Spring is a time for renewal. It seems to bring with it energy and excitement. We breathe the fresh, clean air. We revel in the lovely weather, the flowers blooming in our gardens and the sounds of birds in the morning. And the soft Spring breezes bring a smile to our lips as they caress our skin.
And it’s when we often purchase a new house. How can you make that process, including moving day bearable? I have some ideas and would love to hear from you. What has been your moving experience? What worked well for your family?
One of the signs of Spring is the For Sale signs that start popping up around the neighbourhood. If you are moving, you know it’s exciting but let’s face it, it’s also challenging. Most parents wish they could somehow put their kids on hold while they try to keep the house perfectly clean to be sold and while they organize, sort and pack the accumulated paraphernalia of their life in the current house.
What can you do to make the whole process easier on you and the kids? The decision to move must be made by the adults, but the kids need to be kept in the loop. After all, they’re moving too.
So, tell them why you’re moving. Is it more space? A new job? They’ll want all the details such as where they’re going to sleep, whether they can bring their toys and whether their new neighbourhood has a McDonalds. Involve them in preparing the house to be shown and encourage the realtor to recognize their help. The more they’re part of the process, the more easily they’ll accept the change.
Bring the children with you to visit any houses you have determined are good possibilities. With younger kids only show them the house you have bought so they can start to imagine living there. With older kids, you can show them a few that are on your short list and listen to their comments. They will have considerations that are different from yours and could be pertinent.
When you involve the kids they have some control over the upcoming change and become part of the process. As a bonus, some of this positive and creative energy will pass on to you.
You have everything packed and ready to go. What are some things you can do to make this stressful time easier for you and your children?
• If you’re moving a distance, arrange a going-away party. They need to say good-bye to their friends in a structured way.
• Make sure you have the addresses (including email) of their closest friends so they can keep in touch if they wish.
• Have children help with the packing. Even little ones can bring you unbreakable belongings such as books or pots and pans for you to place in a box.
• Make sure they each get to have a backpack for their treasures. They need to know that their favourite things are safe and the best way to do that is let them have them in their own packs.
• On Moving Day younger children should be elsewhere with friends or a sitter. If they really want to watch, arrange for a sitter to be with them while they watch their belongings go into the truck. This sitter can also take them elsewhere when they get bored.
• Older children can be helping. They can help with the last-minute packing, making sandwiches for the movers and yourselves or doing the vacuuming after a room is cleared. Make it a family move, rather than an adult event and everyone will benefit.
Moving will be hard work but it can easily be worthwhile, exciting and ultimately successful.