Before you move
Be positive about your move. If you dread the move children will pick up on this and will also be anxious about it to. Try and get children as involved as much as possible by welcoming any questions they may have, and go through what will happen on moving day.
Questions they may ask:
This can be a very hard part of moving for children so make sure that they have a chance to say goodbye properly. You could organise a small leaving party and take photos of all their friends so that they can add to scrapbook which also shows their own house and neighbourhood. Make sure that they also have all their friends addresses, telephone number and emails so that they can keep in contact.
Making the most of temporary accommodation
If you are moving into a new place just for a short amount of time still make the place look as homely as possible. Don't pack away all toys but unpack couple of boxes so that the place looks and feels familiar to the small folk. Place family photos around and hang some photos so it feels more like home.
During the move
In an ideal world the best thing to do is have relatives or friends to look after your children for most of the day. However, we know this is not always possible. So explain to young children exactly what is happening and what to expect on moving day. Give your children (depending on ages) specific jobs to do. Helpiammoving.com have created moving house job badges, which you can print off and gives a child a specific but very important job on the day i.e. toy coordinator in charge of making sure all toys boxes are loaded and no stray bears and toys are left in cupboards. For really young children a playpen is ideal as you can immediately surround them with their favourite toys. Try to keep to their routine as much as possible so have all food, highchairs, changing equipment set up and to hand.
Try to arrive before the removal team so that you have a chance for children to explore their new house and get excited. Once the removal team arrive, show them where all the toy boxes go but make sure children don't unpack any boxes until the majority of their furniture is in place. They wouldn't want a removal man standing on their favourite toy as he struggles across a floor scattered with toys with a wardrobe. Once all the furniture is in place then unpack one box so that they can sit in their room playing.
Plan your first night: Make this special for your child, have a pizza and ice cream and spend time with them rather than unpacking. Make sure their favourite books are to hand so that you can settle them for the night.
Long distance moving
You will normally set off to your new home after your removal team. At some point you should overtake them, make it a game to look out for your removal lorry and don't forget to wave as you drive by. If you are travelling a long distance try and keep your children occupied. Long journeys can be very tedious for children but a suggestion to keep them occupied would be to give them a pen and paper so they can draw their new bedroom. If you are really organised you may have already printed a plan out so all they need to do is add their furniture. Not only will this get them excited about their new home but also help the removal men put items in the right place.
Don't be surprised if your child becomes more clingy after moving to a new house, this is natural. Stick as much as possible to routine around bedtime and meals. Don't unpack all boxes straight away but make it the main focus to unpack their boxes first, having their room sorted as soon as possible; so they have as many things around them that are familiar will help them settle quicker. It may be a couple of days after your move that it hits your child, this can be when all the fun and chaos have finished and when tears appear so spend time exploring the new area with your child especially parks, swings or walks pointing out all the new exciting things they can do. Local baby or toddler groups are ideal for meeting new mums and finding out about your area.
We all know that every child has a natural explorer inside so make the whole experience into a huge adventure. Most importantly let’s make Moving Day FUN