Spring is here, and May has been declared "National Moving Month." The National Census reports over 40 million people move during the summer months, which makes May a designated time for planning, organizing and of course, packing. According to Pacific Sotheby's International Realty, this can be an exciting adventure, but also stressful, especially for children.
Pepper Coffey, Executive Director for Pacific Sotheby's International Realty Relocation and Referral Division, says there are strategies parents can use when preparing for a move, whether it be down the street, or across the country. "Relocating can be hectic, and while each child and experience is different, there are ways to make it as stress free as possible." It is especially critical, according to parents who have moved frequently, to keep communication open and immediately address whatever concerns your children may have.
Here are five tips to consider if you are preparing to move this summer:
Unpack Bedrooms First- On moving days, focus on bedrooms first. At the very least, have children's mattresses, special toys, sheets, pillows and blankets ready for them that first night. Prior to moving, pack and color code what your child will need for that first evening. Load this box last, along with a box of a few of their favorite toys and books, to ease the confusion. Another idea that works well, is to have an "emergency box" filled with snacks, and perhaps a new toy. Wrap in special duct tape so its easily identifiable.
Plan Meals In Advance- Its a scenario that is all too familiar: You are in the middle of unpacking and you realize its well past dinner time and children are clamouring for food. To avoid this, schedule what you will be eating during the first week as you settle into your new home. Have you or your older children do a google search for restaurants or take out options in the area. There will be no confusion or cries of "What's for dinner?" and its a fun way to experience the popular spots in town.
Get To Know The Community- Moving to a new neighborhood is hard. Take a break from unpacking and meet the neighbors. If your child is involved in extracurricular activities, check out what opportunities are around town as this is a great way to meet other children and parents. Explore your new community together to find the best parks, playgrounds, restaurants, shopping and ice cream shops!
Visit The New School- Attending a new school is perhaps the most difficult experience for children when moving. Chances are, they will ask a variety of questions to settle their nerves. To ease the transfer, take a tour so they know their way around the school before their first day. Children are stressed enough about trying to fit in, so they shouldnt need to worry where the cafeteria or bathrooms are located.
Get Back On Schedule- Children function better when they follow a schedule. While moving can be unpredictable at times, its important to get into your normal routine by having meals, naps, bedtime and all its rituals, as soon as possible.