Preparing kids for a move can make the process more comfortable, no doubt about it. By presenting the idea of change and letting your kids become accustomed to it, you’ll help them get ready for the mental and emotional side of moving. But the business of moving, the packing and transporting, is a little different. It’s less about emotions and more about your to-do list. Consider these few tips to make the nuts and bolts of moving with kids a little bit easier:
Let kids pack (and decorate!) their own moving boxes – Even the littlest children can put stickers on boxes. Not only will it be easier to identify what boxes go where in your new home, but packing their own things can give kids a sense of control.
Pack your child’s favorite toys last, and save one or two to take on the road with you. If you’re packing for a toddler, assure your child that you aren’t throwing their things away. offshore centre . Explain that everything that goes into the box will come out again in your new home.
Keep dangerous materials away from kids. Take that box cutter with you when you leave the room.
Pack delicate items after the kids go to bed.
Use a babysitter if you can. If none is available, think about getting a new DVD or toy that can keep the kids engrossed for a few hours.
Pack one suitcase with all the must-haves: favorite toys, PJs, and changes of clothes. You may want to give your children their own special bags or backpacks that they can fill with their favorite things and keep with them during the move.
Make it an adventure. Parenting Squad’s Alyssa Chirco suggests you take advantage of the turmoil created by moving, and make a memory. “Let your kids do things you normally wouldn’t,” she writes. “Maybe let them stay up late or have treats you don’t normally allow. I’m pretty sure that all the extra trips to fast-food restaurants are my kids’ favorite part of moving.”
Use a cooler. Another great tip from Alyssa: “At some point before you move, you will have to unplug your refrigerator and empty your pantry…I ‘ve found a cooler to be a lifesaver. It’s a great place to store healthy snacks like apples, veggie slices, prepared smoothies, and low-fat cheeses.”
If you have to travel cross-country by car:
Don’t worry about sticking to a schedule. Be as flexible as you can. It’s a stressful time for all involved, and a little leeway to take an extra bathroom break or let the kids have another swim in the motel pool could make the trip a lot more pleasant.
Bring toys. Think about surprising your kids with something new for the road trip (it doesn’t have to be fancy, activity and travel books are great choices). Don’t forget to charge high-tech toys.
Dress everyone comfortably. Have a few changes of clothes if you can. Think about having recently potty-trained children wear pull-ups for the car ride, just in case.
Plan seating arrangements. USA Today suggests that you vary the seating by having adults sit in the back seat next to kids for part of the trip, or try placing a small child in the middle of squabbling older siblings to act as a “baby buffer.”