Moving home can be exciting and stressful in equal measure, but the process can become even more complicated when you’re trying to do so with children in tow. From the logistics of selling and buying property to the planning and the packing, it’s tempting to imagine that once you’ve arrived at the new home there’s nothing more to think about. However, it’s important to remember that your children will find the next stage one of the hardest of all. They may have been excited about the prospect of a new home, but now they are faced with the reality of an unfamiliar home and a new way of living.
This guide outlines some ideas to help your children to settle in sooner rather than later as well as the important tasks you, as the parent, need to complete.
Prepare a Moving Day Kit
It’s a good idea to have a suitcase prepared with everything you might need to feel comfortable on the first night. This will probably include toiletries, pyjamas, a change of clothes for day 2, phone chargers, some snacks, and maybe everything you need to make a celebratory cup of tea. Ask the children which toy they would like packed in this suitcase so they can have it with them as soon as they arrive. It will give them something familiar to keep hold of and may even keep them entertained while you get boxes and important paperwork in order.
Tidy and Check the Home for Safety Hazards
Remember to look around the house and garden for potential safety hazards before you let the children explore. For example, there may be hidden ponds, broken fences, or places where your children/pets could wander through. It’s also worth checking the house for any items the previous owners may have left behind, loose carpets or floorboards or bare electricals.
Sort Out Medical Contact Details
Illness, injury, or emergencies can strike at any time, so make sure you have a list of all the relevant medical and dental services in your new area. From a Chinook centre dentist to the local GP practice, you should have these numbers somewhere easily accessible.
Make the Beds
One of the first jobs should be to make up the beds before you’re too tired to do so. If your children have their bedding and favourite toys around them as they fall asleep and then wake up the next day, you can minimise any homesickness they might feel. You might want to let older children arrange their room to give them a sense of ownership over their new space.
Get the Main Appliances Working
Fridges and freezers should also be plugged in as soon as possible so you can restock them the following day. Plug the house telephone in and set mobile phones charging. Test the boiler and/or hot water cylinder so that you have hot water for baths and showers.
Keep Dinner Simple
Dinner on the first night in the new home should be whatever makes you all feel most comfortable. You might choose to order a takeaway or, if you’re really organised, you could prepare a frozen favourite which you can pop in the oven. Try to make the first night as family orientated as possible, so it’s probably best to leave big jobs and major unpacking until you’ve all had a good night’s rest.