Home moving easily ranks amongst one of the major events of our lives. In the midst of all the planning before, during and after the move, it is inevitable that stress will set in. While the relocation process takes its toll on us, we tend to forget about our children’s feelings with regard to the decision to move.
Young children may feel anxious about leaving a place of familiarity while the older teens may go through a myriad of emotions about moving to a new home. This is especially so considering that during those years in life, they would have been molding their identities, formed important friendships and had started to be more goal oriented. The need to make new friends at a new school, join a new sports team at school and feel like a stranger within the new community can sometimes be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are some tips you can consider to ease this transition.
Before the Move
Host a little family meeting and be ready to answer questions
Sooner rather than later, share with your children about the family’s intention to relocate. Give them time to acknowledge and adjust to the idea of moving. Thus, it is important that you let them know sooner.
Be prepared to answer the “whys”, “when”, “where” and “hows”. Part of why children may suppress their feelings about the move is because they often do not have a say when it comes to decision making done by parents. Therefore, be sure to let them voice out their concerns and their worries about the move. Explaining how the family could benefit from the move could be reassuring.
This is especially helpful for younger children as the relocation process could be confusing to them. Explain to your kids that belongings and furniture in the home will be packed and removed by the movers. Let them know beforehand that the current home will be emptied but their precious belongings will be brought to the new home, waiting to be unpacked together as a family.
Emphasize on the excitement of moving by involving them in the plan
If possible, involve your child in the selection process of the new home. Emphasize on the excitement of moving. Share with them about the new estate (or country, if your family is moving overseas) and its environment. Show them pictures and encourage your children to do a drawing of how they would like the furniture to be placed in their rooms. Giving them the option to choose the colour or design theme for their new bedrooms could help alleviate the stress and encourage positive mindsets about the move.
As with most life-changing events, planning is vital to ensure a smoother process of moving out of your current premise and into your new home. To minimize the potential stress, allow ample amount of time for all aspects of the move, from sorting through and packing your belongings, hiring a professional mover, to the day of the move. Together with your spouse, make a schedule and checklist of what needs to be done to ensure that you have covered everything necessary.
Be sure to invest some time to look out for a trusted, assuring and reliable mover company with remarkable customer reviews. This will go a long way in reducing the anxiety and stress related to your move. There are moving companies aplenty out there. But to find one that you can really trust and depend on for a smooth move, now that’s a different ball game. Here are some signs of a moving company you can trust and depend on:
- There are great customer reviews published on independent sites such as Google Review, Facebook, independent review sites and forums.
- The promptness of their responses.
- Dedicated relocation adviser whom you can count on to take care of your moving needs.
- The appearance and presentation of the person who turns up at your door to understand your move requirements before telling you your moving fee.
If you have infants or toddlers at home, you might also want to consider arranging to put them at a relative’s home when you do your packing as well as on move day.
Worried that you might miss out on something important? We’ve got you covered with a downloadable and printable moving checklist to help with your planning.
Pack with your kids — interest them with a treasure hunt
Or just any game! Packing game. Packing for the move is a great opportunity to purge the clutter that your family has accumulated over the years. Throughout the home, there is a chance you will find things that do not serve your family as it did in the past.
Have the kids help you go through the home, room by room, to identify what are the items that should be brought along to the new home or to get rid of. Toss the items that are broken and not repairable. For those that are still in good condition, consider selling or donating them.
If there are good condition furniture that you no longer want and you know a destitute family or individual who may benefit from it, let your appointed mover know. As part of our “Giving-Back” pledge, CYC Movers provides pro-bono moving services to move your unwanted furniture to your appointed “family-in-need” or FIN within Singapore. Check with us to learn more about our pro-bono services.
Arrange visits to the neighbourhood with your children
If your child is changing schools, you might want to arrange to take a few days off to visit the new school and the neighbourhood ahead of the move. Bring along your children to help them get familiarized with the estate and nearby amenities like the public swimming pool, playgrounds, shopping malls and cinema. Simply having a meal at a coffee shop near your new home will help assure them that life after the move will not be too different than their current residence.
