Moving can be stressful at the best of times, and kids aren’t exempt from feeling that anxiety. It’s easy to park a child in front of the television or leave their room until last to keep them occupied. However, involving your kids in as many aspects of the move as possible can help not only their worries about it, but it might even provide a bonding activity for the entire family. Here are seven tips on how to involve your children in the moving process from professional Denver movers.
1. Looking for Home
Kids can participate right from the outset. Give them the opportunity for a voice in where they might spend many years of their lives. When searching for a house or apartment, allow your children to peruse the listings. Set up a list of places that are acceptable to the adults in the family and sit down with the kids. Listening to their opinions can go a long way toward how they feel about their changing environment, as well as provide them with pride in their new home.
2. Kitchen Duty
Once the grown-ups have packed up everything breakable or sharp, let the kids handle the rest of the kitchen. Give them boxes and packing materials and let them tackle it. Dealing with the fridge and pantry doesn’t have to be a big job. Show your children how to find expiration dates, give them a garbage bin for expired goods, and let them place unopened and in-date food in a box for donation to your local food bank.
3. Donate Instead of Trashing
One of the best things about moving is getting to weed out what you don’t want to take. Involving kids in this not only helps to separate the keep pile from the toss pile, but it can provide them with a lesson in giving. Have them spend some time choosing which toys and clothing they treasure and want to take along and put the rest in boxes for donation. Just be careful not to force separation from any belongings at this point. It’s a good idea, as well, for an adult to have a look in these donation boxes before they go off to their new owners.
4. Labeling Boxes
For children who can read and write, labeling the moving boxes is an ideal task. Provide them with markers and sticker packs and have them label which rooms boxes belong to at your destination, giving carte blanche to draw and sticker to their heart’s content. Delegating this task might not be a huge time-saver, but it’s excellent for keeping the kids out of your hair if you need it.
You can give even smaller tots the tasks of picking up paper and bits of trash that inevitably end up scattered in the course of packing. Tweens can easily wipe down surfaces and walls, as well as sweep up debris left behind. Older kids can vacuum, mop, or clean leftover grime out of appliances that don’t require cleaning chemicals. Leave anything potentially toxic to the grown-ups.
6. Thinking About the Future
When nerves start to get a little jangled in the more immediate face of leaving what used to be home, it’s important to direct kids toward where you’re going. Let them know it’s okay to be sad to leave the old place and friends behind, but also nudge them toward thinking of the good things ahead. One way to get children excited is letting them draw out plans for their new rooms. This activity encourages them to think of their old things in new ways, helping to get them excited about where they’re going instead of being anxious.
Kids are wonderful unpackers. Once you have the furniture and boxes in their respective rooms, let the children open some up and put things away. Their rooms are the perfect starting place. If they finish, give them a bathroom to set up or provide a safe kitchen box to unpack. It doesn’t matter if the spoons are in the correct drawer right away. What’s important is turning your new house or apartment into a home, and letting your kids help set things to rights can help to accomplish that.