Call a family meeting. You may want to order some pizza and gather around the dining room table for a casual dinner and lots of conversation. If the reason that you are moving is due to a promotion or a new job, be sure to tell your children that you’re excited about it. Always explain why you took it and how it will impact the entire family. Tell them how you feel about the move and encourage them to express their feelings and concerns as well. If this is their first time moving, it could be particularly difficult due to the fact they’re leaving their family home. Share with them your first-move experience. Let them know you’ll be depending on them to help out during the move, from packing to settling in to the new place.
Purge before packing. Let the children know that now is a really good time to cut through the clutter. All through the house, there’s sure to be a bunch of things that do not need to accompany you to the new home. Go ahead and get the kids to help you go through the house to identify what should go with you and what you should not bring with you. Do let them know that you don’t necessarily want to toss everything. It’s alright to keep certain things that hold important memories. However, items — be they clothes, toys or electronics — that are no longer used, should be closely considered for the toss pile. And you don’t have to toss them … you can always donate them.
Hold a moving sale. Once you’ve figured out what you want to pack and what you want to purge, get the kids to help you organize a moving sale. They can help you sort through everything, organize it, inventory it, and price and tag it. Let them know that the proceeds from the sale will be used for something for the family. In fact, you can have a family meeting and vote to decide on what that might be. Maybe it’s a giant flat screen TV for the new house, or maybe it’s a chocolate lab puppy. Whatever it is, the more invested the kids are in the goal, the more helpful they’ll be with organizing the sale.
Research the new neighborhood. Try to learn as much as possible about the new neighborhood, community and town. Share what you find with your kids. You don’t have to make everything sound wonderful; honest, matter-of-fact information will be most helpful in the long run. If you oversell things and raise expectations, there’s room for disappointment. Encourage your kids to do their own research. With your help, they can go online and look up community and school Web sites. You could also find copies of some local magazines and a weekend edition of the local paper. You’ll be able to learn about community organizations and groups, school events and sports, and other social and civic activities.
Host a see you again soon event. One of the more difficult things about moving for any kid is saying goodbye to their pals. You could certainly lessen the anxiety of this by taking part in hosting a small event with family, friends and neighbors and call it a See You Real Soon party. During the event, make sure everyone exchanges contact information, and take photos of your kids with their friends. Between texting, e-mails and phone calls, your kids should be able to maintain old friendships while transitioning to their new surroundings and making new friends. Depending on the distance of your move, you could speak with the parents of your children’s friends about planning a weekend visit or meeting somewhere halfway for a day visit.