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Moving House with Children – The Complete Guide

Posted on 30th March 2024 by Master Removers

Moving house is a major life event, and relocating with children can sometimes pose additional challenges. Children may feel anxious about leaving their current home and making new friends or starting a new school in a different area.

From telling them about the move and helping them to deal with change to getting them engaged in the moving process, here’s the Master Removers guide to the practical and emotional side of moving house with children and teenagers.


Introducing the Master Removers Guide to Moving with Children

1. Move Phase One: Before the Move

  • Informing Everyone Early
  • Be Ready to Answer Questions
  • Plan Ahead and Start Early
  • Visit Your New Area
  • Changing Schools
  • Get the Kids Involved
  • Dealing with Teenagers
  • Say Goodbye Properly

2. Move Phase Two: During the Move

  • Keeping Kids Busy on the Moving Day
  • Create a Fun Relocation Box
  • Give Them a Role

3. Move Phase Three: Following the Move

  • Let Them Personalise Their Room
  • Order a Special Move-In Takeaway
  • Introduce Changes Gradually
  • Meet the Neighbours
  • Establish a Routine

Master Removers: Helping Families Cope with Moving

Introducing the Master Removers Guide to Moving with Children

Let’s begin by laying out the three core parts of your upcoming relocation. Like all good stories, there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end. You’ll need to prepare the foundations of the move beforehand, especially regarding the more emotional aspects. The midpoint is the final week and day of the big move, which is self-explanatory. Settling in is where your next chapter begins.

The good news is you can prepare for a positive outcome for each phase of the relocation now. Doing so will also give you more time to deal with the highs and lows of preparing to move.

Move Phase One: Before the Move

Informing Everyone Early

It’s important to give your children a chance to adjust to the idea of moving, so you should tell them in good time. When you’re likely to be busy planning and making decisions, it can be all too easy to forget that whatever their age, your children will have feelings about the move, too.

Part of the challenge for children is that they often need a say in the broader decision-making process. When the time comes to move house, they can feel powerless and unsettled.

Moving house may accompany other key lifestyle changes, such as a new job or personal circumstances. So, whatever your reason for moving, they must be given the time and freedom to talk about it and voice any worries they may have.

However, even an early announcement will only sometimes produce a positive response. You’ll need to mentally prepare yourself for backlash – especially if you have teenagers. Try to do everything with empathy while remaining in charge of the situation.

Be Ready to Answer Questions

This is crucial and will help demystify the process and reduce any fear and anxiety. It’s also helpful to outline what will happen during the moving process so they know what to expect. This can be particularly useful for younger children, who may find it confusing and overwhelming.

Explain that their things will be packed up and moved out, and the house will be empty – and that the removal men will move them to your new home, where they can unpack them again and arrange them in their new room. Sometimes, smaller children think they will never see them again once their things are taken away.

Plan Ahead and Start Early

As always, proper planning is vital. Suppose you want to keep your and your family’s stress levels to a minimum. In that case, you should allow plenty of time for all aspects of the move, from sorting through and packing your things to the plans for your moving day. Put together precise schedules and checklists to make sure you have everything covered.

It’s also essential to ensure that you look after your needs and seek help with the children or pack the boxes when needed. Remember, an experienced removal company, such as a Master Remover, can offer expert assistance, including a full packing service, should you require it.

We suggest using our moving checklist and adapting this to suit your circumstances. You can add or remove parts as you see fit. Also, use it in conjunction with a blank calendar to create a timeline of your relocation. This gives you a more tangible idea of the period between now and your moving day. You can also use the calendar spaces to assign duties for specific days and weeks.

Visit Your New Area

We always recommend visiting your new village, town, or city at least once for an overnight stay. This gives you a better idea of the area throughout the day and night and provides a first-hand experience of what life will be like. You can also arrange meetings with principals for prospective schools and find after-school activities that align with your family’s tastes.

TripAdvisor has a broad selection of hotels and B&Bs with prices, ratings, and snippets of local information. Additionally, most places have a tourist website to help you find local attractions and related resources.

Changing Schools

Your child is likely to change schools, and school places are becoming increasingly challenging to attain. You should arrange to visit the new school ahead of the move so your child can meet their classmates and familiarise themselves with the general layout of the building.

Moving during the school holidays can help with a smoother transition to the new school. You should also take time with your children to check out the local playground and other facilities, such as the cinema or leisure centre. If anyone is especially reluctant about moving, you can win them over by finding something they love doing.

Get the Kids Involved

You can help your children engage with the move by getting them involved—and not just when it comes to box–packing. Show your child a plan for their new home and walk them through the various rooms. Encourage them to draw a picture of their bedroom and where they might put their furniture. Let them have a say in choosing the colour or designing a theme for their room if you can.

When it comes to packing, you can get your children involved in the process, including putting some of their things into boxes and decluttering along the way. Sometimes, children enjoy choosing things to give away they no longer need. You can let your children personalise their boxes—let them loose with stickers, labels, or felt-tip pens so they feel a sense of ownership and involvement.

