Moving into a new home is a significant milestone for any family. It’s a time of excitement, anticipation, and, let’s be real—anxiety—especially when you’re a mom with young children. We recently purchased our forever home (or our “let’s raise these kids here” home, as my husband puts it). All jokes aside, this home represents so much more than a physical space. It’s our haven. It’s where my children will learn who they are—within our home, our community, and this ever-changing world. It’s where my husband and I will forge new beginnings and create beautiful family traditions.
To put it mildly, it’s a big deal. And as much as the transition stresses me out, I know my children are stressed, too. We’re packing up the only home they’ve known. Amidst the moving chaos, I’ve heard questions like – “Can we come visit when we leave?” and my personal favorite — “Are we bringing the TV?!”—for children of all ages, it’s hard to be in a new environment. It’s hard to deal with stressed-out parents and new household systems.
As we prepare for our move, I created a list of best practices for moving with young children. Here’s hoping the transition is an easy one!
- INVOLVE THEM. Before the move, involve your children in conversations about the new home. If possible, show them pictures or take them for a visit. Explaining the move in simple terms will help them feel included in the process. Make sure they understand when the move is and make them a part of the day.
- FAMILIAR SPACES. When setting up their rooms, try replicating the familiar layout as much as possible. This will provide a sense of continuity and comfort in their new environment.
- EXPLORATION TIME. Encourage your children to explore their new surroundings at their own pace. Let them wander around and ask questions, allowing them to become comfortable with the new space.
- ROUTINE & CONSISTENCY. Children thrive on routines. While there may be some adjustments due to the move, try to maintain familiar routines as much as possible. Keep the pantry organized the same way as before, make sure their toys are organized and accessible, and don’t change everything all at once.
- CHECK YOUR OWN EMOTIONS. Before you make sure your children are okay, check in with yourself. Leaving our home will be hard—it’s where they took their first steps, blew their first kisses, and made me a mom. It’s a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, to be honest. So, sit with your emotions, get plenty of sleep, and be patient with yourself and your family.
- PERSONAL TOUCHES. Let your children add their personal touch to their rooms. This could be through artwork, decorations, or even choosing the color of their bedsheets. This involvement fosters a sense of ownership and attachment.
The biggest thing to remember is that adjusting to a new home is a process that takes time. Your children might initially show signs of reluctance or insecurity, but with your love and patience, they will gradually embrace their new environment. Keep the lines of communication open, listen to their concerns, and provide reassurance when needed.