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Making the Most of Your Move: The Best Advice for Your Family

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Making the Most of Your Move: The Best Advice for Your Family

Moving can be a trial for the strongest of families.  It can be back-breaking work, and there is so much to do.  When you are trying to juggle finding a home, selling your old one, packing and transitioning all with children involved, it can become overwhelming.  Here are some ideas for keeping things as comfortable and happy as possible for the whole family.

House hunting.  Searching for a new home that will satisfy your family can be both exciting and stressful.  You want a house that will accommodate everyone’s belongings, which can be hard to judge if you have a growing family or planning to downsize, plus there are other factors to consider.  When it comes to deciding on your house-hunting criteria, UpNest offers these suggestions:

  • School districts; check into which schools are the best in the area where you plan to settle

  • Area amenities; recreation for both you and the kids will keep you entertained, involved and active

  • Walkable neighborhood; you and the kids can feel comfortable getting out of the house to play, stretch your legs or walk the dog

  • Functional yard; a place you are able to throw a ball around, set up a playset or cookout

Selling your home.  Preparing a home for sale is challenging, especially if you have kids.  Remember throughout the process that staging your home is the key to success.  You want buyers to be able to picture themselves living in your home.  In order to do that, you should eliminate as much clutter as possible and depersonalize your decor.  That means paring down your things - including your kids’ items - as much as possible. Make it a point to neutralize decor as much as you can, even in the kids’ rooms, both in terms of age and gender.  

Packing up.  You can get a jumpstart on packing when you declutter to stage your home.  Kids can have a tough time with seeing their things packed away, especially little ones.  Be sure to soothe them by explaining that the change is temporary, and that they will get their things back.  In the meantime, consider moving some of your kids’ treasured items -- as well as yours -- completely out of your house and into a storage unit as you prepare for the big day.  It’s far better to remove the items altogether versus shoving them into closets or your garage. Remember, potential buyers look everywhere and you want to give the impression that your house has plenty of space, not the opposite.  Winnowing down some of your belongings ahead of time can also reduce some of the chaos during the moving process, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In cities like Miami, the average price of a 5’x10’ storage unit runs about $77.04 a month.

Remember: packing up is also a good time to eliminate items that are worn out or not used, especially toys. As The Washington Post explains, you should cull items when the kids aren’t around, or else you’re setting yourself up for disaster.  Nearly forgotten toys can suddenly become favorites, and you’ll have a temper tantrum on your hands.

Throw out or donate those things when the children aren’t around, or if they have value, one idea is to sell them.  As far as the keepers, MakeSpace recommends packing in an organized manner, grouping similar items so they are easy to move and unpack. And there is so much to remember, review a moving checklist to ensure you get settled in and tend all the details associated with moving.

Preparing for moving day.  Change can be hard on anyone, but especially children.  Prepare your kids for the move by talking about all that is happening.  Put things in language they understand since small children have no idea what “moving” really means.  Remain positive about the process. Choose words that convey how great and exciting this is and talk about moving as an adventure.  Look for picture books about moving you can read together that provide an explanation and illustration they can easily understand. If your kids are struggling with getting on board, one suggestion is to let them do some of the planning.  Have them pick out the colors of their new bedrooms and talk about how furniture could be set up.  

Moving can be challenging, but it’s also an adventure for your whole family.  Research and prepare well so things go smoothly. You’ll make the most of the experience for you and your kids.


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