Moving an entire family is a huge undertaking. You have to worry about keeping everything together, managing the children and adjusting to your new home. More than most, family moves require organization, communication, and planning. Keep everyone on the same page, and you’ll pull off your move without a hitch.
Of course, that’s always easier in theory than it is in practice. Moving a family is chaotic and tends to lead to some unique complications. Knowing how to anticipate and respond to these complications is crucial to a successful family move. We want to help. These are a few family-specific challenges you’ll almost certainly face during your move and how to tackle them.
Keeping everyone’s things organized and separate
The more people you’re moving with, the more complicated the move. Staying organized is especially difficult and especially important for moving families. The last thing you need is an argument about where everyone’s stuff is as soon as you move in! Luckily, there’s a simple, clever solution to even the most complex of family moving arrangements: color-coded moving equipment.
Assign each family member a color. Color code their boxes, bags or buckets using anything you’ll be able to identify at a glance. Then, simply pack each family member’s belongings into the boxes that match their color. Assign a separate color to “shared” boxes for items like kitchenware or home decor. With color-coded boxes, you won’t have to worry about sorting out everyone’s stuff after you move. Everyone will know right where their stuff is when they need it.
Making sure young children don’t get antsy during the move
During a move, it’s really easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of making sure everything goes well. You’re worrying about organizing, transporting things safely, managing the movers and arranging transportation for the family. Adding children into this mix adds a whole new dimension of challenges. On top of everything else, you’ll have to keep the kids entertained… or you won’t be able to do anything else!
There are two main ways to keep kids entertained during a move: get some help or use the power of a screen. If you can, try having a relative, close friend or babysitter take the kids out of the house for most of the move. Have them go to the movies, go play in the park, go eat at a restaurant, etc. The important thing is they have fun… and leave you to focus on the move. If that’s not an option, try sitting the kids in front of a family-friendly moving movie.
Keeping pre-teens and teenagers entertained is another kind of challenge entirely–and often an even more crucial one! A particularly effective way to keep teenagers happy during a move is to give them a little independence. Put them in charge of their own belongings. You could also ask them to do a little research about their new hometown. Ask them to find things to do when you get moved in. Let them pick the first restaurant you try!
Adjusting to a new community
Moving to a whole new community is always a challenge, and it can be especially hard on families. New cities or neighborhoods can be daunting. The best way for anyone (and especially a family) to adjust to a new space is to get proactive. Get out there and explore your new home with your whole family! Schedule “adventures” around your new community that everyone can look forward to. Do some research!
Help your children find activities that could help them meet new friends. Consider throwing a neighborhood housewarming party to meet your new neighbors. Eat at local restaurants. Visit local parks and museums. Walk, drive or bike around! Let yourself have some fun. Don’t worry too much if takes longer for your children to adjust to their new community than it takes you. Everyone operates on different wavelengths. One of the best ways to adjust to a new home is to start making new memories right away.
Making sure everyone is comfortable in your new home
There’s so much to manage during a move! Between the logistics, planning and execution, it’s all-too-easy to forget to check in about how everyone’s feeling. Moving is stressful, especially for families and especially for children. The best way to deal with that stress is to talk about it! Take some time to touch base with your family members about how they’re feeling after a move. Ask questions: what are they excited about? Worried about? Happy or sad about? Do they have questions about their new home?
Change is hard. Talking about and working through change together makes it easier. By reassuring your family that some things haven’t changed, you’ll begin to make your new place feel like your new home. This is especially important for families with young kids. Encourage everyone to speak up and listen to any anxieties or problems they may have. By confronting and addressing these anxieties together, you’ll feel more comfortable and at home in your new space.
The reason moving with your family is challenging is the same reason it’s fulfilling: you want everyone to be happy. A little planning, a little good luck, and a trusted moving company are the way you guarantee that happens.
The next time you plan on moving house with your loved ones in tow, give Bekins a call. We’ll make the process as effortless as possible. That way, you can spend your time enjoying the excitement of an adventure with your favorite people. Have a great move!