Dear Storage Seeker:
We plan to move into a new home this summer but wonder how to make this move less stressful for our little ones (ages 3 and 5). Do you have any tips?
Nervous & Unsure.
Dear Nervous & Unsure:
Moving into a new home is no easy feat! Moving is consistently listed as one of the top 10 most stressful life events, right up there with the death of a loved one and divorce! You are wise to consider how moving can affect your children; most people – wrongly – think that moving affects adults only. It is just as ridden with anxiety and stress for kids, who may feel unsure. Though moving and have its negative points, as a whole, you can make it a positive experience for your entire family. Here are three simple tips that can help!
1.) Include your children in the process, making it a fun and exciting adventure!
Let your children make a little wishlist of what they want in a home (however crazy) so that they feel a part of the process. Allow them to pick out paint colors for their new room or give their opinion on where to place certain items. They are by no means dictating your move, but they will feel valued and included if given a voice. You should also let them formally say goodbye to your current home, leaving a note for the new family that lists all the things they loved about living there. Once you move, be sure to have a box of comforting items on hand to unpack right away. This way, your children will begin to feel settled as you walk through the door.
2.) Visit your new home and neighborhood as often as you possibly can.
Take your children for walks in your new neighborhood so that your new house becomes a familiar place for them. Visit local eateries, the local library, and pass their new school. You can even begin going for day trips to a nearby park or attending different events locally (at community centers, churches, etc.). If you are moving far and this isn’t an option, read some books about your new state from your local library to learn all you can about your new home together. You can even do some virtual satellite tours via Google online!
3.) Minimize stress by making the logistics associated with moving less chaotic.
Let’s face it. The majority of the packing and unpacking will fall on you as the parents. Try to put a smile on your face, allowing your kids to feel as if this is a happy moment. Your kids can then decorate the boxes you pack and even pack up some boxes themselves! And, once your packages are complete, consider keeping them off-site in a nearby self-storage unit so that your home is spacious and less cluttered. Best of all, when you are ready to unpack, you can do so at your leisure, leaving boxes of less-priority items out of sight until you are prepared to tend to them: the fewer boxes around, the better.
Remember, every child reacts differently, so be sensitive to their needs. If you feel your child is taking things to an extreme level, there is no harm in finding a professional, licensed counselor. By including your children in the process, doing your best to make your new home a part of your daily routine, and minimizing mess through the use of self-storage, your move should be a successful one!
We wish you and your family all the best in your happy new home!
Dear Storage Seeker: