How to Move with Kids


If you’re planning a big long distance move, perhaps your kids are the last thing on your mind. But, come moving day, they may just as stressed as you are and having them cranky and angry can make your move even more stressful than it already is. So, if you are moving with your kids, here are some tips to help them and you.

First things first, tell them you’re moving as soon as possible. If you wait until the last minute, they might resent you. Tell them as soon as you’re sure about the upcoming long distance moving experience and be honest with them. Say the reason why you’re moving, if they already understand the concept. This will give them enough time to adjust to the idea and give them time to say goodbye to the people they’re leaving behind. Also, prepare them mentally by telling them all the good things – like how they’re going to have so many new friends, have a nice new neighborhood (with parks and playgrounds) and their own room to decorate as they like.

In preparation for their move, let your child help with the packing of the items. First, you may want to ask them to get rid of some stuff, to lighten your load. You can have a garage sale and have them help with labeling the items or even serving as a cashier (if they’re old enough.) Treat them to something nice after the garage sale, like a trip to the ice cream shop or candy store. Help them pack their stuff and have them label the moving boxes by drawing on them or putting on some nice stickers.

During moving day, it may be best to keep them out the way so they don’t interrupt the movers or get hurt. Designate one room as a play room and let them enjoy running around the empty room, or have them play games they don’t normally do inside the house. Keep them occupied until the movers are gone or at least until it’s time to go. For long car trips, you kids may be bored. If you have an iPad or tablet, load it up with some movies to keep them occupied. You can make a list of car games to play with them as well. You can play a trivia game about the new state or city you’re moving to, to make them more excited about getting to your destination.

Also, don’t forget to pack a cooler with snacks. If you can, plan a nice side trip, like a national park, zoo, or other landmark you can stop and have lunch at and spend the afternoon, this way your trip will seem like a big adventure. If you’re flying to your destination, let your kids pick a few items to bring with them on the plane, like a stuffed animal or a book to keep them occupied.

To keep them behaved on a plane (and avoid stares from your fellow fliers) try to do an activity before your flight to expend their extra energy and don’t let them eat chocolates.