Tips for a Good Move with Kids

Moving won’t be so bad if you’ve got a good plan in place!

Bad news: You are moving—and not everyone is happy about it. 

Good news: You and your children can . . .

  • Have a good family meeting. This is a great time to open up a conversation with your kids about why you are moving and why this is best for the family. Maybe you all make a pie together, chat over your favorite ice cream sundae combinations, or even break out a deck of cards with some lemonade—now is a great time to talk about the move and how, with the bad, there is a lot of good to come of it. Talk about anything from what you felt like when you first moved to how your kids are feeling about leaving what’s familiar to them. An open and honest dialogue will help assuage any discomfort with the move and also let the kids in on what your moving plan is.
  • Throw a sorting party! You and your children—and maybe with some help from your good friends—can sort through all of your things together while spending some time with their friends. This is a good time to purge old toys, video games, clothes, DVDs—you name it! The first step is sorting through all of it. This can be a time for work, but also a time to exchange some email addresses or even stationery and establish a good way to stay in touch.   Once you’ve organized your piles of Bad (throw away), Good (keep for new home), and Bye (donate), you can then organize a trip to your local donation center. There are many nonprofit organizations that will gladly accept your good old stuff—but be sure to check what kind of things they are looking for first. You don’t want to haul your old futon sofa all the way to the donation center and find that you’ve actually got to bring it to the dump. After you’ve donated, bring all of those bad things you want to get rid of to your local waste management facility.
  • Plan a good yard/moving sale! It’s a good option, but, on the bad end, do keep in mind that you might be creating more work for yourself. On the good end, this would be a great way to involve the kids in the move, get in some time to say good bye to your neighborhood, and generate some extra dough—maybe for some post-yard sale ice cream cones?
  • Get excited about your new home! Maybe you’ve got extra yard space or a nice deck to sit on in the summertime or a fun basement where the pool table and game room will go. There is something exciting and good about the new place to share with your children that’s different from where you are now—talk about it!
  • Visit the new house! If it’s close enough, take your kids for a ride to the new place. Let them get a feel for what the house is like. After the excitement ensues, talk about what is good about the new house—and maybe what is bad, if you feel comfortable doing so.
  • Draw a house map! Drawing and planning your new space is fun. Grab some colored pencils and paper and map out the new house together. This is a great time to figure out what will go where and if you’ve downsized a bit, this is a great way to figure out if you’ve purged enough. 
  • Tour your new neighborhood! Is there a cool playground equipped with a basketball court? Maybe a sprinkler? Some nice monkey bars? Maybe the town library or bookstore is right around the corner—set your kids up with some library cards and borrow or buy books just like Bad Bye, Good Bye.
  • See the town! What’s in your new town? A fun family restaurant with your kids’ favorite tortellini dish? Or, maybe it’s mac and cheese. Are there historical sites? Cool soccer leagues? Arts and crafts centers? Reassure your kids that along with new and special things in your new town, new, good friends also await.
  • Take a trip to the store. Maybe your kids have grown out of their bedspreads—let them pick out new ones! Maybe when you were sorting, you realized that you needed a way to shelve books or store movies. Bring the kids with you when you pick out your new dish-drying rack—involve them in the creative home décor decisions.