Moving is stressful. There is so much to think about, so much to organize and consider. If you are relocating with children and/or pets it adds another element of contemplation to the already demanding experience. It’s easy to get caught up in the process, but it’s also necessary to take a step back and asses how the move is effecting those around us, specifically our pets and our children.
Long Distance Relocation Services has helped thousands of families across the country transition to their new homes, and we've picked up quite a few helpful tips along the way. Below is our best advice on how to best approach a move with children and/or pets.
Moving with Children
These five tips will make it easier for your kids to cope with the move. They will not only ease their burden, but, in turn, will make the move easier on you as well.
1. Stay positive.
It's tempting to let the stress of a move get the best of you. But if you appear nervous and stressed, your children will too. Instead, try to be enthusiastic and upbeat. Tell them how excited you are about the new adventures in store and how wonderful it will be. Chances are, they'll get excited too.
2. Talk to your kids about the move - as soon as possible.
The most important way to prepare your children for a move is to talk about it. As soon as the decision is final, talk with your children and explain why the move is best for the family. Tell them how you feel about it, and encourage them to talk about their feelings. Whatever you do, don't wait until the last minute to communicate. Your kids will need time to digest the information and prepare for the change. Discussing the move over a period of time will help them adjust to the major changes taking place.
3. Look for opportunities to involve your kids.
Children are much more receptive to moving if they feel included in the process. Whenever possible, give them the opportunity to help. Let them pack up a small box of their favorite belongings. Bring them along on a house-hunting trip. Allow them to choose the paint color of their new bedroom. These simple gestures will make your kids feel special and reinforce the message that their contributions are valuable during the transition.
4. Learn about your new city together.
Your kids are anxious to know everything about your new city, just like you are. Ease their nerves by doing the research together. Help them learn everything they can about your new house, their new school, and the city you'll soon call home. Tell them about exciting places your family will be able to explore such as: parks, zoos, playgrounds and sporting facilities. This will give them things to look forward to in their new environment.
5. Help them plan their goodbyes.
Saying goodbye may be the most difficult part of the moving process for your children. Remind them of all the ways they can stay in touch with their friends after the move. For younger children, explain how you can send letters or pictures in the mail. If they are old enough, consider opening up an e-mail or social media account so they can easily stay connected. When it's finally time to say goodbye, a simple farewell or slumber party can be a good way to provide closure. Be sure to write down a list of places to go and people to see - your kids will feel better knowing they have a chance to say goodbye.
Moving with Pets
If moving is a stressful time for you and your children, there's no doubt it will impact your furry friends, too. Here are our best tips for moving with pets:
1. Make a trip to your vet.
In the weeks leading up to your move, schedule a veterinary appointment to double check that your pets are up-to-date on vaccinations. It's also a good idea to ask for a copy of their medical history and a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection/interstate health certificate. This certificate may be required when transporting pets across state lines.
2. Update your pet’s tags.
it's important that your pet is wearing proper ID and license tags for the move. Your pets will likely be exposed to new and unfamiliar places. If they get lost, it's imperative that they are tagged with your current contact information. f your pet has a microchip, make sure the address is registered and up-to-date.
3. Make pet arrangements for moving day madness.
Moving day brings an endless stream of visitors and open doors, which can be stressful for your pets. It's best to keep them in a separate, quiet room away from the flurry of activity (like a spare bedroom or bathroom) until everything is packed up. Ideally, you can have a friend, relative, or trusted boarder watch the pet for the day.
4. Welcome your pets to your new home.
It's tempting to set your pets free to explore your new home, but it's best to get them acclimated one room at a time - especially if you're dealing with cats. Start with a room that has their food, water, litter boxes and toys. After they've settled in their new surroundings, you can slowly introduce them to other parts of the house as well.