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How to Help Your Children Prepare for a Move

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Moving to a new home is a stressful time, with a lot to think about and remember. When you add children to this mix, things can get even more chaotic.

Children can have a difficult time when moving to a new home. They will have their fears and worries about moving to a new home, whether it is close by or in another state. Perhaps, they will miss their friends and family. They may have anxiety about starting at a new school, as they prepare for a move.

It will affect your children in different ways depending on their age, of course, but there are some things you can do to make it a little easier for everyone.

Prepare your children for a move

Choosing Your New Home

When you are choosing your new home, there are some considerations you need to take into account to accommodate your family. You need to consider the lot size, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Another important consideration when purchasing a home in a new area is to consider the schools. There are other important tips when choosing the best neighborhood to live in. These include proximity to work and conveniences and walkability.


The better you can prepare for a move the smoother things should be. And the better prepared you are, the less stress and anxiety you will have. Children can pick up on these emotions and react in the same way, so the less you have to worry about the better. Here are a few other things which can help:

  • Fear of the unknown - children don't know what to expect when moving, if you can explain everything to them, it will make things easier for them to come to terms with. Let them ask you questions about the move and relay stories you may have about when you've moved in the past.
  • Help with packing - older children may be able to do their packing but for younger kids, you will need to make it fun for them. Make a game of packing their things so they feel like they're helping.
  • Moving to a new area - encourage them to do some research into the new neighborhood, so that they can get excited about new things they will be able to do. You will also need to ensure that their school records make it to the new school. Storytime - younger children can benefit from positive and encouraging books about moving. It can help them understand the situation and make them feel happier about the move.

The Day of the Move

The big day itself can get very stressful if essential items can't easily be found. You need to make sure you don't pack anything into a box that you are going to need on the day of the move, as well as your first night in the new home.

Here are some suggestions for things you need to have close to hand:

  • Their favorite toy and games
  • Medications
  • Change of clothes
  • Favorite pajamas
  • Snacks
  • Formula and drinks
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Diaper bags
  • Toiletries
  • Stroller
  • Bedding

Be sure to involve the children when selecting their own bedroom so they feel included. This will reduce stress and anxiety for them. Consider putting a new toy in the closet of their new room to make it a positive experience.

The first night in their new home will be better if some of their favorite and familiar things are with them. Little things like making their bed up for them, will make their new bedroom feel more like home.

New Surroundings

  • If you have moved to a new area it is particularly important to help your child get used to the new location. It takes everyone a while to become accustomed to new surroundings and there are a few things you can do to help your child find their feet in a new location.
  • Show your children around - be sure to point out things that they could find interesting in your new home. Maybe the backyard has more room for them to play in or get them excited about painting their bedroom a new color.
  • Make sure they feel involved - if they can unpack their own things and decide where to place furniture, they will feel that they have more control over the situation. This will also give them something to think about instead of having anxiety about the changes.
  • Think positive - if you are looking on the bright side of the move, your children will too. Well, at least there is more of a chance they will be positive and look forward to the adventure of their new location.
  • Stick to routines - the situation will be less of a concern if their routine is the same. There is less opportunity for upset if as many of the things which used to be their routine in the old home, stay the same in the new.
  • Make sure your kids are happy - spend time with them and get their toys unpacked and set up. When you meet your neighbors, try to find out if there are other children around the same age as yours nearby. See if you can arrange something to help them settle in and not miss their friends too much.

Final Thoughts

Moving can be stressful for all, but with preparation it will be much smoother. Preparing your children for all aspects of the move and having them participate with the move will help them to feel involved. Communication about all aspects of the move is crucial to ensure a smooth move to a new neighborhood!

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