Maintain your inner peace while moving home with children
Ways to maintain your inner peace when moving home with children
Is this really possible? I’m not so sure, but there are definitely ways in which we can help our children make the transition from their old home to their new home, more positive, fun and hopefully less tantrum filled. Moving hardly ever comes without its hiccups. In fact, not once have I ever moved without feeling some level of ‘un-zenness’. However, my last move was smoother, and given that this was our first move with an 8 year old and 3 year old I feel pretty proud of this. I would also like to thank my wonderful estate agents, Robert Leech in Lingfield!
Name dropping aside… Here are a few things you could try to help make the house moving process be less scary and maybe even fun!
In the last few weeks leading up to the move
- In this time period you will want to help your little one(s) get used to the idea of moving. A good way to help them feel positive about the move, is to take them to their new home, show them which room will be theirs and talk to them about the new, exciting adventures you will soon be having e.g. playing games in the new big garden, decorating their new bedroom or doing something they love such as baking cakes in the new kitchen.
- Take this time to get to know the local parks, play areas and of all the places you know your child will enjoy, so that they can start to make happy memories, even before you have moved. Remind them of these fun new places whenever they feel worried, as these will all soon be just round the corner from their new home.
- Sometimes it can be difficult for a child to imagine what it’s going to be like in their new home. So, if finances allow you could consider making plans for decorating their bedroom? You can spend lots of time together creating a mood board full of all the new exciting ideas they have for their own special sanctuary/den!
- Most children will also like being able to pack their own belongings. This will reassure them that not everything’s changing and that they will be taking all of their toys and special things with them. Maybe make some labels for them… personalise them with their name and some fun little slogans. Packing should be exciting for your child; as a family you’re all embarking on a new adventure.
- One thing you really should do, is to pack an overnight bag for you and your family. Without super powers, it is unlikely that you will be able to unpack everything on moving day. I learned this the hard way! This is essential you have everything you need for the first night especially items your child cannot sleep without. Let’s face it, do you really want to be hunting for that special bear as bedtime approaches?
- Why not consider having a leaving party with all of your close friends and family? Children love a celebration and this will make the new home feel more exciting and positive. Everybody will be happy and talking about how sensational the new home will be! You could also take this opportunity to take photos of your guests in your old home, giving your child something to look at and remember while they are adjusting to their new home.
- One of the best things we did for our family while preparing for the move was to create a little video of us in our old home talking about all the fun things we had enjoyed doing. We went from room to room, pointing special things out and sharing our memories. We also took the time to explain how we will be able to create new, possibly better memories in our new home.
The big moving day has arrived
In all honesty it is best if your children are not there on the moving day, because you’re likely to be very busy, unable to provide your child with as much attention as usual and possibly feeling under a lot of pressure to get things sorted. But, if they are with you, the key to keeping stress levels to a minimum is being prepared and keeping them busy.
- Children like structure, so if possible you will need to stick to their core routine as much as possible i.e. make sure they eat and sleep when they normally would… Nobody wants a hungry or tired child on their hands – a recipe for disaster! Get the snacks in and sleeping bags at the ready.
- When you pack the moving van, make sure your children’s boxes are the last to go in. This way, you will be able to have all of their things accessible as quickly as possible. They may be able to unpack some of their own items, if they’re old enough.
- Give your child a job title for the day- “Mummy’s little helper”, “Daddy’s organiser” – create a special badge for them and give them a clip board with pens! Not only can they keep you in check, but also they will feel important and involved in the process. This will also give them the opportunity to create some new art work that can be put up almost straight away.
Relax – you’re homeward bound
So, the hard works done ands all the boxes are in. You may not know where the plates are, or even where the bottle opener is (I did!), but one thing is for sure, dinner will be on all of your minds and cooking a gourmet meal will not be a top priority. Take this opportunity to let your child take the lead, plan the evening ahead- they can choose their favourite take away, favourite snacks and even favourite movie which you can all enjoy together, in your new home.
STAY CALM. STAY POSITIVE. HAVE FUN.