With a sketch in front of them, say, “Let’s imagine what your new room will look like.” Then ask them where they want to put their bed, dresser, desk, chair, toys, etc. Have them mark the locations on their blueprint.
6. If possible, visit the new house together before the move.
If the new town is within traveling distance, schedule a day to scope out the house and neighborhood. Allow some time to check out the local library. Also, if school is in session, schedule a tour of the building and a meeting with the teacher. This preview will alleviate your kids’ anxiety considerably. You might show the family where you’ll be working. If your prospective home is too far for a day trip, take a virtual tour of the house and community online.
7. Ease the pain of parting.
Saying goodbye is one of the hardest aspects of moving. Reduce the stress by hosting a “See You Soon” party with friends, family, and neighbors. During the gathering, ensure that everyone swaps contact information. Also, take pictures of your kids with their pals. Discuss plans to make a future weekend visit or meeting at a halfway point for a day trip.
8. Plan a family outing in your new location.
If there’s a guidebook for your new town, use it to investigate a fun activity in the area. You can also research attractions online. If the season allows, you may be able to plan a trip to a zoo, amusement park, beach, local park, or you-pick farm. Exciting indoor options are a museum, aquarium, or planetarium. Explore the unique opportunities your new location offers.
9. Host a party in your new home.
Florida Van Lines said, “Within the first few weeks of adjusting to the move, invite kids from the new school and community to a pizza party or barbecue.” This gesture promotes making new friends.
10. Sustain familiar routines.
To establish a sense of security in your new home, maintain comforting rituals, such as:
- engaging in hobbies
- sharing family meals
- playing favorite games
- reading beloved stories
- singing a song before bedtime
- hugging and kissing before leaving for school
Here are additional tips for helping your kids adjust to their new home.
What Never Changes
Reassure your kids that despite all the changes involved in a move, your love remains constant. Though relocating is hectic, try to allow extra time to be present for your kids. Children take their cues from adults. If you view moving as an exciting adventure, your kids will likely follow suit.
Here’s wishing you and your family a streamlined move!