Moving home can be a huge upheaval for the whole family and is often a life change that young members of your family will remember for life. Whilst adults focus on the necessities and/or positives of moving to a new property, children tend to be concerned about the loss of friends and the safe, familiar environment to which they have become accustomed. We have a few tips on how to prepare children for moving house to make your life a bit easier in the process.
It’s a common misconception that it’s better to delay telling children about a planned house move because there will be less time for them to worry. However, they need sufficient time to get used to such a big change. The key to preparing children for moving to a new home is to tell them as early as possible and explain exactly what will happen – highlight all the positives, listen to their concerns, involve them in the process, and make it a fun adventure filled with new possibilities!
House hunt as a family
Whilst you’re unlikely to allow your children to decide which house you buy, it is often a good idea to involve them in the house-hunting process. That way, they are more likely to get excited and feel positive about the prospect of moving to a new home. If it’s not practical to take your children along to viewings, why not get them to look at your favourite properties online and discuss the positives of each one?
Talk about the move
Your children will likely have an inordinate amount of questions about moving to a new home. Give them lots of facts and information about the new property, their bedroom, the neighbourhood, etc. For young children, prepare some simple explanations and answers that you can repeat. You can pick books from the local library that are suitable for their age and read them at bed time – here are a few recommendations.
Visit your new home
If possible, arrange to visit your new home once or twice before the move and spend a day exploring the area. Show the children their new bedrooms and encourage them to think about how they would like to decorate their space. Choose fun places to visit in the area, such as parks, playgrounds, local cafes or restaurants, swimming pools and leisure centres, cinemas, etc. Your new home and neighbourhood will start to feel more familiar to your children, which will help to reduce any anxiety they may be experiencing.
When it’s time to start packing, involve your children as much as possible by making them responsible for their own belongings. Get some fancy paper, pens and stickers and get them to decorate their packing boxes and make a list of what is contained in each one.
If your children are small, remind them that they will see all of their things again in the new home and suggest that they keep a few of their favourite toys out to take in the car.
The packing stage is also a great opportunity to declutter and get rid of old toys that they no longer use. To make it fun, why not suggest that they make a charity box of toys for other children to enjoy. This will make them feel good about getting rid of certain possessions.
When the big day arrives, try to pack the children’s boxes and furniture last. That way, you can get their rooms sorted first. They can quickly access their belongings and start unpacking whilst you get on with everything else. The quicker they are settled, the easier it will be for you! Once you’ve got the essential items unpacked and set up, why not take a well-earned break and go out for a relaxing family meal in a local restaurant to celebrate the move and the start of a new adventure.
Clyde Property is a leading independent, multiple award winning estate and letting agent with 30 years’ experience in selling and letting property in Scotland. Just call your local Clyde Property branch today, for friendly, impartial advice on finding your next dream home.