Let’s face it, it can be hard to stay positive during a move. It’s one of the biggest life stresses we all have to go through. Then you toss in some kids and family harmony can go right out the window! Many times, the choice to move is already because of a stressful event like divorce, job relocation or the death of a family member. There really is no way to get rid of all the anxiety that comes along with moving. However, as a parent there are some things you can do to help keep your kids, your family and yourself from getting too frazzled. Here are some helpful tips:
- Have A Family Meeting
Being surprised by a big life change is never fun. And moving is definitely a big one for all involved. That means you should talk about it, ahead of time. Young children can be intimidated or scared of change and the unknown, and teens can have strong emotions that we may not realize with something like moving. Never “surprise” a child with a big move by not telling them. Sit down and have a family meeting. Encourage each person to talk openly about how they feel and what they are worried about, Then be sure to listen to each other. By talking about a big life change like moving, all of you will feel better and the stress level will go down for sure.
- Make It A Family Adventure
When the time comes to pack, put things into storage and then ultimately move…make it a family adventure! Children are fine tuned to your expressions and moods, so be the fearless leader here. Give them small projects and tasks along the way to keep them involved. Maybe you can even have a reward system set up so they receive a prize or gift after completing their list. You can have your kids talk to you and write down ideas of how they want to decorate their new bedroom or the playroom. Then be sure to actually implement at least a few of their ideas in your new home. For the older kids, get them involved in painting at the new place, and have them help move the boxes and furniture. You can even find the local parks and attractions near your new home, and plan your first trip there after you are settled. Keeping your kids positive and involved at every step will make moving a fun experience for them instead of a stressful one. And that in turn will keep your stress level down.
- It’s A Family Affair
Moving is not something that the parents have to do alone. Have your older kids pack up their toys and clothes. The younger kids could potentially have a tantrum if they see their toys being boxed up, so take care of it while they are asleep and only keep out a few of their favorites. Everyone in your family can clean up at your current home as you empty rooms – each person can have a specific task. For example, the youngest kids can dust while the older ones can vacuum, and the adults can clean the bathrooms and kitchen. Encourage your kids to make a donation box and plan to give away items they no longer want or play with to less fortunate people in your community.
- Time For Family Bonding
Keep to a routine and schedule. That means you should sit down as a family for breakfast, lunch and dinner as much as you can. Watch some of your favorite movies or TV shows together while you are taking breaks from the moving process, and read books before bed with the little ones. Try to stick to your normal routine as much as you can while all of the chaos is going on around you. That will really keep your kids happy and help you stay calm. There is comfort in routine.
- Plan For Family Rest
Plan to pack up the beds, toys, tvs and gaming systems last, and make sure they are loaded on the truck last so they can be unloaded first. Then, set up your kids’ rooms first. This will give them familiarity and provide them their own space immediately. They can stay in there (and out of the way) to watch tv and play games, or nap, while you are busy with everything else that comes with moving into a new home. Don’t forget to have your bed and mattress ready too, so even if you are not done unpacking when the day comes to an end you will have the comfort of your own bed – even if it’s just the mattress on the floor at first. Taking time to rest is important so that you don’t get more stressed out and exhausted than you really need to be.
- Make It Family Fun Time
After your first night in your new home, you know there is a lot more work yet to be done. There are likely dozens of boxes and totes that still need unpacked and organized, along with many other tasks. Instead of letting that overwhelm you, plan your time wisely and allow for some fun and play time. Schedule out the morning for work, then take a nice long lunch break to eat together and play together. It can be as simple as having a picnic lunch outside, playing a board game, tossing a baseball in the backyard or watching a movie. Taking time together as a family to have some fun will be a great relief for everyone. You don’t have to rush and get it all done in a day…those boxes aren’t going anywhere! Plan for breaks of fun throughout the day.
At 140 Mini Storage, we value your time and understand how stressful a move can be. With that in mind, our friendly and professional property managers are more than happy to welcome you as a customer and to provide our industry knowledge for your benefit. We can set you up with one of our clean and well maintained storage units, as well as offer you a free moving truck to move into your storage unit (or affordable moving truck rental). And, if you are ready to plan that move, reserve or rent your storage unit online now, and take away one more stress during the busy time of moving. And remember, stay positive!