Moving across the country is hard enough when it’s just you, but when you must deal with the logistics of moving your entire family, it gets even more complicated. This is especially true when you must worry about small children. Thankfully, there are several techniques you can employ to make the process much simpler. Follow these steps, and you can stage a move with fewer worries along the way.
Consider Hiring a Moving Company
A quality moving company can help take some of the pressure off your back during this time of stressful transition. There are several moving companies that specialize in interstate relocations, and many of them even offer additional services like specialized crating, unpacking, setup, and furniture disassembly and reassembly. You’ll want to weigh the additional costs, but letting a moving company handle the operations means that you can turn your cross-country move into an impromptu family vacation without having to worry about the complicated little details.
Remember, There’s Strength in Numbers
Even if you hire a moving company to help with your relocation, there’s still a lot to do. However, while moving a family means there are more heads to keep track of, it also means that you have more hands on deck. Properly delegating responsibilities can make things move at a steadier clip. Adults, teenagers, and older children can essentially be given their own room to pack and left to their own devices, but even smaller children can get in on the action with the right guidance.
For the smaller ones, it might work best to turn the moving process into a game. Finding everything you need when you’re looking to unpack your new home is a difficult task, so labeling is key. Set up a work station with colorful markers, glue, stickers, and glitter to provide your kids with a fun activity while also allowing them to pitch in on the packing process. They can label and decorate the boxes, so you’ll know what’s inside each one as you go to unpack.
Prepare the Little Ones for the Move
For younger kids, the house you live in now may be the only home they know, so picking up and settling down halfway across the country might feel like a traumatic experience. They’ll have to leave behind friends and places they know. Give them enough time to come to terms with the process before you start packing up your things and going. Focus on the positive, but don’t minimize the validity of their concerns. Helping them talk through their feelings can make the experience much easier for them. Sit down to discuss the pros and cons, and make sure they can properly say goodbye to all their friends. Throwing a going away party can help with the farewell process and keeping photos of what they’re leaving behind can help them hold on to a piece of the past even as they settle into their new lives.
Don’t Be Afraid to Rely on Your Childcare Resources
While it’s nice to get the whole family involved in the move, sometimes the adults just need to settle in and get to work. Smaller children can quickly get underfoot, and even if they’ve come to terms with the move, seeing everything in the house getting packed up can be a sobering experience for younger kids. Send them out with family members and friends when possible to keep them occupied while you get to the heavy labor or enlist the services of a local babysitter.
If you aren’t in a situation to find a caregiver, it can be worth it to set aside a special room that’s free from the chaos of the packing process where your kids can keep themselves occupied. A playroom or spare office can serve this task exceptionally well.
Create a Schedule, But Don’t Expect to Keep to the Schedule
Putting together a physical calendar outlining your objectives and assigning tasks along the way can help solidify your objectives and instill a greater sense of responsibility in your household at the same time.
However, keep in mind that the best laid of plans often go awry, and that’s almost inevitable when it comes to moving. A schedule can keep you on track and make sure that you hit all the goals you need to accomplish, but it’s likely that you’ll hit multiple detours along the way. Adding a comfortable buffer into your moving schedule helps you avoid stress as it gives you additional time to take care of the things you may have overlooked when planning. It’s likely your family will fall into an irregular schedule during the move, but you can expect things to fall back into routine once you’re settled down in your new home.
Make Sure the Essentials Are in Order
If you’re using a moving company, you can count on them to deal with most of your belongings, but there are several things you’ll want to set aside and carry on your person. Make sure that you have all the necessary paperwork for all the members of your family (i.e., IDs, birth certificates, passports, insurance cards, etc.), and be sure to refill all your household’s prescriptions ahead of time. Getting routine vet and doctor visits out of the way will give you some breathing room to settle in when you reach your destination. Also make sure to fill out your change of address form well before staging your move and make sure all your friends and family know your new contact information.
Plan for the Road Trip
Traveling to your new home is the fun part of the move, but if you’ve ever taken your family on a road trip, you understand that planning for this trip is critical. Make sure to pack up a large selection of healthy drinks and snacks so that you’re able to keep everyone hydrated and fueled along the way. To entertain younger children, put together a pack of games and activities for the whole family. Consider driving in shifts, so no one gets too worn out during the journey. Also keep a flexible schedule, so you can account for any unexpected detours or spontaneous exploration during your journey.
By following these tips, your family is sure to have a smoother cross-country relocation. Make the move easiest on your entire household by hiring a full-service cross country mover. Kip’s gives you access to free moving quotes from some of the country’s best long distance moving companies. Get started today by filling out our fast and easy-to-use form!