Moving with Family

Moving can be difficult on your family. Most details of a move revolve around your possessions. Remember that any move is actually about moving your family. The possessions only come along to support the family. This bit of perspective can go a long way towards minimizing stress and easing your move.

Moving is an emotional time, especially for children. They are less capable of dealing with the prospect of leaving behind all that they know. They will look to you whether you like it or not. Try to maintain a positive attitude. If you treat it like a fun adventure, they will likely pick up on it. If they express sadness or fear, don't dismiss them. Rather, listen to them and reassure them that, while it may be difficult, everything will work out fine.

The basics of moving with your family:

Keep everybody involved. Determine what level of involvement your children are able to handle, then try to find things they can do. With a little imagination, you can keep your children happily, and even productively, involved.

Think Safety! Young children and pets have a knack for getting into stuff. During packing and loading, the opportunities for injury and mischief increase dramatically. Try to set up "safe zones" in which they can play and relax. Having pets and children underfoot when carrying boxes and furniture can mean injury for both them and you.

Take a time out when necessary. If you sense that stress levels are rising, stop and take a break. This may be 30 minutes of relaxing or it may be a family trip to the zoo. The ability to step back for a while to relax and recover is critical to having a happy move. (In other words, start your move early so you're not rushed.)

Helpful Hints

  • Military? Free babysitting is offered for moving families at some installations. This can offer you some valuable, uninterrupted packing time. Check with your family services office or equivalent for details.
  • Packing materials and children don't mix well. Tape dispensers have sharp cutting edges. Tape in hair can be a real nightmare. Packing film can be a suffocation hazard. Utility knives are very attractive to young children. And the list continues. Avoid leaving these within reach of young hands.
  • Boxes do not equal jungle gyms. Of course, your children will disagree. Climbing on stacked boxes can be very dangerous. Ensure boxes are firmly stacked and unlikely to topple. Don't let your children climb on or around them.