You’ve finally got here!
It’s likely been what seems like a long and anything but stress-free journey but you’ve made it. It’s finally the day to move into your new home. What is exciting for you is also a massive change in your kid’s world. Here’s our top tips for survival – both for you and your kids.
- De-clutter before you pack, without the kids. Fun fact: Kids are the worst for hoarding! Have a good clear out of their belongings before you even contemplate packing toys, clothes, crafts etc you’ve probably got a mountain of it that hasn’t seen daylight since it first entered your house. And trust us, you’re best doing this part without your kids help. That car they created at school from an old cereal box and milk cartons will suddenly be their most favourite toy in the world when you mention getting rid of it, despite them forgetting it even existed.
- Let your kids pack their toys. It’s good to get kids involved in the process of packing your belongings and toys are usually a safer bet than your antique china collection. Let them decide which toys go together and name their boxes accordingly.
- Once things are packed, put them somewhere safe and out of sight. The temptation to climb on boxes and rip them open will be too much for kids who know that empty cardboard boxes equal much more fun.
- Pack a suitcase of clothes which will be required for the first few days following your move, whilst most other belongings are still unreachable.
- Likewise, pack a small box of your children’s essentials which you know they will want for that first night in their new home. Their favourite soft toy, a torch/nightlight, familiar bed-sheets, toys and a game or two!
The day of the move:
- Most property sales are completed on a Friday meaning entry is usually granted on a Friday morning or afternoon. Here in Edinburgh, children do a half day of school on a Friday so whilst you will probably be fine for child care during the morning (unless it’s the holidays) we would recommend you also arrange child care for the afternoon, to allow you enough time to get into your new home and get your boxes inside before your children arrive home. See if a friend of theirs is able to do a play-date after school (and arrange a play-date at your new home in a few weeks’ time in return) or if family are able to help with the afternoon school run and keep them busy for a few hours too.
- Prioritise building your children’s beds and unpacking their essentials first. Make their room as homely as possible to help them settle in and have something familiar in this unfamiliar environment.
- Don’t be stressed when your kid arrive home. Similar to the process of Selling and Buying with Children, try to keep your stress under-wrap. It’s amazing what kids can pick up on and you don’t want their first encounter with their new home to be a negative one.
- Plan a special tea for the first night. If your budget allows, a takeaway is always an easy special tea which won’t cause you much washing up (or the difficulty of trying to find all your kitchen utilities for cooking!), or perhaps a picnic on your new living room floor. Take the time to de-stress and re-group as a family and settle into your new home.
- Make sure you have any groceries that may be essential in too. Milk, bread, cereal, snacks -¦whatever your kids are likely to need in the first couple of days. To ease the stress further, why not arrange for a supermarket delivery to arrive the afternoon or evening of your move?
Following the move:
- Expect your children to be out of sorts. Their behaviour isn’t likely to be their best due to their own stresses and anxieties manifesting differently to yours. Go easy on them during this time.
- Keep your usual routine as much as possible. It’s a known fact that kids thrive on routine and it can be easy for that to go out the window with your life is in boxes but try your best to keep their daily routine in place, offering them some normality and predictability to their days.
- Remember to spend time together. It can be tempting to ship the kids off and just unpack in one go but during this big change, it’s good if you can spend as much time as possible with your kids. Take the time to talk about your old home and all that you’ve left behind. Put their anxieties to rest and discuss all the upcoming changes, like new schools, making new friends!
- Once you’re unpacked & settled, arrange play dates for both new friends, as well as old friends. Where your own life experience may make you aware that these older friendships probably won’t last, remember these are the friends your kids expect they’ll have for their lifetime.