We’re moving. I’m not a fan. But luckily my kids are! It’s making the whole task a little more fun.
If you are moving and you have little ones, it’s likely that they are eager to be involved in the moving process. And you might be wondering how in the world you can get anything done with little helpers following along behind you. Here are a few ways I’ve involved my 3 and 5 year olds in getting ready to move.
I’m not saying it’s always been easier having them helping, but I think involving them in the process is allowing them to adjust to the change even better.
Tips for Dealing with Old Stuff
Moving can be a great time to declutter and give away old things. Kids can help, too!
- Involve kids in choosing what to keep and what to donate. You might be surprised at just how much they will help you declutter as you get ready to move. I was so pleased with how much the girls willingly wanted to donate to others. If there are things you don’t want them to donate, it might be helpful to preselect toys and clothes that they are allowed to get rid of. Then let them sort that pile of items.
- Let them make potions. While getting ready to move we discovered lots of partially used lotions and other items that we didn’t want to take with us. Instead of throwing them away, we put them to good use for making potions. As long as they are ingredients that are safe for kids to handle and mix together, then you might as well use them! Here is an idea of some of the materials we’ve used to make potions in the past.
Tips for Packing Together
You’ll probably have a lot of boxes around during your moves, so use them!
- Let kids decorate your moving boxes. Put out markers, stickers, decorative tape, whatever craft supplies you have handy. Your kids will love it, and you’ll have the fanciest moving boxes around–we do!
- Once it’s full, let kids tape up the boxes. My girls love tape, so this is one of their favorite tasks to help with. I usually do a quick run of taping the box closed. Then they add the final touch. Sure, we go through a little extra tape, but it’s worth it to have the kids busy and happily involved.
- Once those boxes are packed, let kids slide them through the house. This is especially fun if you have tile or laminate floors that make for easy sliding. When I finish packing a box on one side of the house, the girls love sliding it through to the room where we are stacking everything to make moving day easier. They play “box train” and make train sounds as they slide the boxes through the house. Some days they have box races. It’s a good way to get out some of that energy, too!
- Make box forts. If you have the room, work together to make your packed boxes into a box fort. My girls love hiding in the center of all of our packed boxes and playing pretend. Just be sure your boxes are stacked to a safe height so nothing falls over on the kids.
- And if nothing else, just give them their own empty boxes. They’ll find something to do with them!
Tips for Helping with Cleaning
Okay, let’s be real. Nobody wants to clean the old house, but we have to. Right? The good news here is that your kids can have fun helping, too.
Even toddlers can help with:
- Wiping out lower cabinets
- Washing the outside of cabinets
- Washing low windows
- Wiping down baseboards
When the House is Almost Empty
Once you’ve finished most of the packing, you’ll probably have a lot of wide open space. Use it!
- After taking beds apart, jump on the mattresses!
- Those empty rooms are a great place to run and play. Our large family room was the first room to be emptied out. Now we’ve been using it as a place to play chase and run around indoors. It’s a great break for all of us on the days it seems we’ll be moving forever!
- Camp out! On one of your last nights in the house, pitch a tent–inside or outside–and have a camp out. Everything is packed up anyway. And you’ll have a great family memory.
- Bury hidden treasure or a something for the next tenants. If you can, leave a note in a special spot or bury something special for the next family to find.
Getting Excited About the Move
As your move date gets closer, kids are likely to have some anxiety about the transition. Help them get excited with some of these ideas.
- If you can, take kids to see the new place before move in day. They may want to visit a few times to see different parts of their new home and explore the neighborhood a bit. It helps to give them something to look forward to when they are a bit sad about the friends and things they are leaving behind. Although my girls are very sad to say goodbye to our neighbors and their dogs, they are thrilled to have already met a new dog to visit and pet in our new neighborhood.
- If you are sending them out, let kids decorate new address announcements. If not, take a silly picture of your kids during your move and share it on your favorite social media channels.
- Let kids choose something special for their new home or bedroom. It might be as simple as a new nightlight for their room or as elaborate as choosing a whole new bedroom set. Maybe they’d like to help pick the new welcome mat to go by your front door. There is a lot of opportunity here.
- If you have time, work together to make something new to display at your new home. You could decorate a picture frame and then put a picture of your family in front of your old house. Or make a shadow box that includes some special memories of your old house.
Do you have any more tips for moving with kids? Leave a comment. I need all the help I can get!
More Resources About Moving with Kids
Picture Books About Moving from My Nearest and Dearest
When Moving is Hard from How Wee Learn