No matter how well planned, moving is always a challenge. Especially so when kids are involved. Moving and the changes that come along can be difficult. You may be changing Seattle neighborhoods, schools or even relocating to a different town. Prepare ahead to make the transition go as smoothly as possible for the entire family.
- Involve your kids in the process.
Moving can be very frightening for kids. If you are comfortable with sharing some of the details, let them see photos of homes or even come along on a house tour during the buying process. Share fun details about the new house. (i.e. everyone get’s their own bedroom, you will have a playroom, you will have a backyard with a swing set…)
- Share feelings.
Communicate about any concerns or fears they have ahead of time. Talk about the adventures that a new home will bring and share any exciting things they can look forward to. Ask them lots of questions about the move can help them explore their feelings.
- Maintain routines.
Approaching, during and after the move routines may be hard to follow. Try to maintain some sort of normalcy to keep things consistent. However, the rules can bend a bit! Go with the flow and let some rules be bent.
- Throw a party.
If you are moving out of town to Seattle, consider throwing a go away party for your family. This can be a chance to say “see you later” to all of your friends, neighbors and family. If you are just moving to another home in Seattle, throwing a housewarming party is a good chance to let your friends and family see your new place. For a housewarming, give yourself a chance to get settled in, and then throw a bash!
- Decorate their new room.
Let your kids choose some special new things to have in their new rooms. Even if you are keeping things the same, a new blanket, throw pillows, pictures or decorative items can make things special in the new place at a low cost.
- Make a memory book
Let your kids take photos of your old house or gather meaningful items and special memories shared there. (Birthdays, new babies, holidays). Put all of these into a photo book or box so they can take it with them to the new place.
- Learn about the new neighborhood.
Whether you are moving to a different part of Seattle, a new city or new state, your kids will enjoy learning about what life will be like in your new neighborhood. If you can drive by or visit, show them where their new house will be, school, parks, and special spots (ice cream store, zoo, church, mall, etc.)
- Pack a “special box.”
When all of your belongings are packed away in boxes it can be hard. Let each family member pack a box that they will have access to during the move. Include must-have items such as toiletries, a few days of clothes, medications, and a few favorite toys or stuffed animals for the kids.
- Stay busy on moving day.
When you are running around getting things ready to go and beginning to unpack and organize, entertaining the kids is the last thing on your mind. It is a good idea to have kids stay at a friends or family members house for the day if possible. This will not only keep them occupied, but avoid them seeing an empty house. If this isn’t something you are able to do, have quiet (and clean!) activities for the kids to do (puzzles, games, books, coloring) or get them involved in helping with the move. You can give them small chores to do. This will make them feel important and involved and take away some of the nerves about the move.
- Get involved.
If you are in a new neighborhood, get the kids involved in activities they enjoy. This will not only keep them busy but allow new friendships to be formed. Join a YMCA, get on a sports team, or sign up for an art class.
These are just a few tips for helping your Seattle move go smoothly with kids. Moving with kids can be challenging, so plan ahead. Being prepared will help you stay calm and give your kids less to be anxious about.