Dear Storage Seeker:
My husband and I are moving this fall, and are worried about how our 2 children (ages 4 & 6) will handle it all. We are stressed enough as it is, and aren’t sure how to make this process easier on them. Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated!
A tinge overwhelmed,
Rachel & Eric
Dear Rachel & Eric,
Congratulations on your decision to move! While this can be a stress-filled time, we do encourage you to think of all the positives your move has to offer, and how wonderful life will be as you build memories within your home. Until then, yes, we understand your concern. Moving is super stressful.
A recent survey of 1,000 Americans who have moved within the last three years found that moving is by far the most stressful life event, with 45% of participants saying it is even more stressful than going through a divorce! Here’s the problem: while this survey conveys the stress felt by adults, it doesn’t even begin to unpack the stress that moving has on children. So, you’re wise to be concerned. Here are 5 simple tips to help make things easier on your sweet kids.
1.) House hunt together, finding opportunities to show your children that you are taking their wish list items into consideration.
Let your children create their own list of what they want in a new home or neighborhood, and then point out those qualities when you begin to search for a place. This will help your children feel in control of the search, and make them feel heard. When you do find the house that works for you, let them get creative and map out what they would like to do within their rooms, making this move exciting for them!
2.) Provide your children with the chance to say goodbye to your current home. That moment is important.
Let your children walk into each room and share a favorite memory. They can leave a note for the new owners telling them just how much they loved living there and how they hope their family is happy there too. Then, create a box of keepsakes for you to bring into your new home, so that they feel as if they are bringing a part of their old home with them.
3.) Make frequent visits to your new home or neighborhood often (if possible), making it all feel very familiar.
Take your children for walks in your new neighborhood to see their new house, making them feel secure. You didn’t mention where you are moving to, but if you are moving far and this isn’t an option, do some google tours online and get some books about your new state from your local library. You can even map out areas you would like to visit together as a family once you move!
4.) Have a box of “essentials” close by to unpack, this way your children have a job to do with items that are comforting to them.
Be sure to have a comfort toy or a box of comforting items on hand, ready to be unpacked as soon as you walk through the door. Seeing familiar items will provide your child with a sense of security and give them a fun job to do. Consider packing some new toys as a “big helper” gift to thank them (and also occupy their time a bit – giving you a chance to get some more work done).
5.) Make the move less chaotic on your end by renting a local self storage unit.
The majority of the packing and unpacking will fall onto you, so be “joyful” through it- or at least try to be. This will help your wee-ones feed off of your positive energy. Consider renting a nearby self storage unit so that your home is less chaotic, maximizing space and providing you with the ability to unpack at your leisure. You can also have your kids decorate your already packed boxes, and then design and build forts and rocket ships with the ones you unpack, making the whole process more fun.
By providing your children with an opportunity to feel heard, secure, and in control, and by utilizing self storage to help keep things less cluttered, you can help make your move a smooth one. Be excited! In the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. “Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”
Dear Storage Seeker: