5 tips to make your family move an epic adventure.
Photo by MART PRODUCTION
Moving with your family will take extra planning and more time. However, you can take steps to make your move simpler and more engaging for every family member. From loading boxes to your moving road trip, you can take deliberate steps to ensure this is the adventure that your family will remember for years to come.
Make packing a game
It’s important to set the right tone from the beginning. The right attitude from the start can set a standard for how the entire process will play out.
- Remain positive. Staying cool and collected will allow you to find humor in negative situations. Set an example of positivity for all family members involved.
- Engage your loved ones. If everyone remains engaged in what they are trying to accomplish, progress will be made and there will be less time to focus on negativity about the process.
Here are a few ways to engage your children in the packing process.
How many stuffed animals will fit in a cardboard box? Make sure the very special stuffed animal stays on the bed before you start this. This is the way to empty the pet nest and put away all the display toys. Let the child who is proud to be strong handle the squashing. Sometimes at this age, the point is to try and keep them occupied and entertained with their tasks.
Pre-teen and teenagers
The child who is all about stacking, building, and construction comes to help you in the kitchen. Store any cooking gear you still need in an empty, cool oven. This separates critical cookware from the rest of the kitchen. Put your little builder to work stacking plastic containers and metal bowls. This way, you can begin the process of packing the entire kitchen.
As moving day gets closer, put your gamer in charge of the electronics backpack or briefcase. Here, make room for everyone’s favorite tablet, game, cable, and phone charger. If you work from home or have a laptop from your employer, store that necessary gear separately.
As possible, give this child a bit of authority and responsibility. Make sure they have a quality surge strip they can use to plug in all the cables and charge up all the tools and toys when you stop at a hotel and even when you settle in your new home. Keeping everything charged up will keep the peace.
Make it a road trip adventure
Set up your biggest family vehicle for a great adventure and use a car transport company when sending other family cars to Florida or other distant US states. Hire a driver to manage your moving truck unless one of the adults has long experience driving a moving truck.
In addition to all the electronics, make sure you pack up a cooler with easy-to-open and enjoy foodstuffs, sandwiches, chips, and juice. Find a fun park along the way and go for a walk, do a little swinging and walk the family dog while you take a meal break.
Moving can be a tough process for some children. Especially if there are friends they don’t want to say goodbye to. It’s important to focus time on building your bonds as a family. Make sure to plan a fun and special activities along the way. After all, when is the next time your family will be together, traveling the country together? Make sure to take advantage of this time together and appreciate the fact that this is a rare opportunity to travel together.
Plan out their new room
If you are buying a house at your destination, make sure children can decorate their own space with their favorites. This may mean that your lovely mist grey home has some interesting accent walls, but go ahead and let your children celebrate that new room with a bold pink or purple space.
If you’re moving into an apartment or a rental house, go ahead and create simple customizations to celebrate your child’s space. Hit your local craft store and get some plain white canvases. Cover them in your child’s favorite color and hang contrasting sheets over the windows or the closet. Invest in a new bedspread in their favorite color or go ahead and paint an old bedstead in their chosen shade.
For those with children who are transitioning to a bigger bed, do your best to build excitement over these moves with a fun feature, such as a lofted bed with a desk or a set of bunk beds for older children.
Create a map of the new neighborhood
Take time with your children and study the local fun. Find the parks, schools, and library. Locate and visit the children’s museum, the art museum, and local amusement parks. Make plans for a fun weekend trip to one of these places each weekend once you move into your new space. Once your children can see their futures in their new space, they will be more accepting of this big change.
If your budget allows, look for favorite restaurants that please each child best. Nobody feels like cooking when they’ve got a lot of cleaning and unpacking to do, so go ahead and draw that favorite restaurant out of a hat or a jar so you can fairly choose the best place to run for a meal.
No matter your moving budget, getting kids excited and happy about the experience will lower distress and worry. Your children can be a productive part of the process if you can get them to play as they pack and to see themselves in their new home.