That first time moving the whole family can be nerve-wracking for everyone involved. You want it to go smoothly, but you never know what kind of obstacles you’re going to run into or who’s going to let stress and emotions get the best of them in the middle of moving day.
But don’t worry, because when you do enough prep work before the big day, the move itself won’t be anything like those worst-case scenarios you’re going over in your head. Here are five tips that will help you with your family’s first move.
Get Rid of What You Can for a Lighter Move
Even if you haven’t collected enough to end up on an episode of “Hoarders,” most people hang on to far too many items that they really don’t need. This only means more packing for you and a more expensive move. The packing process is a great time to declutter and get rid of those unnecessary items.
As you pack, have some separate moving boxes ready for garbage and donations. Whenever you find an item that you don’t use and holds no sentimental value, toss it in the appropriate box. And don’t be too liberal when it comes to sentimental value. An old storybook your mother gave you has sentimental value. A high-school t-shirt you never wear doesn’t.
Start Planning the Move Months in Advance
The more time you give yourself to plan in the leadup to your move, the more you’ll be able to iron out all the important details. It’s smart to start your moving plans at least three months before your moving day. This will give you plenty of time to prepare everyone and compare moving companies if you plan to hire one.
A moving checklist is a great way to keep track of your upcoming move and make sure you’re on schedule. There are plenty of sample checklists you can find online and adjust as necessary for your move.
Prepare Your Kids for the Move
As much as moving is an adjustment for you, it’s an even bigger adjustment for your kids. It can be hard on them to leave a home behind for the first time, and that’s why you should let them know about the move well before it actually happens. You want to give them some time to come to terms with it, instead of springing it on them last minute.
If your kids are feeling stressed about the move, there are a few ways you can help. Most important is that you stay positive and treat the move as an exciting experience. Spend some time with your kids to talk about any concerns they have. It’s also good to give them some small responsibilities, which takes their mind off of things and makes them feel like a bigger part of the move.
Make Sure You Have Enough Help on Moving Day
If you’re going to hire a moving company, then you’ll have this covered, although it is still important that you go over what you need with them and make sure they’re clear on everything. Moving companies will always transport your possessions for you, but many can also pack and unpack for you if you want.
If you’re not hiring a moving company, you’ll definitely want to enlist friends or family to lend a hand. It’s no picnic moving heavy furniture without much help. Your loved ones probably won’t accept payment for helping you move, but you can get some pizza and drinks as a thank you.
Set Up Utilities at Your New Home
This is an item you should have on your moving checklist. It’s not going to be fun for you or your kids to get to a home that doesn’t have power or internet. By having the utilities set up when you get there, you can make a more seamless transition into your new life.
Contact utilities companies ahead of time to ensure that your power, gas, cable, internet, water and any other services will be ready on your moving day. When you do this, don’t forget to cancel all the utilities at your old home on your moving day or, if you want to give yourself a bit of a buffer, the day after.
You never quite know how your kids are going to react on their first moving day, but when you’ve talked to them about it beforehand, it’s much more likely they won’t have any meltdowns. If you follow the tips above, most or all your move should be smooth sailing. And when you’re not stressed about the move, the rest of your family probably won’t be, either.