No matter your situation, moving house can be stressful. Even before the big day, waiting around for paperwork and approvals can drive anyone mad. Even then, as every homeowner knows, you can’t truly rest easy until you’ve got the keys in your hand!
And, that brings us to moving day – perhaps the most stressful of all. Sure, this is the light at the end of the tunnel, the last push before you’re in your dream home at last. But, that doesn’t change the fact that you’ve got to get all your stuff from one property to another before you can finally settle!
With all that hassle, the idea of having kids under your feet may seem like a step (or two) too far. Even just thinking about it likely gives you a headache. Yet, if you can’t find a sitter or you’re moving a little further afield, your children will undeniably have to be there.
The good news is that, while that can make things trickier, it can also help in ways you might not expect. With the right approach, your kids actually could end up bringing some unexpected ease and a better balance to the whole thing.
The question is, how can you make sure of that?
Let kids do the last-minute check
So, the day has come, the moving company has cleared out and is ready to go, everything’s looking good. Only, you’re busy on the phone to your new vendor, and your partner’s finishing up giving the movers instructions. Before you know it, you’ve forgotten to do a last quick check of the rooms, and something fundamental ends up getting forgotten. We’ve all been there, and it’s astounding how many things we can lose during a house move.
Unless, of course, you put your kids to the task of checking each room one last time. This is a fantastic idea for a few reasons. For one, it lets them say goodbye and stops them from getting restless during this ‘boring’ part of the day. For two, little eyes are keen, and they’re sure to spot any last-minute items during their last-minute sweep.
Unpacking the small stuff
When we first get into our new homes, most of us think about the big stuff first. But, we’re so worried about fundamentals like our sofas, beds, and the like that we often forget to unpack the small stuff that matters, like our underwear drawers!
This can leave us rooting through boxes in the dark down the line, but that needn’t be the case. While they won’t be able to carry big boxes, setting your kids up in a room with a box of little bits to unload is a fantastic way to keep them busy and save yourself a world of hassle. Admittedly, they might not stay focused on this task for too long with a new house to explore. But, if they manage to unpack half your kitchen stuff and stay under your feet as they do then it’s still worthwhile.
Inspecting the new neighborhood
Often, we’re so focused on house stuff that we altogether forget to inspect our new neighborhoods. In fact, left to our own devices, many of us might not even head out for a few days as we get things sorted. This can leave us feeling a certain disconnect to our new locations, as well as meaning that we don’t even meet the neighbors for an extended period.
Luckily, kids can help here too. While someone will obviously want to stay back at the house getting sorted, your kids give at least one of you an incentive to hit the local park, or just take a walk around the block. This can be incredibly exciting, especially as you watch your kids explore. And, you never know, you might well meet a few of your neighbors on moving day itself this way.
Keeping everyone happy
All other distraction techniques aside, your kids can be a help on moving day for one key reason – they can put a smile on everyone’s faces. Never underestimate the power of a child’s laugh or the look of excitement on their face as they step over that new threshold.
At a time when you’re likely stressed to the max and barking instructions to the removal company down the phone, this joy can be infectious. At the very least, watching your kids explore can remind you to take stock and look at this new place that you can call home.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to sign up for my newsletter - and get your copy of the Autism Family Guide for free.