What do move and love have in common — three letters and the fact that one makes the other SO much easier. A loving, understanding approach to moving can help your children arrive at their new home in a way that’s peaceful and positive, rather than rambunctious and raucous. Here are a few helpful hints for the days leading up to moving day as well as those shortly thereafter…
Keep Packing Light!
For younger children, make a game out of it. Get out that trusty kitchen timer and have a race to see who can pack a box or sort stuff faster. They’ll love to win and they’ll also be proud to help. Give little ones a “special” marker to write their names on their own boxes, and you can even let them help you label your boxes too!
Older kids and teens can take on the responsibility for packing up their own things too. Let them decide what to take and what to donate to Goodwill or another appropriate organization. Maybe they can help the little ones organize a mini-yard sale and use the money to buy something new for their new rooms.
That Special Day
On moving day, be sure each child has a bag with his or her “special” things that they’ll want or need on that first night in their new home — the teddy bear that helps your daughter sleep or your teenage sons favorite handheld video game. Let them pack those bags and bring them along, but be sure to check that they’re not forgotten.
Once you’re there, treat moving day like it’s your wedding day — cross the threshold with meaning and intention. Now is the perfect time to create a wonderful family memory. Meet your new house by posing for a picture right away, plant a new tree in the yard that will grow with you from this first day forward, or take a moment to decide as a family where a special possession (a bird feeder, swing, fountain, or other prized item) will be placed in your new home or yard.
Go to Your Room!
And once the boxes are brought in, let your children have some say in how their rooms are arranged and decorated. Resist the impulse to dive into design, and remember that while a new room may be an opportunity for you to unleash your HGTV design chops, it’s a challenge to your child.
Let them settle in and make some of the choices along the way. They’ll grow out of that bedspread you can’t stand, but they’ll never forget how you made moving fun and that the first thing you brought into the new house wasn’t that which makes it a home — love.