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.
Seven Tips For The Best Family Pictures
Taking a family photo is an annual event for some families. For others, it’s a rare
undertaking. No matter how often (or infrequently) your family takes portraits,
there are some key things you can do to make it both hassle-free and memorable.
The following are seven must-use tips for taking the best family photos:
1. Smart Scheduling
Whenever children are involved, there should be some special considerations
Schedule the photo shoot when all family members are most likely to be at their
2. Location Logic
An indoor photo shoot leaves fewer elements to chance. However, an outdoor photo
shoot can open a world of creative possibility. Consider a park setting or hip urban
environment. While it can be fun to include a family pet either indoors or out, make
sure it can handle the different stimuli and activity of the photo shoot. There’s
bound to be lots of distractions throughout this process, so weigh creative
possibilities against minimizing your stress levels.
3. Lighting Is Key
Again, portraits shot indoors can be controlled and lit professionally, but natural
lighting gives some of the most beautiful effects. It’s up to you to decide how many
variables your family can handle. If you opt for an outdoor shoot, remember that
intense sunlight is not ideal and can wash out the photo. Strive for lower light or
choose a location in the shade or shadows to help regulate bright sunshine.
4. Wardrobe Considerations
When it comes to wardrobe, too much matching is not a good thing! Ensure that
your picture won’t end up in the next “Awkward Family Photos” calendar by
dressing everyone in tasteful, timeless styles. You can coordinate outfits and colors,
but avoid too much matching. Everyone wearing the same thing will result in a
distracting final result. If one main color is chosen, be sure there is plenty of
variation among outfits and accessories.
5. Avoid Loud Patterns — and Too Much Denim!
We’ve all seen the family photos where everyone is wearing jeans and/or denim
shirts; or is posed on a backdrop that’s too distracting. Casual is fine, but strive to
find a style that mirrors your family’s personal taste. Loud, busy patterns such as
multicolored plaid or clashing backdrop elements should be avoided. Tip: All-white
outfits or backdrops can be difficult to make visually successful, while black almost
always results in a chic effect.
6. Make It Personal
The key to successful, memorable family portraits is to blend timeless elements with
more personal touches that express who you are as a family. Consider trying
settings and compositional elements you all feel a connection with. A favorite park
setting, the family boat or collector car, shots with the family pet, or including
treasured accessories are all possibilities.
7. Experiment With Contrast
While you’ll want your photo to be personalized, remember that some creative
contrast can give effective and eye-catching results as well. For example, dressing
everyone in simple outfits and posing against an artfully weathered backdrop or in
an industrial setting can look stunning.
Lastly, remember that we live in a digital age where nearly unlimited after-effects
are possible. From changing the backdrop digitally to editing and retouching any
element of the photo, amazing results are possible. Framing and matting your best
prints also allows for even more creative license.
Lighten up and enjoy the process! The best images are created when the subjects
are completely comfortable, so make portrait day a fun family event.
Kristin Belt has seen hundreds of different family picture styles as co-owner of
Austin FASTFRAME with her husband Steve. Kristin has almost a decade of
experience in the framing industry, assisting clients with custom frames to suit their
rooms in the Austin metro region. Austin FASTFRAME offers framing solutions for
TV, plaque mounting, poster framing, fine art, custom frames and much more!