How to Move with Children and Pets
As adults, we know how stressful moving can be. There is so much
to think about, and so much to do. But if there is one thing we
cannot overlook in the moving process, it’s how moving can impact
those who are closest to us: our children and our pets.
Bekins has helped thousands of families across the country transition to their new homes, and we’ve picked up quite a few helpful tips along the way. Below is our best advice on how to make a successful move with children and pets.
Moving with Children
These five tips will make it easier for your kids to cope with the changes going on around them and help make moving a fun experience for the entire family.
1. Talk to your kids about the move – as soon as possible.
Above all else, the most important way to prepare your children for a move is to talk about it. As soon as the decision is final, call a family meeting to break the news and explain why it’s best for the family. Tell them how you feel about it, and encourage them to talk about their feelings. Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute to communicate. Your kids will need time to digest the information and prepare for the change.
2. Stay positive.
It’s tempting to let the stress of a move get the best of you. But if you appear nervous and stressed, your children will too. Instead, try to be enthusiastic and upbeat. Tell them how excited you are about the new adventures that are in store for your family. Chances are they’ll start to get excited too.
3. Look for opportunities to get your kids involved.
Children are much more receptive to moving if they feel included in the process. Whenever possible, give them the opportunity to help. Let them pack up a small box of their favorite belongings. Bring them along on a house-hunting trip. Allow them to choose the paint color of their new bedroom. These simple gestures will make your kids feel special and reinforce the message that their contributions are valuable during the transition.
4. Learn about your new city together.
Your kids are anxious to know everything about your new city, just like you are. Ease their nerves by doing the research together. Help them learn everything they can about your new house, their new school, and the city you’ll soon call home. Tell them about exciting places and activities your family will be able to explore, like parks, zoos, playgrounds and sporting facilities. The more they know what to expect, the better they’ll be able to adapt.
5. Help them plan their goodbyes.
Depending on the age of your children, saying goodbye may be the most difficult part of the moving process. Remind them of all the ways they can stay in touch with their friends after the move. For younger children, explain how you can send letters or pictures in the mail. If they are old enough, consider opening up an e-mail or social media account so they can easily stay connected. When it’s finally time to say goodbye, a simple farewell party or slumber party can be a good way to give them closure. Be sure to write down a list of places to go and people to see – your kids will feel better knowing they have a chance to say goodbye before the move.
Moving with Pets
If moving is a stressful time for you and your children, there’s no doubt it’ll have an impact on your furry friends, too. Here are Bekins’ five best tips on how to move with pets:
1. Make a trip to your vet.
In the weeks leading up to your move, make a visit to the vet to double check that your pets are up-to-date on vaccinations. It’s also a good idea to ask for a copy of their medical history and a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection/interstate health certificate, which may required when transporting pets across state lines.
2. Update your pets’ tags.
Now more than ever, it’s important that your pet is wearing proper ID and license tags. Your pets will likely be exposed to new and unfamiliar places. If they get lost, it’s imperative that they are tagged with your current contact information.
3. Seclude your pet from moving day madness.
Moving day brings an endless stream of visitors and open doors, which can be stressful for your pets. It’s best to keep them in a separate, quiet room away from the flurry of activity (like a spare bedroom or bathroom) until everything is packed up.
4. Make pet-friendly travel plans.
Before you set off for your new home, take some time to research the safest travel options for your pets. For overnight stays, you can check out BringFido.com or PetsWelcome.com to find a list of hotels that accommodate pets, including birds, fish and exotic animals.
5. Welcome your pets to your new home.
It’s tempting to set your pets free to explore your new home, but it’s best to get them acclimated one room at a time – especially if you’re dealing with cats. Start with a room that has their food, water, litter boxes and favorite toys. After they’ve settled into their new surroundings, you can slowly introduce them to other parts of the house as well.