Moving with children is often challenging because your kids still require your attention regardless of all the extra responsibilities you are juggling during the moving process. Moving can bring excitement or hesitation. Some children may be eager to pack their boxes while others may protest the idea of moving altogether. While it’s always a great idea to hire professional packing and moving services, it’s still helpful to get the kids involved.
The good news is that you can keep kids engaged by delegating tasks for them to accomplish during the moving process. Yes, that’s right! Children as young as four can contribute and complete tasks during moving. This ensures that they keep busy and engaged while you enjoy the extra help in crossing items of the to-do list.
The question is, which tasks are appropriate for the kids? This write-up provides some creative ways and useful tips on how children help with moving while staying excited about the activity altogether.
1. Providing ideas for your ideal home
What’s the first question kids ask when they hear of an impending move? “Where are we moving to?”
This is a great chance for you to get their ideas on the kind of new residence that would be perfect for your family. For instance, you could have them draw or paint a picture of their ideal home and their “must haves”. These might include their own bedroom or a yard to play with the family pet.
High school or middle school students can use a shared account in a real estate app and add their favorite homes for you to check out. They can even leave comments on the few options they have discovered. Just be sure they understand your budget.
Involving your kids in this manner can be a great way to ensure you don’t end up with a home that they don’t like. Additionally, it introduces the element of teamwork in the search for a new home and moving with your kids.
Such children’s moving chores help keep them excited about moving to their new home from the get go. You may be surprised just how easy it becomes to move with your children when you make them part of the house-hunting process.
2. Tagging and decorating boxes
Can your child read and write? If yes, here’s another way kids can help with moving. Task them with tagging and labeling the moving boxes. Have them write where the boxes go in the new home, as well as what the boxes contain.
Pro-tip: Enhance their excitement about the task by encouraging them to paint or color their boxes. This way, they will certainly be recognizable for anyone involved in the move.
3. Packing their own possessions
When moving with kids, let them help with packing their items by themselves. They will often enjoy doing this. It’s also one great way for them to learn to become self-sufficient. Also, doing so will let everyone know where their essential belongings are, including the youngsters themselves.
In preparation for the relocation, provide every child with an essentials bag where they can pack their pajamas, favorite storybooks, some toys, toothbrush, and toothpaste, among other moving essentials.
It gets better; if your kids can read, provide them with a list of what to pack in their essentials bag so they can pack everything that they’ll need for the move.
- Younger children can pack their stuffed animals and pass toys to adults to load into boxes.
- Middle school kids can pack books, toys, clothes as well as label their boxes.
- Teens can complete all the packing of their own items, but it’s your call if they should be in charge of wrapping their fragile items and electronics.
4. Getting rid of unwanted items
One crucial task that children can help with is de-cluttering.
While separating valuables from junk, you can teach your children to do the same. Help them understand why an item should be kept, donated or thrown away. Provide simple definitions to help them determine what to keep and what to discard.
- Items to keep: I use this all the time, I take care of this item. This item is still in great shape.
- Items to donate: I haven’t used this in a while. I have outgrown this. This item would probably make someone else happier to have.
- Items to throw away: I never use this. This item is broken or in bad shape.
To simplify the task for them, provide the children with three boxes: Keep, Donate, and Throw Away.
Speaking of donations, this also provides an opportunity to teach kids a lesson on helping the less fortunate. It will show them that the things which they no longer find valuable may actually mean the world to other kids who don’t have access to new toys or clothes.
5. Mapping out their new rooms
Kids will always be eager to hear more about their new home. They may be nervous about the idea of moving to a new location, or wonder how it will look and feel.
Here is one way to set them at ease: Have them decide what color to paint their bedroom walls or allow them to suggest how to arrange furniture within these spaces.
The idea is to involve the kid in creating their ideal set-up even before getting there. This will mentally prepare them for moving while adding to their excitement and emotional investment in their new home.
6. Cleaning up the old home
It’s always courteous to leave your old home clean for the next occupant. It is part of moving. Kids can offer some little-but-much-needed help at this stage. They may clean up their rooms as you clean the other rooms. Or you can tackle each room together to keep your eyes on them while staying productive yourself. Feel free to make it fun by letting them chose the radio station or playlist and crank up the tunes.
The children may be happy to sweep, mop, or wipe surfaces alongside you when moving. If they are old enough, they may also use the vacuum cleaner to clean the carpet among other simple tasks.
Caveat: always keep an eye out to ensure the kids don’t take up cleaning tasks that involve the use of chemicals. This might expose them to any number of risks or health hazards associated with the dangerous substances. Opt, instead, for all natural cleaning products or just reward them with a play break.
7. Unpacking and arranging their items
On arriving at your new home, the kids may be exhausted. However, if they can help with offloading light items, let them assist with the process. Make them responsible for unpacking and arranging their books, clothes, and toys in their rooms. Just take care of cutting the tape around the boxes and let them do the rest.
Although you’ll have to rearrange some items, keep in mind that for the most part, the kids are keeping busy so you can focus on unpacking. Although kids may burn out faster than you when it comes to finishing the moving day, keep them motivated to complete unloading by giving them some fun choices for the upcoming meal. Small ideas go a long way.