Let’s face it, buying or selling a home and moving across the country or even across town is one of the most stressful life events we experience. Throw in a few kids and a pet or two, and you’ve exponentially increased your stress level. However, there are plenty of things you can do to make moving easier on yourself and your family members, including the four-legged ones.
While most children will adapt easily to the move, especially the younger ones, it’s still a good idea to prepare them well in advance for what lies ahead. Pets can be a bit trickier, but having a plan of action in place will alleviate much of the hassle. Here are some practical moving tips to help with both.
Moving Tips for Kids:
Check Out the Area Ahead of Time – Getting kids excited about starting a new chapter is half the battle. They can feel uneasy or nervous about being the new kid in class and making new friends. Take a tour of the new school they’ll be attending and set up a meeting to meet the teacher in advance. Look for fun things to do in the area and scope out parks, restaurants, and libraries so the kids have a couple places to look forward to visiting. You might even want to introduce yourselves to your soon-to-be neighbors so there are familiar faces to greet you when you arrive at your new home.
Assign Jobs to the Kids – Give older kids the task of packing up their belongings and settling into their new rooms along with the responsibility of setting up another shared room in the house. Arranging toiletries in their bathroom or filling bookshelves in the den are smaller projects that contribute in a big way. Moving will go much smoother when everyone has a job to do and knows what’s expected of them. It’ll also keep them busy and give them a sense of accomplishment once their tasks are completed.
Hire a Babysitter – If you’re just moving across town, ask a relative or friend if the little ones can spend the day with them. You’ll find when you don’t have to keep stopping for lunch, snacks, diaper duty or potty breaks you’ll be much more productive and there will be less stress for everyone involved. When normal, everyday routines remain the same during the moving process, it’s easier for kids to acclimate to their new surroundings.
Moving Tips for Pets:
Get Current on Vaccinations – Make sure your pets’ vaccinations are up-to-date and that you have plenty of refills on any medications they’re currently taking. On the same note, be sure to get referrals for a new veterinarian before you make the move so you have someone to call in case of an emergency.
Update Your Address – If your pets are microchipped, it’s a good idea to update your information with your new home address and phone number. Dogs often go into fight-or-flight mode when they’re extremely stressed, so if Fido manages to escape during the commotion of moving, you can be located much quicker if the vet has your current contact information.
Keep them Secure – Kenneling your cats or dogs during a move across town is ideal but if you’re moving across state lines, keep them in a carrier or in a harness during the trip. If your cat has a tendency to be anxious during travel, putting her in a carrier with a few toys or a blanket will help her feel more secure and safe. Harnessing your dog will keep him from bouncing around in excitement, allowing you to stay focused on the road.
Get Comfortable – Be sure to have your pets’ favorite toys, beds or blankets unpacked so they’ll have something familiar to provide comfort on their first night in the new house. As overwhelming as a major move can be for humans, our pets can be affected just as much, if not more. Make sure to give them extra attention and affection as they look to you for reassurance.
These moving tips should make your move easier and more enjoyable for everyone. Remember, it might seem like an overwhelming task, but you’ll be settled into your new home before you know it.