When it comes to a family move, you will need to consider and be prepared that some family members may not be exhilarated about the prospect of relocation. This is particularly true with older children concerned about leaving their circle of friends and changing schools. That is why, as a parent, it is imperative to respect their feelings and concerns. However, once you have decided to move your family to another city or state, you will need to figure out ways to make the experience less stressful for every family member.
Families that have moved often, for example, being corporate work transfers and members of the military, will tell you that a family move can bring your family closer. The secret is to get everyone involved, thus lending a sense of solidarity. Instead of leaving your children out of planning, get them involved in every stage, and they might learn something new along the way.
That being said, here are a few tips to make a family move practical and enjoyable for everyone.
Inform the Kids about The Move
The last thing you want is your kids learning about the move through the ‘For Sale’ sign on your front lawn. This can be surprising, but it happens. Once you have decided to move, gather all family members together and discuss it when there are minimal distractions and interruptions. Next, clearly explain to them why you are relocating. It could be a job transfer, an opportunity to live in a good neighborhood, or a move closer to the grandparents. Be positive about the decision, but also expect some opposition. Listen to your kids’ concerns, but do not give them the impression that they can reject the decision. Be ready to show them pictures or websites about the new location and what it has to offer. Ensure you stress the benefits and attempt to inspire a sense of adventure and exhilaration.
Decide the Best Time to Relocate
When moving your family, you need to pick a time period that will be convenient for every member. As such, consider all the relevant factors, including:
- How soon you and your spouse can leave your current jobs
- When you need to depart your old home, due to lease agreement ends, etc.
- How soon you need to start working in the new area
- How soon you can move into the new house.
- Which season you prefer to move, due to road conditions, weather, temperatures, and moving costs.
Get the Family Members to Participate in Purging
One of the most significant advantages of relocation is that it encourages people to do lots of purging. Chances are you have many things you no longer use or need, are broken, or unusable. Get your children involved in the purge by asking them to go through their possessions and deciding which things they are willing to part with. However, do not force the issue if you are met with opposition. Sometimes, hanging on to several outdated toys gives kids a sense of comfort. Perhaps the best way to purge is by diving items into four categories: keep, sell, discard, or donate.
Family Outings and Bidding Friends Goodbye
Despite being busy getting ready for relocation, it is imperative to set aside some time to take your loved ones out to their favorite spot and do some activities they enjoy. This goes a long way in reducing stress while relocating and getting to have one last good time in the area. These same applies to getting together with relatives and close friends. You can decide to hold a substantial multi-generational party or organize separate get-togethers for your kids and their friends. Ensure your kids know that they can still communicate with their friends through email, phone, and other applications once they get to their new home. This will make things easier, mainly until they settle and start making new friends.
Getting Ready for Relocation
When you are moving, especially with a large family, there is never a shortage of tasks. Start by creating a moving checklist, including tasks to do as well as individuals to be notified. If you are using movers, your moving consultant can give you a standard checklist. Assign some of these tasks to your family members to make them feel like they are part of the experience. Also, remember to get everyone involved if you are doing all or some of your packing.
Turning the New House into a Home
If it is possible, allow your kids to accompany you during your house-hunting trips. Even if they are not the ones to decide which property to purchase, you can ask for their input and ideas. If an actual trip is not possible, consider taking photos and showing them when you get back. Once you purchase the new home, involve the young ones by choosing the paint color and decorative items for their rooms.