This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of CORT. All opinions are 100% mine.
I have moved a total of 14 times in my life (so far). Sometimes across the city, sometimes across the neighborhood, and sometimes across the country. Moving was part of my childhood, and now as a military spouse, moving with kids is part of my life as a mom. It is what we do every 3 years as my husband moves to best utilize his skills in service to our country.
There is an element of fun, adventure, and new-ness all the time which is both exciting and draining. I never quite put down roots other than the roots within my home and family.
Since I moved as a kid many times, and now get to move often with my own kids, I have put together my favorite tips for moving with kids. Many of these moving tips are helpful for those without children too. I have included tips from my experiences, and great tips from fellow military spouses, moms and even some of my favorite bloggers that have moved with their kids.
This is an ultimate guide of tips for moving with kids whether you are moving down the street or to a new state. We cover packing up, traveling to your new home, and moving into your new house.
40+ Tips for Moving with Kids
Tips for Packing Up the House
Stick to your normal daily routine as much as possible. Being flexible is important-and one of the great skills kids learn from frequent moving-but, do your best to eat meals at the same time, have quiet time around the same time, etc.
Give kids their own box to pack. They will feel a sense of control and security as they pack their most important items, books and toys. Keep all moving paperwork in a binder (especially if you are military and have the novel of paperwork that comes with moves). Staying organized will allow you more time to spend with your kids when the movers are doing their work. No searching for paperwork to add stress which will affect you and the kids.
Arrange for a trusted friend or family member to watch the kids on moving days.
An open first box, in a clear bin, is essential.
Have zip top bags handy for the loose toys and crayons that will show up under furniture-and your child will NEED to keep (unless you can throw them away while they are not looking).
Start using paper plates and disposable utensils a few days before your move date. This allows the regular dishes to be clean and stored away and reduces the work you have to do on top of preparing for your move.
Grab some books about moving for kids. Read together before the move so the kids know what is coming and can begin to ask questions.
Pack a bin of outdoor play toys like chalk, a small ball and bubbles. These are great for keeping the kids playing outside while movers are busy in the house.
Allow the kids to get one small new toy or treat right before moving day.
Let the kids make potions with all the leftover lotions and shampoos that you would otherwise throw away…if they are safe for kids to touch, of course!
Give the kids a box or two to play around with as a fort or tunnel.
Let the kids color on the boxes that are storing the items from their room. Each child can draw on his boxes to put their personal stamp on their belongings.
When the kitchen cupboards are all empty, we let the kids play hide and seek in them. Keeps them busy and gets them moving!
Put together a small scrapbook a few weeks ahead of time and make sure your child’s friends sign it. It is a great place to gather contact info so they can stay in touch. Add pictures to make this extra special. These books become a special keepsake as the years go by.
Go online and research fun new adventures where you are moving. You can even request brochures to arrive in the mail to keep that spark of excitement about the new area growing.
Get the kids involved in the home search by letting them look online with you.
Give kids their own backpack to fill with some toys, books and coloring books to keep them occupied on move day and during any road trip to your new house.
Before the move let kids pick out a new sheet set or bedspread and pack it with your household goods to get them excited about their new room.
It’s also a good time to open up conversations asking your kids questions such as, “What are you excited about with this move?” (new school, friends, room, etc.). Getting kids talking about their expectations and fears can help calm nerves.
Make unpacking easier with this great “colorful labeling tip.”
Download this free We’re Moving book so elementary children can write down their thoughts about the old house and the new house. What a great keepsake!
If you can afford it, hire a cleaning company to do a thorough move-out cleaning. This was a life saver when we had to move after the twins were born!
Tips for Traveling to Your New House
Ask family to help with the driving if possible. Since we had to drive two cars from Virginia to California, we asked one set of grandparents to drive with us half way, and then the other set joined us for the rest of the road trip. The ability for the adults to get breaks was helpful on the long driving days.
Bring along some simple car activities for kids. We had one small bin designated to hold a collection of car games. This bin stayed in the car while the backpacks with books and toys went into hotels with us.
If you are traveling with infants, bring along a large blanket and a few simple toys and books for babies. This helped to keep the twins content for longer periods of time in the car when we drove cross-country. It also allowed them to get some tummy time during rest stops.
Keep easy kid friendly snacks handy. Even better, make a little smorgasbord in a container with various compartments for each child.
If you will be traveling far to get to your new house-like us military families-make frequent stops and plan some sightseeing at national parks, playgrounds or museums.
If you stop to grab fast food, do your best to find a restaurant with a play area. This is great for letting the kids burn some energy.
Watching DVDs or movies in the car is helpful in moderation. We had the kids wait until after our lunch stop to watch a movie so the schedule mimicked when they would have their rest time at home.
Make games up as you go (in the car or at rest stops) such as I Spy, Mother May I, or Red, Light Green Light.
Bring extra clothes (underwear too) in case of spills or potty accidents. I made sure to have two extra outfits for my infants and at least one outfit plus an extra shirt for the toddlers. Preschool and older can do with one extra outfit. Even potty trained kids can have accidents on long car rides.
Pack extra baby wipes, tissues, and bandages just in case.
Tips for Moving Into Your New House
Label each room so movers can easily see where the boxes need to go. Write the name of each room on full pieces of paper (living room, kids room, master bedroom, etc.) and tape each label on the door to the room or on a visible place on the wall.
Unpack the kids room first and make it as familiar and finished as possible so he/she has their space right away.
Try furniture rental to make the transition time waiting for your household goods delivery more comfortable. CORT Furniture Rental is the national industry leader in furniture rental. You can rent furniture to give the kids (and you) a comfortable livable space especially if you have to wait for your household goods to arrive from storage. Look for special military pricing on CORT Furniture Rental for no-hassle furniture on demand. If you need to buy new furniture for a room in your new home, test some pieces from CORT to determine which scale piece or style fits best before you buy new.
Trade off with your spouse working in shifts to supervise the movers and play with the kids. Then you each get a break. (If you are both able to be present for the movers arrival.)
When you are finally settled in your new home, let the kids create a new address announcement. They draw, you make copies, and send them out with your new info.
Sign your kids up for an activity in your new area or start attending library storytime when you get settled so the kids get plugged into the community and can meet new friends.
Stay positive because your kids feed off of you. Enjoy your new home!
Have you moved to a new home with kids? What are your best tips?
Enjoy your time at home!