The How-To’s of Moving with Kids

A mother and her son map out where they will be moving.

Moving is no small feat. Throw small children into the mix and the stress doubles. How do you keep your kids occupied, entertained, and safely out of the way on moving day? Read our guide for kid-friendly moving tips.

Plan Before Moving Day

Planning will alleviate many of your moving pains. If you have kids, it’s essential to strategize your time and create a game plan for moving.

Give Your Kids Time to Process The Move

Moving at any age can feel traumatic, but this is especially true for young children. If possible, give your child a least a month in advance to process the news. Their level of understanding may depend on age. Be patient and answer your child’s questions about moving as best as possible. Focus on the positive aspects of the move. Even if you’re stressed about moving too, try to keep calm around your young children.

Explain Packing

Kids, especially little ones, may not understand that their belongings will go with them to the new house. As you pack up your home, take time to explain that their toys, clothes, and furniture will be at the new house and are being packed so that they can be moved safely.

It’s a good idea to set aside a small box or backpack of their essential toys, clothes, and comfort items. You can move this box along with you when traveling to your new home.

Give Them Info on Their New Home

Show your kids where your family is moving on a map and the different places you will stop at along the way. Let them know about fun places nearby and the types of activities they’ll be able to do there. It can be a park around the corner or an adventure in a big city.

Contact Their New School

Reach out to your child’s new school districts and planned activities before you leave so that your kids will be able to return to “normal” life as soon as possible after you arrive at your new home. Being able to join a soccer team or local children’s theater provides a ready set of plans.

A boy looks at a map of his family's new neighborhood.

How to Handle Moving Day with Your Kids

Keep organized for moving day–especially with small children.

Hire a Sitter for Small Children

Hire a sitter to watch your kids or drop them off with friends during the busy hustle of moving day. Movers will be in and out of the house. While it may be exciting for small children to watch, you don’t want little feet running about. You’ll want to focus on getting everything in the right place. It’s safer to have someone who can keep an eye on your kids.

Be Travel Ready

If you’re traveling a long distance to your new home by car, make sure you have snacks and non-messy activities to keep your kids distracted. If you can play movies in your car, make sure you have a few matinées planned. Coloring books, a few stuffed animals, and car-friendly games should also be on hand.

If you’re going by plane, make sure you have the essentials ready for small children–diapers, snacks, and a car seat for when you land. You don’t want too many small, losable items in your child’s carry on. Coloring books, a few picture books, and kid-friendly electronics (with headphones!) should do. If you have a long travel day ahead, keep a change of clothes or pajamas for your child in their carry-on.

Settling Kids in a New Home

This is an exciting moment for a family. Your kids may be running around with excitement or feeling a little apprehensive. These tips can help calm both situations.

Unpack with Your Kids

Let your kiddos help unpack. This will make them feel important, as well as help them adjust to their new rooms more quickly.

Camp Out with Small Children

If your child is nervous sleeping in their new room the first few nights, let them sleep in your room and have a giant “camp out.” A new house can be a scary experience for young children. Let them acclimate to their new room little by little until their anxiety settles.

Allow Them to Grieve for Their Old Home

It is important for children to feel safe expressing their emotions, and it can take several months to adjust to a new home or town. By letting your kids call or video chat their old friends and family members often, they can still feel connected to their old home as they learn to adjust to their new situation.

Let Them Have Fun in Their New Home

It can be as simple as a family game night or letting your kids decorate their new room. Let your child make memories and a few marks in their new home.

A teenage girl hangs out at a coffee shop in her new town.

The How-Tos of Moving with Teens

Older children and teens need less supervision and explanations when moving, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have unique needs.

If your family is moving to a new town or state, your child may be dealing with some hard emotions. They might be upset to leave friends behind or start at a new school. This anxiety is natural–do your best to support them through this transition.

Listen to their concerns and involve them in the positive aspects of moving, like decorating a new room or exploring the new town. Plan activities that appeal to their interests to help them acclimate. Reach out to your child’s new school district and see what clubs and activities are available. If your child is having an extremely hard time adjusting, consult with a family counselor.

ACE Has Your Family’s Back

ACE Atlas has your back from point A to point B. We’ll make sure your family is ready for moving day. From packing your belongings to logistically planning your move, there isn’t a step we’ll miss.

If your moving, let us help. Contact us for a free moving quote.