Dealing with Teenagers

We won’t sugar-coat it – moving with young adults poses challenges. Although they may understand more about the moving process and may have been involved in the viewing process, they are also likely to have their own concerns and opinions. Again, it’s important to make yourself available to talk when they want to and answer any questions they may have.

Relocating can be particularly unsettling for adolescents because emotions and hormones are skyrocketing. The prospect of being the new kid and the vulnerability of making new friends will undoubtedly stir up even more emotionally charged situations.

So, put on your calm adult persona (and figurative crash helmet)—you’ll need to be the wise parent who cares. Teenagers have their own friendship dynamics and might want to keep in touch with their close friends via social media or Skype. Above all, give them time and space to adjust to the change.

Say Goodbye Properly

Even younger children have special attachments, and it’s important not to underestimate the impact of moving away from those relationships. They may feel like they are leaving their entire life behind, with all its known and familiar things. This may be the only house they have ever lived in or the only one they remember living in.

That’s why it’s important to say goodbye properly. Think about holding a tea party or similar get-together for your child and their friends. You can also create a memory book with pictures of the old house and messages from their friends, which they can take to their new home. Consider arranging a date for their old friends to visit them once you’re settled in.

Remember, the idea of moving house can be stressful, but it’s also an adventure, and it’s essential to treat it as such when you talk to the children. Aim to be open and honest but reassuring and talk positively about the good things related to the move. And whenever possible, take some time out with your children, away from the planning and the boxes, and go and do something fun.

Move Phase Two: During the Move

You’ll probably notice that we emphasise the initial phase of your relocation in this blog. That’s because we want to promote the ideal of preparing thoroughly. We know this approach is the crucial ingredient for all successful relocations. However, we need to help you plan for the moving day and how to prepare your kids for it.

On moving day itself, it can be helpful to ask a friend or family member to look after the children while you deal with the mechanics of moving. However, suppose your children are accompanying you on your moving day. In that case, there are several things you can do to help reduce the stress.

Keeping Kids Busy on the Moving Day

Moving day generally involves a certain amount of upheaval, and there may also be some waiting periods without access to their regular toys or activities.

So, having plenty of activities to keep your little ones busy is a good idea. At the same time, your things are loaded onto the van, such as colouring in books or a portable games device, and you can find a quiet corner to play in away from the general hubbub. A playpen can be very useful for smaller children.

For older children and teenagers, it’s worth ensuring the Wi-Fi connection in your new home is sorted before you move.

Create a Fun Relocation Box

To help your children stay as busy and settled as possible, assemble a box of their special belongings. This might include favourite toys, a comfort item such as a teddy bear or blanket, and a favourite book for setting them up at bedtime. You could put the box together with your child as moving day approaches and get them to label it ‘important things’.

When leaving, remember to pack any special plates or cups and take plenty of their favourite snacks along for the ride. If it is a long journey to your new home, take some spotting games, tablets, or music for the car, and stop regularly so everyone can have a break and stretch their legs.

Give Them a Role

Older children may appreciate being given a checklist or assigned a specific role—such as pet monitor. This will give them a sense of responsibility and help them feel they have a part in the move. Depending on their age, children can also be put ‘in charge’ of making sure the removal men deliver their boxes to their new room and begin to unpack their things.

Phase Three: Following the Move

Let Them Personalise Their Room

Aiming to install your child in their new room immediately will be best. Put them in their ‘important things’ box so they can get used to playing in their new surroundings, and when things have calmed down a bit, take them for a tour around the new house and the garden.

Order a Special Move-In Takeaway

Moving day is special, so now’s the time to forget about diet and order their favourite takeaway – you can Google some numbers ahead of time. This also circles back to visiting your new location – you can find the best places to eat and have fun before you arrive.

Introduce Changes Gradually

It’s always good to ring the changes, but you should avoid getting rid of everything familiar in one go. While it may be a great time to stock up on new furniture and beds, keeping some of their old, familiar items may help your child settle in more readily.

Meet the Neighbours

You should meet with your new neighbours and any local children as soon as possible and take your child to the local park or to join a new club or activity – you can do some research ahead of the move.

Establish a Routine

It may take a while for them to settle into their new surroundings, which is natural. Remember that children are naturally resilient, and younger children respond well to routine, so you should aim to establish a daily routine again as soon as possible.

Master Removers: Helping Families Cope with Moving

The information in this blog focuses on helping your little (or not so little) ones copy with the relocation. We provide more practical resources that cover various removal and storage topics here.

As Master Removers, we have helped many families through the moving process over the years, and our reliable and professional team can help to ensure a smooth move for you and your family.

Every member company in our group is their county’s highest-rated removal and storage provider. You can be assured that you’re working with the best, no matter where you’re moving from or to in the UK or Europe.

Click here to begin an assessment or discuss your relocation and our services in more detail.