Saturday 16 May 2015

Moving House: Involving your children before the move

My boys are really looking forward to moving house, probably because it's to a familiar location (road we used to live on) and closer to their schools so aside from a new house nothing else will really change for them.  We've involved them along the way, making no secret of the fact we are looking for a new house and for Noah (4 years old) he's even been able to come along on viewings with us.  However it can be stressful and distressing if children are leaving their friends, schools or a home that they've always known (we've only lived here 18 months), it's a great idea to ease them in gently and keep them involved before the move.

A lot of the moving tips below are useful whether moving small distances like 2 miles up the road or longer ones, such as trekking across oceans.
  Hope they help.

Have a Family Meeting.  Order your kids favourite takeaway and have a chat with them.   Explain the reasons why you are moving and where too.  Encourage them to express their feelings and concerns, let them know about the first time you moved house and that you felt the same way and how things worked out. Let them know you'll be depending on them to help out during the move, from packing to settling in to the new place.

  For younger children get books from the library or bookshop on the subject of moving to read.  Post coming soon

  Give children tasks and responsibilities.  This will make them feel involved and in control over their situation.
                  Help them to declutter.  Pursuade them to get rid of toys they no longer play with, are broken or have bits missing.  This worked in our house by promising to take them shopping for more grown up puzzles and new cars once we'd moved.
                  Involve them in packing and let them pack up their own toys.
                  Let them label up the boxes (even if you have to do it again afterwards)

  Get the kids' feedback on the new home.  Show them pictures if they haven't been able to come along and talk about how they would like their new bedroom and/ or playroom decorated.  If you are moving to somewhere talk about possible getting that toy they've wanted but there was no room for.  Mine are very excited about getting a bigger slide as we have hardly any garden at our current house.

  Make decorating plans.    Take a trip to the store to look at paint or wallpaper swatches, carpets or furniture.  For older children give them a budget and let them tackle their own rooms; picking out paint, linens, rugs or carpet and furniture.

  Take your children for a fun day out before hand to explore the new area.  Show them local parks, leisure centres, child-friendly restaurants, cinemas and attractions and consider what you would like to do first once moved.

  Let them say goodbye.  If you’re moving out of the area, organise a little leaving party. Take photographs of your children’s friends, their current home and favourite places in the neighbourhood.   They could make this into a scrapbook which each of their friends could leave contact details, (address', telephone numbers and email addresses) so they know they won’t have to lose contact.
Depending on the distance and ages of the chidren you could organise a surprise party at the new house and watch their faces when their friends turn up to see them a few weeks after the move.

  Try not to let any stresses and concerns about the move show when you are around the kids (easier said then done, I know I've broken this already).  Try to turn the whole thing into an adventure.

Have I missed anything?  What tips for pre-move do you have to share?

Watch this space for:   Moving House:  Surviving moving day with children  Coming Soon


  1. This is a really nice and thoughtful post. I think it's such a good idea to give children tasks and responsibilities. It's important to make them feel involved and, as you say, in control over their situation. It's also important to get them excited and positive about the move so those feelings of involvement are really crucial.

  2. I think you're right that you should include your children as much as possible in the moving process. It can be very difficult for a child moving house, but as you have said, your children will be closer to school and friends, which is great. I hope you all settle into the new place and best of luck with the future!

    Robyn Harmon @ Hills Moving

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  7. Sometimes the kids have trouble with a move. What we did was get the kids excited about the process by letting them do some fun stuff along the way. As we packed, I would let the kids draw all over the moving boxes. They made forts out of empty boxes, played in and on those boxes, and enjoyed the rooms being a complete mess.


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