Moving to a new home or apartment can be a stressful event for the whole family especially the children. You need to consider a lot of things before, during, and after moving day. Before buying those huge boxes to put you whole lives into, there are certain preparations you need to do to condition the family towards the moving day.
Children often feel helpless when they learn about moving into a new home. They usually don’t have an opinion on the decision to move. This can feel very stressful for them. It is important that you include them in making other decisions along the way.
To make the transition easier for the kids and parents, there are many ways to make the kids feel at home in a new apartment.
Create a Family Wish List
While the news is still new to the kids, convince them to draw images of their ideal rooms together. In the months leading to the moving day, it is beneficial to plan as a family in your ideal apartment – how many rooms, what color should the walls be, etc. Ask the kids for suggestions on the things you want from your new apartment.
Print out a calendar leading to the moving day. You can mark each day that passes. You could schedule an apartment hunting together to see which place is the most appropriate for you. If you are searching online, save the link, and show your spouse and kids later.
Let Your Kids Help Decorate their New Rooms
It is important to prioritize the kid’s room when you move into the new apartment. Involve your kids in decorating their rooms in the new apartment will build up excitement. Take some pictures of their bed and bedroom furniture and arrange in a collage the way they would like to set it on their new bedroom. In addition, let your children hold on to a treasure box filled with their favorite things. Allow them to decorate the box to their liking. Let them keep the box close to them during the transfer on a moving day.
When moving day arrives, let them explore the rooms and allow them to choose the room they want to settle in. Plan a day to decorate the room with your kids and decorate according to their heart’s desires. It will help a lot when you bring something familiar and incorporate them into their new rooms. Putting up something old in the new room can feel safe and familiar to the kids.
Helping Your Kids Adjust in their New Rooms
In the first few nights, it is normal that your child will feel anxious. Unpack their belongings as soon as you arrive in the new apartment. It will make them feel more at home. When they start seeing their familiar things and favorite toys, it will make them feel at home and it will not feel foreign to them anymore.
Emphasize the positive things in their new room. You can mention how it is much bigger, or how it has a better view or how the shelves will make a beautiful display of their favorite books.
To familiarize the layout of the house, walk your kids to your bedroom, to the bathroom, and teach them the specific light switches in case they wake up in the middle of the night. This will help your kids feel more at home in the new apartment. Try to stick to the usual bedtime routine even during the hectic first-day unboxing.
If your kids come out and cry looking for you, you can assure them that your bedroom is just close by and they need to sleep in their new bedroom. Allow them to keep their bedroom door open or half open if they still feel uneasy in the new room.
Perform Goodbye Rituals
Saying goodbye to the place you spent so much time it can be a bitter-sweet experience. List a set of activities to do for the last time in the old place and another set to do for the first time in the new place. Schedule a time when you and your kids will stroll the familiar neighborhood. Give them time to say goodbye to their favorite places.
You can host a simple goodbye party to gather together the people and friends you and your kids have met in the place. It will bring closure to the relationships you are saying goodbye to. The send-off party could be basic chips-and-dips or a potluck affair.
Craft a Memory Book
In today’s digital world, you may not consider photo print outs as necessary. When making a huge change in life, like moving into a new apartment, creating a book of memorabilia for your kids can help ease out separation anxiety. Fill the books with photos of your old home, and friends’ pictures including their contact info – email, mobile number, or social media accounts.
Create a Survival Kit for the Actual Day of Moving
If you are traveling by car to your new apartment, you need to pack these things separately and keep them accessible to you during the duration of the travel:
- Snacks and drinks in a cooler
- Disposable plates, hand towels, utensils, hand sanitizers, wet wipes
- Basic toiletries: toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush
- A bag filled with: extra clothes, a separate bag for soiled clothes
- Emergency kit: flashlight, tools, scissors, pen, lighter, trash bags
- Documents secured in a sealable plastic folder: passports, medical records, apartment lease agreement if you opt for air travel.
Settling Down in Your New Home
Once you and your family have arranged and settled down in your new apartment, help your children get to know more about their new apartment and neighborhood.
- Explore your apartment. One fun way to get comfortable in the apartment is through play. You can play ‘hide-and-seek’ game with your kids. Another cool game is to let them guess how many rooms are there in the apartment or how many tiles are present on the bathroom floor.
- Find out if your neighborhood has some kid-friendly areas. Spend some time walking along the streets around your apartment’s vicinity. Look for public playgrounds, daycare, library or playing places. Take your kids in these kid-friendly areas to help them meet new friends in the neighborhood.
- Teach your children how to make friends. It is important for kids to have confidence in meeting new people. Teach them courtesy when meeting people for the first time. Let them learn how to introduce themselves and how to begin an introduction. A precise example would be: “Hi, I’m Riley, and I just moved here. Would you like to play with me?” If you see parents with their children while you are exploring, stop and introduce yourself and your child. Your children will learn from watching you.
- Familiarize yourself with the common places of commune. Find the library to learn about the historical places, kid-friendly facilities, parks, pool, churches and other places to meet other families. You can also ask a reference on recommended tourist spots that are great for families.
Moving into a new environment can be terrifying for kids. They are leaving behind their friends, school, and a familiar place they consider safe. These tips can help you and your family lessen the anxiety of facing an uncertain place and meeting new people.