Moving Tips for Parents
Anyone can feel a bit disoriented and uprooted during a move, but for kids it may be
even worse. Kids rely on routines for stability in their daily lives, especially when very
young, and they don’t have the same coping skills as adults. Taking the time to make
children’s lives more bearable during a move can lower the stress levels of kids and
parents. Here are five tips to make the move easier on you and your kids.
1. Keep kids informed.
Some parents, worried about how their children will respond, may delay telling kids
about moving plans until shortly before moving day. This can backfire because the child
has less time to adjust to the idea and may become resentful about being kept in the
dark. It’s a good idea to reveal moving plans as soon as they’re firmly in place or, for
toddlers, a month or so before the moving date. If your child is a teen or tween,
consider discussing the move as a family even before finalizing the plans. Soliciting your
teen’s thoughts and concerns, even though you may ultimately go through with the
move despite these concerns, can help him or her feel like a respected part of the family
and develop a positive attitude about it.
2. Pad your plans with extra time.
You know it’s crucial to give yourself more packing and cleaning time than you
anticipate needing, but equally important is additional “fudge time” planned in for
unexpected issues and emergencies. This extra time is especially important if you have
kids, since you can’t always predict their behavior and needs in advance. Plan enough
time to run to the store for tissues or snacks, stop frequently for bathroom breaks, and
search for inexplicably missing items.
3. Enlist help from professionals.
Unless you have a relatively bare apartment, you’ll probably be hiring movers — or at
least a moving van for the big day. There are several other professional services that
may reduce stress on moving day as well. Consider some of these options
- A babysitter or daycare to keep younger kids out of your hair so you can do last-
minute packing without staying up all night.
- Professional packers if you’re on a tight schedule and can’t find someone to watch
- A “white glove” moving service if you have fragile, valuable, antique or unwieldy furniture.
4. Give kids responsibilities.
If you don’t tap into your kids’ immense reserves of energy both before and on moving
day, you’re missing out. Getting kids involved can help them feel good about
themselves, keep them occupied on moving day, and maybe even give you one less
thing to worry about (depending on how reliable your kids actually are). You’ll need to
choose these tasks based on each child’s age for best results. Some ideas to consider for
children in elementary school are:
- Having them help pack contents from their rooms into boxes
- Having them create an itemized label for each box from their room (so when they
NEED that one toy later, you can find it)
- Having them carry a roll of packing tape and “help” close each box
- Having them help load small, light items onto the truck
- Older children can handle larger tasks, such as packing contents from their
bedrooms on their own or creating a color-coded labeling system to help identify
boxes during the move.
5. Use a storage facility or send belongings in advance.
“Start packing early” sounds like good advice, but sometimes it simply means you run
out of space and end up with stacks of boxes everywhere for weeks. Sending some
belongings to your new home early limits packing clutter, allowing you to get more
packing done sooner. If you can’t access the new home early, consider using a self-
These five tips can help reduce stress on moving day by making sure you and your kids
are prepared and have all the help you need. Choose the best options for you or try all
five to help achieve the most stress-free move possible.
Author bio: Chris Crompton is a marketing manager for Transit Systems Inc., a leader in
the freight and shipping industry since 1989. Transit Systems offers professional service
and low rates on long-distance small moves and shipments.