Preparing Kids For A Move

Preparing Kids For A Move

Moving is a big event. It is stressful and overwhelming and tiresome…for adults. Imagine what it does to a kid. I moved a lot as a kid and I was not a fan. When we decided it was time to start looking for a new home I wanted to be sure our kids were involved (as much as they could be) in the process.

Starting the Process

I think it is important to have the kids as involved as they can be for their age(s). When we went to look at houses we brought both of our kids with us. Partially out of lack of baby sitter and partially because it will be their home too. We wanted them to feel comfortable in a new place. Involving them in the showing process really allowed them to be invested in the process. Though my children are young, the older one was able to voice his opinion on the houses we saw.

Having the kids there for a walk-through/showing allow us to see how our family would function in a space. It helped us to realize some things that would and would not work for us in a new home.

We own our current home, so part of the moving process included repairs and decluttering/removing items for staging/showing of the home we live in. We were clear with the kids that the things that were being packed away would be back in their lives. This was also a great way to see what the kids really play with and what we could part with forever.

Prepping and Packing

Preparing Kids For A Move

Once we found our new home and we talked with our kids about moving. We went to see the new house several times. Things that were helpful:

  • Allowed our oldest to choose the color of his new room. Did he go to an extreme? Why yes he did, but it’s just paint and he’s only young once. Maybe he’ll continue to love the LSU purple that adorns his new walls; if not we can paint over it in a few years.
  • Talked to the kids about how their rooms would be set up. Asked for their opinions on where to put furniture and décor.
  • Had them actively involved in the packing process. The oldest was able to label his boxes with his name. Something as simple as allowing him to choose the marker color made it fun. They loved it! Are they great packers, no. Did they get to feel included and respected, yes. And that is what matters. They loved being able to feel like they were a part of the decision making.
  • Had them actively involved in moving the boxes. They were so excited to help to load things into the car. Even the 2 year old wanted to “carry box.”
  • The week leading up to the move, and a bit before, we talked about change. Talked about the new house and went to visit it as often as we could.
  • We wrote “Moving Day” on our calendar and talked about who would be there and how the day would go.

Moving Day

Preparing Kids For A Move

This is where things got a bit more challenging. The day of the move is always stressful and as much as we want them to be involved and feel like part of the process there are times where they had to be elsewhere. We enlisted the help of family to keep the kids entertained and distracted while the bulk of the bigger items were being loaded and then unloaded. Some ideas for things for kids to do on moving day:

  • Assign one adult/teen to one kid. That person can help to keep their charge entertained.
  • Once the bigger furniture is moved in to the new place. Have someone help the kid to “unpack.” Maybe start with a favorite (toy, puzzle, books, etc.) and allow the kid to decide where things will live in the new room.
  • Have someone, maybe a parent if available or a helper (grandparent, cousin, etc.) take the kids to the park or the library. This way the kids get to do something “fun” and also get some specialized attention while being out of the way.

Are you planning a move?

Check out some additional tips and tricks here.


A native of the New Orleans 'burbs, Melanie has lived in Baton Rouge since starting her bachelors degree at LSU. She earned her BA in Mass Communication and a master’s degree in Social Work both from LSU. In her professional life Melanie focuses on women’s mental health. Melanie and her husband Adam have been together for almost two decades. They have 2 bright and curious kids who keep them on their toes. When not working or moming Melanie can be found exploring yet another new hobby, trying to “get organized” and avoiding the laundry. She loves sitcoms, traveling, iced coffee and carbs.


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