I am moving 4 miles into my new home... my first home.
But... It might as well be 400 miles or 4,000 miles. It makes no difference in moving and packing.
You still have to go through things and throw things out and clean up. You still have to unpack those things and deal with kids running around (if you are a parent or pet owner).
So, after having a Facebook conversation with another mum in the new neighbourhood I am in, whom I met merely through the Facebook group for that neighbourhood, we discovered we had a lot in common. We both have three children around the same age was one of the things we had in common. She asked me about how it was moving with three kids. So that inspired me writing this... because I know I am not the only mum of 3 juggling life, schooling (I home school), sports, scouting, and moving.
#1 Bend the Rules a Little Bit
What... did ... I ... just.... say?!!!
I know, you may think this is crazy but it's not. Think about it. It is a stressful time. And while we are busy packing and getting things ready, they are going to be effected. Allow a little bend in the rules before, during, and after the move for a few weeks to allow yourself and the kids to adjust.
#2 When You Cook, Cook For an ArmyOkay, maybe not literally but when you make food, make enough to have leftovers. It allows one less meal you have to cook. I honestly had a crock pot going at the same time I had dinner going. I made two pots of soup at the same time and they are slightly different. If they get hungry, you can point them to leftovers.
#3 Talk to Your KidsSeems obvious but sometimes we bypass that we need to explain the agenda for the day or answer questions the kids may have surrounding the move or what they are doing for the day. When we ask them to take out the trash and they felt they didn't need to do it and throw a fit about it, it may have nothing to do with the act of taking out the trash but more than that. Explaining why we need help can help them help us when it comes to moving.
#4 Do a Few More Nice Things Just BecauseMy youngest cried hysterically when he found out we were moving to a new house. At first I was stunned because he had come with my to all the house showings. But he didn't know any other house. So he was going through some stuff emotionally, even if only 5 years old. So I decided, even though we don't eat out anywhere, I would take him to Taco Bell the day we got the keys (it was the closest thing to us around dinner time, please don't judge lol).
Give them extra dessert, extra game time, extra allowance for helping, more free time... whatever it is that your child likes to show them that this is and can be good. It allows them to feel special and that is important especially with moves.
#5 Go Back and Visit the House Before Moving In (if possible)It allows them to get more familiar with the house and to play in their yard. Dream how they are going to make their room. Build plans for a tree house or garden. You can't always do this but if you can it can ease the transition.
#6 Allow Them to Draw Up Their Own PlansAllow them to dream about their room and what they want to do with it. It is a big part of their identity at home is their personal space. In the city I live in, Washington DC, you have to get very creative with little space. Something I know New York City and San Francisco can relate to.
When they can dream small and big in their own space, they are more vested in it and want to be there. Even in dreaming big, let them know your capacity to make it happen to.
#7 Allow Early/Late Bedtimes and Sleeping InI have to even with myself. Allow them to sleep in if they need it, go to bed early or late if they need to. Lax the morning routine or evening routine. I know what I have to go through emotionally isn't easy with moving partially to being up late working and packing. It is a part of life. But so is taking care of ourselves and our little ones when moving.
#8 Have Them Help PackIt is not something they have to do in helping earn allowance but rather being part of the family and doing what everyone is suppose to do. This is definitely true when they need to pack their clothes and toys. If you have time, have them do it on their own if they are old enough. Have them take out the trash while you are making dinner or go through clothes to see what fits and what doesn't. Every moment counts in packing. I may even have them help with the kitchen packing. It allows them to be part of the process.
#9 Keep as Normal of a Schedule As Possible (with flex)This means, that if you have sports, still do it. It is good for their brain and it is good for them knowing they will still have baseball practise, or soccer, or drama club. It allows some normalcy in life until their new normal is established.
When moving, there is a lot of unknown in it and the more we can take the unknown out of it for the kids the better. Especially if you aren't moving far, keeping the schedule the same as much as possible let's them know things won't be very different from before. They need the continuity.
#10 Have Them Pack a Suitcase and Pack the RestIf it is easier, pack all their clothes they need for the week or two in a suit case so you have less to wash and you can pack the rest away to move. It allows your packing to go faster as well. I know with seasons' clothes you can pack the off season away right away. But with other clothes, it is easier to wash less clothes and just do the week's worth of clothes rather than them going through all their clothes in those weeks and having a huge set of loads to do at the end.
Something about keeping it simple that is nice.
#11 Have Them Help Freecycle/Garage Sell/Donate ItemsThis can bring out the entrepreneur skills in the kids. They can help go through their toys for example and find out what they want to keep and what they want to get rid of. You can even find a worthy cause to help them realise what they can do to help someone else. Choose something that even may be close to their hearts (and have them help decide). If you have more than one kid, have them all choose their own charity if they want. I know mine can't agree on what they want for dinner, so choosing different charities could be good too.
Have them help pick what they want to sell as well.
#12 Everyone Just Needs Extra Space... Especially SiblingsAllow them to take more quiet time. I know mine get along but also fight. Because every set of sibling does this. If they do, then you can tell them they can take extra quiet space to colour, draw, dance, invent science experiments, play games, meditate, sleep, whatever they need to.
Don't give them a time, allow them to take the time they need. It allows for everything in the move to sink in and no hard feelings to transfer from moving to the new place. You want the energy to start off right in the new house and mounting stress can take away from that.
Also, take time yourself. Allow extra rest and time to go through what you need to during the move. You don't always know what will come up emotionally, or even just how tired packing can make you.
#13 Set a Fun Family Activity Ahead of Time To Celebrate in the EndIt is only right for you to... CELEBRATE your move! Come up with a plan together as a family what you want to do after you move and budget for it! If you are like me, buying a house represents everything I have worked for and struggled with in my life. I am so proud of my achievement. You should be too of yours!
Even it is camping out in your back yard or going to the zoo, or buying each kid a toy. Do something to celebrate the move so you can enjoy the new life you are creating together.