Moving house as a grown adult can be stressful. Moving house as a grown adult with small children can be a nightmare.
But it doesn’t have to be. Forget everything the school pick-up parents told you about temper tantrums in the back of moving vans – there are a bunch of ways to keep your kids calm when packing day comes. Here are a few of our favourites:
Get your kids excited
This is the key. The big one. If you can make moving house something to look forward to – much like their next birthday or being able to stay up past 7pm – then your little ones will find the event much less unsettling.
In the lead up to moving day, try and pepper your conversations with a positive chat about the new house. Maybe you talk about what their new bedroom is going to look like or how the backyard is big enough for a trampoline. Stoke their excitement and there will be less chance of a tantrum.
Kids rooms: pack down last and set up first
If you can, try and pack down the kids’ rooms last. This will – hopefully – maintain a sense of normalcy so that when the rest of the house is a maze of cardboard boxes they can retreat to their bedrooms. The opposite goes for unpacking at the new place: set the children’s rooms up first. Make it a priority. Give them a little sanctuary for their stuffed animals.
Let them help
Kids want to help – even when they’re actually making things more difficult, bless ‘em. What’s a moving job that will keep them occupied, give them a sense of responsibility and won’t get in your adult way? Official Box Decorator. Give the kids a bunch of coloured pencils and let them get artsy on the packing boxes. We guarantee they’ll be at it for hours.
Pack a moving-day picnic basket
Hangry little demons? No thanks. The last thing you want to be doing after a morning of IKEA furniture construction is heading to the shops in search of food to feed hungry, bored mouths. Instead, pre-prepare a little moving day feast. Just fill a basket, or an esky, with lunch and snacks (and maybe a couple of cheeky treats) to avoid the appetite woes.
Get your technology hooked up early
And by technology, we mean TV and internet. Why? Apart from ensuring you’ve got post-moving Netflix on hand when you reach for the celebratory wine, it’s also an easy entertainment option for restless kids. It might not be your normal parenting style but putting on their favourite
Disney movie will guarantee you another two hours of prime kitchen set up time.