Moving is stressful—it’s no secret—but what if it didn’t have to be? By using these simple moving secrets, your family will not only survive the moving process but also bond over the experience.
So, what’s the big secret? Making your move more family-oriented and getting the kids involved. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Let Them Pack Their Stuff
Get older children to pack their bedroom. Getting your whole family involved in the packing process is a simple way to prepare your kids for the move and save you time. Plus, it presents the perfect opportunity for them to declutter.
Hold A Yardsale
Speaking of decluttering, hopefully you are also putting aside items you don’t want as you pack up. If you find you have enough stuff, it can be a good idea to hold a yard sale with the kids. Get younger children involved by letting them decorate signs, set up tables, and put price stickers on items. Have older kids? They might be able to handle the yard sale on their own, or at least with minimal assistance.
Put any money the yard sale makes aside to later spend on a family outing once you’ve settled into your new home. Or, if you want to get your kids extra excited, let them keep the cash.
Give your kids a few boxes to decorate with stickers or crayons. Better yet, ask them a label the boxes with art. For example, if the box belongs in the kitchen, get them to draw a picture of a kitchen on paper, then tape it to the box. Alternatively, you can also get them to doodle directly on the cardboard. This tip is especially great for younger children that quickly lose interest in packing.
Another idea for moving-related art includes having the kids draw pictures of activities they want to do in their new home or neighborhood. This is particularly a good idea since it can make them start visualizing themselves in their new environment. Which, in turn, can get them excited about the move.
Throw a Goodbye Party
Gather up the whole family one evening for some cake to say goodbye to your home. Other ideas for the party may include watching a movie or setting up a tent in an empty room to have a camp out—or should we say camp in! During this party, go around and have everyone talk about their favorite memories in the home. You can also go around to individual rooms to say goodbye, which can give kids a bit of closure.
Make It A Road Trip
Are you moving long-distance? Make the car trip a special one by planning a few activities ahead of time. Car games, audio books, and snacks are all great ideas to make the trip less boring and more like a fun adventure!
Consider making each kid their own road trip binder filled with games and activities like coloring pages, car bingo, the license plate game, and road sign scavenger hunt.
One of the most exciting parts of moving as a kid—and let’s be honest, also as an adult—is the chance to redecorate. Lean into this opportunity and allow each kid to pick the color of paint for their new bedrooms. Can’t paint because it’s a rental? No problem! Consider allowing each kid to get a new or thrifted item for their room. Small options that make a significant impact are bedding, rugs, and curtains.
Ask Their Opinion
Let your kid’s sense of decor extend outside of their bedroom and get their opinion about other small things around the house. What flowers should we put in the front flowerbed? Where should the sandbox go in the backyard? This not only shows them that you value their opinion, but the activities associated with these questions can also get them excited about the new house.
Make A Scrapbook
Take lots of pictures during the moving process and work on a moving scrapbook together once you’ve settled into your new home. Print the photos and decorate the pages with everything from glitter glue to stickers. Alternatively, you can also have each kid make a mini-scrapbook.
Better yet, give your kids control of the camera so they can take candid shots. You may think you look horrible in the surprise photos they snap, but your kids will love them. It can be a really great memento for them down the road!
If you want to make your move a positive experience, getting the kids involved is the way to go. With the above tips, not only will you survive the move, but you can come out of the experience a closer family.
Nancy Zafrani is the general manager of Oz Moving & Storage in NYC. A day-one employee of Oz, she has 25 years of experience in the moving industry. As a New Yorker, Nancy also has lots of experience dealing with small apartments and organizing.