Moving home with kids // How to minimise their stress

*This is a collaborative post

My Timehop has been reminding me over the last few days that it’s a year since we moved to our new house. Moving to a new home with children can be a stressful time for everyone. During all the organisation, it’s easy to forget about the effect it’ll have on the kids. Different children will, of course, react to things differently, but it’s important that they feel involved, and there are some ways to ensure the move goes smoothly for them too, even if they are only small.

Let them see the house before you move in

If you can then let them see the house before you move in. You don’t need to take them to every single viewing, but once you’ve decided on a house, or couple of houses, have another viewing to show the kids around and take a walk around the neighbourhood so they know what it’ll be like when living in the new environment. Seeing the house will hopefully get them excited about the move, and keep them feeling positive in the lead up to moving day. Of course this isn’t always possible – even I hadn’t seen our new house before we got the keys! We were moving 250 miles across the country which made things a bit more difficult. We did show Toby pictures though and talked to him about our new house before we moved. 

This picture was taken the very first time we went into the new house and got to see inside for the first time – up until this point, Barry was the only one of us who had been in!

First time in our new house

We actually had the keys to the new house for a week before all our belongings were delivered and we moved in, and the boys had a great time playing in all the empty rooms.

Toby and Gabe exploring the new and empty house

Give them a chance to say goodbye

This may not be necessary for the short-distance moves, but for longer moves that involve changing schools, towns or even countries, it could be a nice idea to arrange a goodbye party for people they’re used to seeing everyday like neighbours or school friends. Perhaps encourage them to write letters or arrange a date to see them next, so they know that moving doesn’t have to mean the end of their friendships. This might not be necessary with younger children like Toby and Gabe were when we moved, but we did make sure Toby said goodbye to the old house and that he knew we weren’t coming back. 

Saying goodbye to the old house

Let them make decisions about their new room

If you plan on doing some decorating once you’ve moved in, ask for the kids’ input so they can help to make the room their own (within reason!). Letting them choose the colour or furnishings might help them to feel more settled in their new room and stop them missing their old one. We asked Toby if he would like something different for his new room or if he would like it to be like his old room. He chose to keep his space / planets theme (which also meant I didn’t need to buy new bedding!) but as he was going to be sharing a room with Gabe for the first time we combined it with a hot air balloon / plane theme on the other side of the room. 

Getting the boys room ready

We actually lived with my mum and dad for three weeks between moving out of our old house and getting the keys to the new house. We had a week after we completed on the new house before we actually moved in and so we used that time to get the boys room decorated.

Declutter

Decluttering is probably the worst part of the process, but is particularly important if you’re downsizing or the bedrooms are smaller. If you need to get rid of old toys in the lead up to the move, speak to the kids about which ones can go and which can’t and try to reach a compromise. If you’ve got baby things you won’t need anymore, try selling them on eBay and raising some money for decorating your new home! If you’re anxious about moving large items around, Shiply can help with the heavy lifting and delivery for things like changing tables and cots. 

We did manage to clear out some stuff before we moved but it’s still very much a work in progress, I’m ashamed to say we’ve still got boxes that haven’t been unpacked yet!

Have you moved house with children? I’d love to know what your top tips are – let me know in the comments.

Moving home with kids - how to minimise their stress

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