Easing Your Transition: Helping Kids Get Settled In a New Home

Up until now, the idea of turning moving into a new house an adventure kept the kids looking forward to the new adventure. However, now that it’s moving day and everyone’s all set to say goodbye to their old home… It’s not very much fun anymore.

Trying to navigate the whole moving process is difficult enough as it is, even if you’re working with the best real estate agent, but trying to get your children acclimated to a new environment can make the whole endeavor to a new level of stress, high tension, and chaos.

While there’s no magic trick to making your kids feel right at home in the new house, we have a few ideas that might help make their transition go a little smoother.

1. Don’t downplay their emotions

Your kids are bound to have a lot of emotions that they can’t quite articulate – especially if they’re young. This is a big life event and they’re going to have all sorts of feelings, even if the move has some pleasant elements to it.

Sit down with them and help them process their emotions. Talk to them and try to relate on a personal level. Acknowledging their feelings and empathizing with them can help them through a stressful time without feeling resentment or other lingering negative emotions later down the road.

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2. Read a book to help ease their worries

Children can often understand their experiences a little better when they read about other children going through similar experiences. Here are a few books on moving that can help your kids work through any fears they may have:

3. Unpack while they’re asleep or in school

Depending on your children, you might want to begin the decluttering, cleaning, and packing process while your children are asleep or in school. Some kids may want to pitch in and help, which is great, but if your child seems anxious or frazzled, it might be best to wait.

4. Designate a “special” box for their favorite things

When you’re packing the final boxes, make sure your kids’ favorite items are easy to find in a single bag or box that’s just for them. Let them know that this is their special box of treasures and to keep a good eye on it. It’ll give them a sense of purpose while reassure them that everything they hold dear is right there by their side.

5. Help them say goodbye to their neighborhood

The final days before moving are going to be hectic, but try to carve out some time to give your kids a chance to say goodbye to all the things they love. If they have friends they play with at the playground, try to arrange a final play date a day or two before the leave. Take your kids to their favorite ice cream shop or read a book at the library in their favorite chair.

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6. Make the actual moving day as stress-free as possible

Once moving day finally arrives, it’s going to be a lot of people coming in and out of the house, packing boxes, and heavy lifting. If possible, try to send the kids to a friend’s house (for that final goodbye) or to a family member’s home for the time being. They’ll be safe and out of the way, and you’ll be able to focus on the moving men not breaking the fine china.

7. Unpack the kids’ room first

Of all the rooms that are unpacked, try to make your kids’ room one of the first. This will allow them to start getting familiar with their new surroundings and the sooner they feel comfortable with their belongings around them, the easier the transition will be.

8. Give them the freedom to help decorate their room

Who doesn’t love the chance to paint their room their favorite color of cotton candy pink or a shade of galaxy blue? Give your kids a chance to have a say in how their room is decorated. It could be from the paint color, the curtains, the light fixtures, and other special touches that makes the space truly feel like their own.

9. Get back into the routine of daily life

The days leading to and right after moving into a new house are bound to throw your family’s daily routine out the window, which can be unsettling for everyone. You can bring a sense of normalcy back into your children’s life by getting back into the routine of thing. Even if the house isn’t fully unpacked and there’s lots to do, make time to do the small things that brings the family together, such as nightly bedtime stories, naptimes, lullabies, or walking the dog around the block after dinner.

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10. Tour the neighborhood

According to Top Agents Insights Survey for Summer 2022, many people are moving to rural areas because the suburbs are becoming too expensive. One of the bigger apprehensions children have about moving to a new place is that there won’t be anything to do or they won’t be able to make friends. Even if you are going to a rural area, make a point to take them on a tour of their new neighborhood. Go to the park so they can play with other kids or if you see neighbors while out walking, stop and introduce yourself.

The sooner your children are able to feel like this new home is their home, the better it will be for everyone involved. It’s not going to be easy, to be sure. However, this is a new adventure for everyone and when your kids see that you’re excited and confident, then they’ll begin to feel more at ease, too.