It’s no secret that moving to a new home can be a rather stressful period for the entire family, especially for children who are old enough to sense that a major change is about to happen.
One of the best ways to make the upcoming move easier and less stressful for your kids is to get them involved in the home moving process. This way, they’ll feel like they are part of your team and won’t feel neglected, helpless or even scared of the newly-created relocation situation.
Besides, with so many tasks to do when getting ready to move out, any pairs of helping hands will be more than welcome. So, instead of having your children watch TV or play games on their tablets or computers, get them to do something useful (within their skill set, of course) in order to keep them busy and out of harm’s way.
Here are the top 5 ways children can help during a move.
1. Sort out and pare down their belongings
Every house move is an excellent opportunity to declutter your home of unnecessary stuff.
One of the major rules when moving house is to transport to the new home only the items you absolutely love and will need and use in the future. The reason? That’ll save you packing time and loads of money (fewer packing supplies and lower transportation costs).
So, involve your kids in the moving process by asking them to go through their items and sort them out into two piles:
- Pile 1: Things they like and want to take with them
- Pile 2: Thing they don’t like and won’t play with them or use them anymore
Your children will probably need your help when determining what to keep and what not to keep, so be there when the final decisions are made.
Explain to your loved ones the idea of donation – in your case, donating things to kids who are not as fortunate as they are when it comes to owing so many toys, games, books, and so on. Prepare some boxes with items which other children will enjoy more, and then drop them at a donation site.
Must-know info: How to get rid of things when moving house
2. Pack up their own things
If your kids are old enough, then it’s a good idea to have them pack their own things after they’ve sorted them out thoroughly. Packing will be the most time-consuming task in your moving checklist, so you shouldn’t turn down any packing assistance that comes your way.
Pack a few boxes together with your children to show them how it’s done. Fill up one box with books (really easy to pack), then pack another box with soft toys – plush animals, for example. Finally, do one final box with large toys – LEGO constructor sets, board games, jigsaw puzzles, etc.
And then, after you’ve demonstrated to your kids how to wrap their fragile items in packing paper and bubble wrap, how to arrange them in the boxes and how to label the moving boxes, you can let them finish up the job by themselves. As an added bonus, this will teach them to take care of their own things.
Read also: How to pack toys for moving
3. Clean up their rooms
One thing is clear – cleaning up the entire home before moving out is one task that nobody will be thrilled about completing it. Nevertheless, it’s something that needs to be done – either for getting back that security deposit from the landlord or for making the home presentable for the upcoming sale.
After they have already sorted out, pared down, grouped together and packed up their things, another way your children can help when moving is to clean up their rooms. Make sure you assign them cleaning tasks that are appropriate for their age – generally speaking, the older your kids are, the more heavy-duty tasks you can have them do.
Ask your kids to do basic cleaning chores such as dusting and wiping furniture, and vacuuming or mopping the floor. DO NOT give out any cleaning tasks that involve the use of chemicals – leave those to you to avoid any unnecessary risks.
See also: How to clean your home before moving out: Moving out cleaning checklist
4. Prepare their essentials boxes
As Moving day draws nearer and nearer, remember that each family member should prepare an essentials box (essentials bag) full of absolute essential items he or she will need during the period right before the move and right after the move – the period when the rest of the household items will be inaccessible.
Naturally, your children will also need to have their own essentials boxes packed up and ready to be used. So, ask your kids to set aside their toothpaste and toothbrush, a set of extra clothes + pajamas, most favorite toys, games, books, and so on.
It’s important to note that the nature of those must-have items will depend primarily on the exact age of your kids. Make sure you supervise the sorting process so that they don’t fail to include anything really essential. Also, when they are done packing their essentials, remind them that they are now in charge of their essentials bag and should keep it with them at all time.
Useful info: What to pack into an essentials box
5. Label and decorate the cardboard boxes
Let’s be fair: the first 4 tasks you assign to your kids to help you out during the moving process will keep them busy but will not keep them entertained. After all, where’s the fun in sorting out all the things found in a room, then packing those items and preparing an essentials box simultaneously? Above all, where’s the fun in cleaning an entire room? No fun, no fun at all.
However, this time your kids may actually get excited by the idea of helping you label all the cardboard boxes you’ve packed. And not only label, but also decorate those moving boxes with markers, stickers, and decorative tape. Urge them to use their imagination and beautify those boring cardboard boxes. As long as the contents and destination room remain visible on the box, your kids should feel welcome to decorate your packing boxes any way they want.
One good idea is to invite your children to draw some of the items packed inside the box, write down coded messages for the movers, or just doodle whatever they wish. You can organize a contest for the fanciest boxes of them all. Ultimately, the more fun the labeling process becomes for your kids, the more work you’ll be able to do simply because they will be busy and will let you work without too many distractions.
Good to know: How to label moving boxes like a professional
BONUS TASK: Have your kids map out their new rooms
Most of the time, children would love to help you out with tasks that are meant to be done by adults. One good way to keep your kids involved in the moving process is to encourage them to draw an outline of what they want their new room to look like. Let them do a sketch of where they want each furniture piece to be positioned and how they’d like to have that room set-up and decorated.
This way, you will have your children excited about their new room in the new home and will add a positive vibe to the entire house move – something that will enable your kids to cope better with the stress of moving house.
BABIES: How to move house with a baby
TODDLERS: How to move house with toddlers
TEENAGERS: How to move house with a teenager
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