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Moving cross-country with kids can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time. There’s a lot to consider, from packing all the essential kids’ items to keeping them relaxed and engaged throughout the moving process. If you approach this moving exercise right, your kids will love the experience. Here are six tips to make your cross-country move with kids exciting.
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1. Make Your Schedule as Flexible as Possible
Balancing family needs during the moving process can be overwhelming. Ideally, you’ll need to budget your time to accommodate your errands and kids’ schedule, including family fun time. The secret to successfully moving with kids is to prepare in advance and embrace flexibility in your schedule. As you prepare for the move, you’ll realize that you need to allocate extra time for packing, sourcing supplies, communicating with the movers, doing research, etc. Being flexible during this time means welcoming new ways of working, seeking help, rethinking priorities, and so forth.
2. Visit the New Surroundings
If your budget permits, take your kids to the new place and visit the nearby parks, schools, and kids-friendly recreational facilities. That way, your kids will be eager to relocate and enjoy the new environment instead of feeling sad about leaving their current home. During your visit to the new home or town, be keen not to make unrealistic promises just to entice them. Promising a visit to the zoo is great, but be sure you can deliver on the promise once you have relocated.
3. Throw a Goodbye Party
Before calling in your cross-country movers, schedule a goodbye party. Invite your neighbors, relatives, and kids’ friends, and make the event lively and enjoyable. The party is a way of celebrating your time and experiences in the current home before moving to the new place. You can schedule the party some days or a week before the move. That way, you can have enough time to plan a great party without the stress of relocating.
The party doesn’t have to be expensive. However, it should be meaningful and special to them and their friends. Remember, this is a chance for them to say goodbye in their own ways and on their own terms. They will feel like they’ve had closure with their best friends, and their relationship will be intact before relocating.
4. Prioritize Open Communication
Relocating with kids is a lot of work, but it’s even harder if you’re moving across state lines. It can be tempting to keep things to yourself and just let the kids figure things out on their own, but this is often a bad decision. Kids, like everyone else, can sense when things don’t feel right. Instead of approaching the moving process as a problem and trying to protect them from the reality of leaving their home, friends, and current environment, you want to do the opposite. Share the news of relocating and explain how exciting the process will be. Help them cope with the stress of moving by involving them in some decision-making processes or telling them what to expect at every stage of the move.
5. Involve Your Kids in the Moving Process
Besides prioritizing open communication, you want to actively involve your kids in the physical planning and moving exercises. For instance, you can make the packing process fun by allowing them to select and organize what they want to take with them. This gives them some control over what’s happening and makes them feel involved in something important.
If your kids find the tasks boring, you can spice things up by turning the whole process into a game. For instance, you can label the boxes differently and guide them on organizing their items or other household stuff into the right boxes. You can reward them for a good job. By turning mundane tasks into competitive and exciting games, you’ll have changed the entire narrative about relocating.
6. Create a Safe Room
Getting your kids to help with the moving process is just one way of approaching this exercise. Sometimes this strategy doesn’t work, especially for younger kids or when you have hired professionals to help with packing and everything. If this is the case, you may need to find other ways of engaging your younger ones. Consider creating a safe room where your kids will play and relax as you work on putting everything together before the move.
The safe room will also serve as the entertainment area where your kids will watch their favorite movies, read their best books, play games, and more. So you’ll want to decorate it and ensure it’s clean, well-ventilated, and safe from potential hazards. To make the space even more exciting, you can have some of their best toys and items in the room.
Be a Smart Parent
Moving across the country with kids is a nightmare for most parents, but it doesn’t have to be! As a smart parent, you should make some key decisions ahead of time, and your move will go smoothly and even be fun for everyone involved.