moving house with kids

10 Tips for Moving House with Kids

moving house with kids

We are now over a month past moving house and I have had time to reflect about the things we did right and wrong with our 5 year old and 2 year old sons during this hectic time.

  • Take them on house viewings with you.   The best thing you can do to prepare your kids for moving house to involve them in as much of the process as possible.  The first step will be to take them on some viewings with you.  Whether it be first viewings, or second viewings, make sure you get to see them running around your potential new home.  It will help you to visualise it on as your family home, and your kids will love seeing what could be their new bedroom.
  • Try to explain the process to them.  Even little ones as young as five can start to understand how the house buying process works.  I tried to explain in simple terms all the little steps that we had to make, so my eldest son could see how far we had come from the first viewing.  It can be months after viewings until you actually move in so this was helpful (it was around 5 months for us).  I was able to talk about signing papers and them having to be swapped before we can move, as well as having to book a van and why we needed to pack boxes.
  • Find ways to fill the waiting.  Yup moving house is very very stressful!!  So try to find some ways to fill the periods of waiting for news.  Day trips, holidays, treat days.  These will take both yours and your kids minds off what is happening with the house move.  And if you end up taking on a project that needs lots of DIY when you get moved you won’t have as much time to do this afterwards.  Enjoy what is most important – your family.
  • Start buying things for the new house.  I wanted to keep the boys excited about the new house as well as taking their mind off it, so I tried to keep buying things to go in their new bedroom.  Name signs for the door.  New duvet covers.  Whatever little things you need to invest in anyway and a few things you don’t!  The boys were so excited about these when we got them and then when they saw them in the new room.
  • Go and explore the new area.  With my littlest boy it was important to know where the local park, library and other exciting places were.  So when he was off nursery we drove over to the new house and wandered around the area.  This meant we could hit the ground running when we finally got there and know where some of the best places to go are.
  • Find a new school and tell their old school as soon as you can.  As soon as we knew we were going to move house, we told the school my son was at.  This meant they could be aware of any changes in behaviour that might come with it.  We’ve had a bit of a rollercoaster with this one, but at least the school are aware of why it is happening and can support him.  I have made sure to find him a great new school to move to and have talked to him about his new uniform, but this will always a scary thing for a child.
  • Let them play in the moving van.  Ok so a fun one this time – let the kids enjoy the excitement as moving day gets closer!  We even let ours run up and down the big moving van before they started packing it.  Let them play with bubble wrap, hide in boxes and just be kids!
  • Sort out childcare for moving week.  This might seem obvious, but as you try to deal with solicitors, removal men and all the stress that comes with the last few days of moving, its best not to have kids in that mix too.  If you can, get grandparents or other family/friends to have them for a couple of days.  That way you can enjoy the last few days in your old house and focus on moving day.  We were lucky that it was half term when we moved so we didn’t have to worry about school.  Grandma brought the boys back at 4pm on moving day when the worst parts were over.
  • Have their room ready first.  Make sure you’ve marked the boxes, packed a bag with everything they will need for the first night (monitor, pyjamas, favourite teddy) and get their room ready as soon as you can.  We had an amazing Grandad working to build their new bunkbeds as soon as we got the keys, and then we had most of the things we need right to hand (I somehow managed to not pack any fitted sheets for the bottom of their beds and had a crazy ten minutes scrabbling in boxes to find some!!!!).   That way the second they walk into their new house it will feel like home.
  • Plan something exciting for the first day there.  Yes there will be plenty of boxes to unpack, but make sure you spend time with your kids on your first day in the new house.  Do something special to remember it.  Maybe a special breakfast or dinner out to the local restaurant.  Celebrate that the stressful period of moving house is over (yippee!!!!)

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