Say your goodbyes properly
Your home would have housed many special moments and created countless happy and precious memories. Moving away almost always brings a tear to our eye as we reminisce about each and every corner of the home that we have grown so familiar with. Our children will experience such emotions too. To young children and adolescents, moving homes may mean having to leave their entire lives and memories behind as it could have been the only home they have lived in. Therefore, it is important to do a proper farewell together with them, walking through your home at your own pace, recounting those memories and discuss how you and your children can make more at your new home.
Also, consider hosting a get-together for your children and their friends as a farewell party. Encourage them to take pictures and leave notes for one another so that your children can take them along to their new home for keepsakes.
During the Move
As daunting as the process of moving homes can be, remember that it can also be fun! Try your best to keep your emotions in check when you speak to your children about moving. Be open and honest about the challenges that might occur during the process but reassure them of the positive things that they can look forward to.
On moving day, you might want to ask a friend or a family member to care for your young children, especially infants and toddlers, so that you can deal with the knickknacks of the moving without having to worry about their safety.
Keep the young ones occupied
Create a ‘favourite-things box’ personal to each child, and together with them, choose and place their favourite belongings and toys in it.
Moving day generally involves a certain amount of commotion and there may also be periods of waiting time without access to most of their toys. If your child is accompanying you on moving day itself, a good way to keep them occupied is to use one of the rooms that have been emptied out to be their play corner. Encourage them to engage in activities like colouring or playing with items from their personal boxes.
Give older children a role
Older children may appreciate being given a specific role to play during the move. Depending on their age, they could be asked to watch over their younger siblings while you are overseeing the move, or be entrusted with moving tasks such as taping up all packed boxes. Such roles and activities would give them a sense of responsibility and feelings of having contributed to the family’s efforts in the move — a perfect boost for their morale!
After Moving In
Be sure to involve your children in auspicious ceremonies and activities of moving into a new home!
You may have heard that rolling a pineapple into your home before moving in will bring your family good luck, wealth and happiness. As silly as it may sound, such activities are fun to do, especially for children, and is a great way to instill a sense of hope! If this, or other luck-enhancing rituals has never been part of your home moving tradition, why not start one this time round? If not for luck, at least for the well-being of your child.
Get them settled and established
Try to assign your children to their new bedrooms as soon as possible. Occupy younger children with the toys that were packed into their “favourite-things box” so that they can get used to playing in their new surroundings. With teenagers, it would be worth it to ensure that the Wi-Fi connection has been set up and running before the move in.
Once everyone has settled in and are feeling calmer, walk around the neighbourhood together as a family and do some exploring.
Be involved in the new community as a family
Enroll your children for a recreational activity of their choice that is held within the estate. Mingle with the other children’s parents. Join the new town’s morning jog group. In Singapore, some estates have warmhearted and friendly neighbours with Whatsapp group chats or Facebook groups to update one another about happenings within the neighbourhood. Be sure to look out for them and join one! As your children see that you have begun to ease into the new space, they will feel more comfortable and secure doing the same.
Maintain contact with the old community
If your children want to keep in contact with their friends, help them do so (especially the younger ones). Encourage them to write letters and make phone calls as a way to keeping the friendships intact. Fortunately for us in Singapore, gatherings and meet-ups can be easily organized and does not require anyone to travel for hours! Organize a house-warming party when your family has settled into your new home and invite friends and relatives to grace your new home!
Planning ahead of your move will ease tensions and allow you to be inclusive of your child’s involvement with the move, making new memories together even before the family has moved into the new home. Hiring the best moving company for your family needs is also important. A professional organiser will be helpful with the move while most of your attention is on your children.
CYC Movers is an experienced mover company that has helped thousands of families move across Singapore, and beyond our boarders. Get a quote for your upcoming move by contacting CYC Movers directly or filling up the request form.