We’re in the middle of our fourth annual Movers for Moms charity drive benefiting local moms in need at Safe Haven Family Shelter! These moms are going through a very emotional transition as they move from Safe Haven into affordable, long-term housing with their families. But this transition isn’t just taxing on Safe Haven’s moms–it can be very stressful for any parent moving with kids to a new home! Since we’re Nashville’s professional moving company, we want to share our top tips for making a move easier on you and the kiddos.
Before Your Move
One of the most important things for you to do before moving is to make sure your children feel comfortable, not anxious, about the upcoming relocation. As you prepare to find your new home, be direct with your kids about the change that’s coming up, and make sure they know the expected timeline you plan to follow. Otherwise, it can be scary for kids to know that big events are coming up without knowing exactly what steps will be taken and when. During your conversations about moving, make sure you show them with your facial expressions and tone of voice that the change is a positive one for your family, and not something to be afraid of.
Another way you can get your kids excited about their new home is by talking about specific things they can look forward to. Will they get to pick the color of their new room? Will they graduate to a new “big girl” or “big boy” bed as a result of the move? Are there landmarks like parks or fun stores that you’ll be able to frequent in the new neighborhood? Setting happy expectations for them will help alleviate uncertainty about what’s to come.
Don’t be afraid to get the kids involved in the packing process! While you’re packing up their rooms, you can carefully wrap the breakable items and let them stuff clothing and stuffed animals in the cracks to keep everything snug. We also encourage parents to purchase a “Truckie’s Treasure Chest” moving box, which is smaller than a normal box, includes a handle, and is easy to open and close for little hands. Kids can pack all their favorite books, toys, and pajamas for the first night in the new house into this treasure chest. Then they’ll know exactly where their comfort items are located after the move.
It’s also a great idea to let your children be involved in the purging process. Have them help you pack up old clothing and toys that will be donated to other kids in need as you get rid of old belongings that don’t need to be moved. Explain which charity you’ll be donating these items to, and what type of children you’re supporting. For example, your donations to Safe Haven Family Shelter help local Middle Tennessee families who have lost their homes because of natural disasters or unhealthy domestic situations.
On Moving Day
When Moving Day comes, your attention will likely be pulled in a hundred different directions. You may want to consider having children stay at a grandparent or friend’s house so you can focus on the task at hand without worrying about your kids getting underfoot of the movers or straying too far from the new home.
If this isn’t an option, plan a special Moving Day activity or two which will keep the kids’ attention for an extended period of time. This could be making crafts to decorate their new bedrooms, or organizing their books onto shelves in the new home.
If you’re moving with older children who you trust with your tablet or smartphone, this could be a good time for them to get acquainted with the new neighborhood. Challenge them find three or four local activities they want to check out near your new home after the dust settles from moving. These could include visiting the nearest Jeni’s Ice Cream store, biking a nearby greenway trail, or joining a fun class at the local YMCA branch.
After Your Move
Keep the kids involved at this point, even though it’s going to be a busy couple weeks getting everything unpacked. In fact, they can be helpful as you get settled in! You can turn unpacking into a fun activity by making a scavenger hunt game or bingo board out of the belongings they can find and put away in their own rooms. Kids also love using the unpacked boxes to build forts and make other fun crafts as you work to clear out the used cardboard.
You also want to make sure your children get adjusted to their new neighborhood in a reasonable amount of time, so they won’t feel anxious about their new neighbors, school, and extracurricular activities. You can help them feel at ease by taking them for a walk on a Saturday morning, when neighbors may be out to say hello as they do yardwork or drink coffee on the porch. Drive them up to their new school and walk around the play set so they can get excited about new friends and recess. And consider enrolling them in a local class, such as swimming lessons or a little league team, so they can meet other children in the area.
Are you ready to get a free moving quote from us, or do you need to buy fort–I mean packing–supplies? Give us a call or text at 615-248-6288 or visit us online to email us!