Good to Go: Tips for that next big move with the kids

Katie Howard,

WASHINGTON – Moving into a new home can be an exciting, but often overwhelming and stressful, experience.

And a move with children in tow can prove to be even trickier, as feelings of anxiety and nervousness about the change in their new surroundings creep on.

But a local moving company that specializes in moving families says most of the anxiety kids experience can be avoided with proper preparation.

Claudine and Mark Rubin launched You Move Me in May 2013, with the goal of making moving as stress-free as possible.

The D.C. couple strives to add a personal, sympathetic and empathetic touch, particularly taking into account the feelings and worries of each client’s children.

Our family moved this past January and it was perplexing, as well as emotional, for my 6-year-old and 3-year-old girls.

My husband and I fielded many questions, such as, “What was wrong with our old house? What happened to it? Where did it go? Who is going to live in my room? Where are my toys?”

Sure, my husband and I were excited about the shorter commutes to work and the additional square feet, but our children’s nervousness took a bit of a toll on our moods.

Moving day was a challenge for us, and I now appreciate these tips from the Rubins for keeping the little people of your family in mind during the big switch.

  1. Plan to make a visit to the new home before the big day. Visit all the local playgrounds, climbing trees, eateries and other fun spots in your new neighborhood. Then, draw a map together of all the exciting places in the new neighborhood.
  2. Make it clear to your kids that you’re not throwing out their stuff, you’re just storing it until you arrive at your new home. Put together all the things that your kids will need right away in a separate, easy-to-locate box. This will help you avoid the frantic search for a favorite outfit or “Dora the Explorer” DVD.
  3. Don’t call donation sites or junk hauling sites, just yet. Old bedroom furniture can provide comfort to kids moving into a foreign environment. Think of it as the blankie effect.
  4. Ask family or a friend to look after your kids on moving day. Moving is stressful enough without having to keep track of active kids.
  5. Help your kids say goodbye to favorite people and places in their old neighborhood. You wouldn’t leave without saying goodbye and neither should your children. The opportunity to say goodbye is extremely valuable.
  6. When you are finally settled in your new home, have the kids act as the tour guides for visiting guests. They will relish the role of showing friends and family around the home.

Now, all you have to do is get busy packing and organizing. Here’s to a happy and less stressful move!

Editor’s Note: WTOP’s Katie Howard is a mom on the go. With two children under age 5, she’s always looking for ways to provide her family fast and healthy snacks, meals and activities. Katie share her go-to food and family fitness tips every Tuesday on her blog “Good to Go.”

Follow @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter.

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