5 Tips for Moving With Kids

Big changes are coming our way at Kinder Keepsakes. One of us is moving, and that one of us is me! AHHHHH!!   Moving is such a scary, stressful, crazy thing to do with kids and  I always worry that I will be scarring them for life.  We have made the decision to move around a bit while our kids are young as it seems at this point they easier to move. While they are easier to move it is still important to make sure that you take them into consideration during the process!  In order to minimize the moving stress on the family, and specifically the little ones, here are a few tips on how to move with kids!

1. Make sure you tell them first!

This seems silly but I have found myself talking to the adults around me about the 'next steps' in our lives because they understand everything that is involved in the process before I talk to my kids.  The last thing I want is to have them hear the news from a neighbor!  So ... how do you tell them? First you must make sure the decision is final!! There is no reason to stress small children out with the prospect of leaving a place when they have no control over the final decision.  Once final, we have found the best way to discuss the move is by taking some time and having a family meeting. You can bring props to explain it to the little ones. Get them excited about the possibility. Explain the benefits, and explain the new place in very positive terms. Answer questions honestly,and make your children feel included.  If you have very small toddlers they will not understand the scope of what this means for them, but they will feel all of the changes so it is important to prepare them.
Tips for the meeting... Bring Maps!  Bring toy moving trucks!

The toy trucks are fun for kids. It is great to see the huge truck that is coming to pick up all of their toys! I find the maps helpful so that the kids can trace lines from your old house to your new house! Matter of fact the kids can drive the toy trucks from point A to B on the map.  Great visual for the younger set.

2. Include them in getting the house ready to sell!
It seems like every year we accumulate so much clutter.
 When we sell it is important that we  clear the clutter so that our house shows as clean and as open as possible!  This means it is donation and sell time.  The last thing I want to is to tell my kids they are moving and then throw away all of their toys! So we include them in our clearing process. We tell them to pick toys that they have not played with in a long time and we will put them in three piles,  sell , donate and keep!  It is a great time to teach your children about giving to others, and learning to appreciate the toys that they have and play with. If you need options on how to sell check out  the Facebook swap group that is local to your area!  We then let our kids keep the money that is generated from their toys!

3. Let the older kids have input in the new home ! 
We spend hours and hours scouring online sites to try and find our new home. During this process it is fun to get the kids involved. Ask them what they would like to see in their new room. Once you have narrowed down the options to a few houses let the kids see how awesome the new homes are. If they give strange requests like building a Spiderman wall in their new room  you would be surprised what you can come up with.
Spiderman web art display... I wanted something in my sons Spiderman room to show off school and art projects. I centered a nail on wall and stretched yarn to each point with tacks... Then sagged and knotted the yarn across. So easy and lots of fun. Took cloths pins to hang art.With Some blue paint and a red yarn a spiderweb can easily become a little boy's dream land.  Find pictures, get ideas, let them get creative about how they want to decorate their new rooms.  This gets them excited about what they get to do when they get there.

4. If possible, visit the new place before moving.
When we moved to South Carolina we were unable to visit as a whole family before we packed up and started our move.  This made it tough for our oldest so we decided to take videos for him to see what we were talking about. He loved being included in the fun. If you are able to take a trip or two, make it fun, go to kid oriented places. If there is a children's museum stop in and show them the fun side of town.  Make sure you stop in to the recreation department when you get there to find the team sports, group camps, library story times etc. that allow your kids to get out and mingle with other children in the area. Get them out and involved as early as possible so that they can begin to find a new social network.

 Please note that you do not want to be unrealistic about what is in the new town. You do not want to set your child up for disappointment. If you are moving from a city setting to out in the country try a skype tour, or an actual visit to show them what to expect. It can still be fun but do not over promise rainbows and sunshine if they are not going to get it!

5.  Have a  Party!
This seems counter intuitive ...to celebrate your leaving... but it is important to give your children some closure in their old home.  I would call it  a see you again extravaganza! Make sure that you emphasize to the kids that just because you won't see everyone everyday as they may now, it is still possible to visit, talk with and write their friends.  I have found a great way to do this is to have your kids either buy or make their own address books!  Leave them out and have the other children, or the child's parents sign it with email address, physical address and phone number. The other thing we add is Skype ID, or if you can Facetime!  Oh, the wonders of technology!

Lastly... it is a stressful time.. but remember it is not just stressful for you, it is stressful for them. Keep calm, and take one step at a time.  You are moving, you might as well get their with a smile on your face!

Until Next Time,