Remember the first time you moved as an adult? There were a million things to do, a budget to stick to and a lot of logistics to work out with next to no experience to go on. It probably seemed more than a bit overwhelming.
Now it’s time to make a move again, but this time there’s a small child in the mix. Suddenly, all the other moves you’ve made seem like a cakewalk. Whether your child is a homebody or a social butterfly, moving with a little one in tow adds a whole new set of considerations to the mix.
Here are 10 things to keep in mind when you’re moving with small children.
Small Kids Get Stressed About Moves Too
Just because they’re young doesn’t mean small children don’t get just as stressed out about a move as their parents. Little ones often get anxious about the unknown. If your child has only lived in one house their whole life it could seem like they’re leaving their entire world behind.
Watch out for signs that the move is causing your small kids stress. Some of the most common signs include sleep disruption, behavior changes and withdrawal.
They’ll Feed Off of Your Energy
Despite all the stress, parents have to put on a happy face during the moving process. Small children feed off of the energy of their parents. If you’re visibly irritated and upset about the move, they will be too. The best thing you can do is focus on the positive and save the meltdowns for after they go to bed.
They Need Time to Adjust
Springing a move on a small kid may seem like it won’t matter, but it will. Small children are very perceptive. They’ll know something is up, and if they’re kept out of the loop it will only add to their anxiety. Like everyone else in the family, they need time to adjust to the news of a move and the idea of living in another home. In our experience breaking the news to young children about a month before the move is ideal timing.
Another thing to consider is that moving with kids takes more time in general. Give yourself and your kids plenty of time to get packed up.
They’ll Have a Lot of Questions
Small kids have curious minds. On a normal day, you may field a dozen or more questions every time they come across something they don’t understand. Since moving will totally change life before and after you say goodbye to your old home, small kids will naturally have a lot of questions. Do your best to remain patient and answer their questions honestly.
Your Kids May Get Protective of Their Stuff
One of the first steps to any efficient move is purging. There’s a good chance as soon as you start packing you’ll realize how much stuff your kid has. But when faced with a move many kids become very protective over their things. Even if you are able to get a few items in a give away or donate box, don’t be surprised if your little one takes it right back out.
De-cluttering while small kids are asleep is often the best strategy. Chances are if they don’t see you pluck their rarely used toys, clothes, books, etc. they’ll forget they even have them.
If They Want to Help Small, Specific Tasks Are Best
Small kids like to be involved with what the family is doing. But during a move they can sometimes be more of a hindrance than a help. You’re best bet is to give them a few small, very specific tasks. For example, taking their books off shelves and stacking them.
Their New Room is the Top Priority
Older kids might worry more about the school they’ll be attending, but small children tend to fixate on their new room. To a small child their room represents a safe haven. They want to know that their new room will be just as comfortable as the one they have now.
They’ll Get Very Attached to Their Current Room
You may also notice your small children get more attached to their room than normal. Children around the age of five or six will probably grasp that they soon won’t have it anymore. Help ease them into the transition by packing up their room last and getting their things unloaded first.
They Already Miss Their Friends
Children begin to build bonds with their peers from a very young age. School aged kids are sure to have at least a few good friends that they don’t want to say goodbye to because they have to move away. Do what you can to reassure your child that they can stay in touch no matter where they live. If may also be a good idea to arrange a few extra play dates so they can spend more time with friends before the move.
On Moving Day Small Kids Need a Way to Stay Preoccupied
During the hustle and bustle of moving day, small kids can get caught up in the mix. Their curiosity can actually lead to dangerous situations if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Plan ahead and ask a family member or friend if they can babysit or help keep them busy during the move so they stay preoccupied. This is also a good idea if your little one is already upset at the idea of moving.
Whether you’re moving long distance or moving across the neighborhood, make it seem like an adventure will usually get small kids on board. At Square Cow Movers we’re a family-owned business that knows how to make a move more fun. Give us a call to discuss your move or use the online form to get an instant moving quote!