When my husband and I got married, we decided to rent an apartment instead of buying a house. Buying a house at that time seemed like a huge responsibility for us – a high monthly mortgage, too much bills and a backyard to maintain. The thing is, our plan was to enjoy as much as we could the first years of our marriage because we knew that once we had a baby, things would be different – and they were.
So, we rented a one-bedroom apartment and the rent came at a pretty affordable price, which helped us save some money and put them as a down payment when we bought our house. In the beginning, that one bedroom apartment was perfect; it had a large kitchen, a dining room and a huge living room, which was ideal for entertaining our family and friends. But after I delivered our first son, our cozy apartment soon become too crowded; one more bed and a changing table in our bedroom, bottles all over on the kitchen counter top, toys and all kinds of baby stuff. So after living in that mess for some time (2 years to be exact), and with another baby on its way, my husband and I decided it was definitely time for us to buy our first house.
We found an amazing realtor who helped us find the ‘house of our dreams’ very fast. It was a three bedroom house, with two bathrooms, a big kitchen and an amazingly large backyard. And the best part of it all was that it was ready for us to move in. I was so excited! Since my husband couldn’t take days off work to deal with the whole nagging process of moving and I had to take care of my two year old son and I was pregnant, doing all the packing and lifting of heavy boxes was a mission impossible. So, I had to opt for local moving services.
Luckily, I had a friend who was also in the process of moving at that time, so she recommended me a very reliable and trustworthy local moving company. Thank God, the whole moving process went smoothly; the professionals helped me pack all my stuff, carried and transported everything. I didn’t have one single broken glass! What didn’t went that smoothly however, was my son’s adaptation to the new home.
On the first night sleeping in our new home, he started crying and screaming: “I want to go home”. I hugged him and said “Sweetheart, this is our home now; look how beautiful your new room is, don’t you like it?” Of course he didn’t – he was used to sleeping in the same bedroom with us, and the idea that he had to sleep alone and in a new place was pretty scary to him. So, I took him to sleep in the same bedroom with us to make it easier for him. But being the loving mother I am, I couldn’t leave things that way – I turned to parenting professionals for tips on how to turn the drama of a house move into a smoother experience. Here are some tips that I found very useful which might help you if you are about to move in a new home with your kids.
Hire the right local moving services
When searching for a local moving company, you are definitely bound to come across a range of companies which offer local moving services without being authorized to do so. So, beware of such frauds, it is your belongings that you will be entrusting them after all. Although professional services tend to be more expensive, at the end it will all pay off. If it weren’t for the moving company that helped me pack and move my belongings, I don’t know how would I have handled it all by myself; they placed the furniture the way I told them, distributed the boxes to the rooms where they belonged and handled everything with so much care. You know the old saying, “you get what you pay for”, and this case was no exception.
Prepare your kids
If I had the time to prepare my son, I might have alleviated some of his frustrations. Many experts told me that handling with all the stress and confusions before the moving process has a great impact on how easily will your kids adapt to the new surroundings. For toddlers and preschoolers, you have to start by calmly informing them about the move a month in advance, so that they have enough time to process the information. Just make sure you do not talk about all the different things in the new home; instead, explain them the things that really matter to them in those moments, such as saying that all of their toys will be in the new home as well. Plus, that they will get even a couple of new ones. If possible, take your kids for a tour in the new neighborhood and around your home-to-be in advance to show them all the things they are really interested in, such as the playground, the nearest ice-cream shop, the library, etc. This can definitely help them adapt sooner to the new environment.
Allow their apprehension
Even if your children are excited about the move, you shouldn’t underestimate how difficult some of their losses may be, especially if the moving means going away from someone they love, like a caregiver or a grandparent. Be patient and give them time. According to experts, it might take at least six months for your kids to fully get used to their new life.
Stick to the schedule
A great way to ease the adjustment is to keep some of your old routines. Experts say that keeping rituals such as family meals or movie nights can give your little ones a sense of consistency. For babies and toddlers, keep bedtime rituals in the same order. Maybe moving my 2 years old son into a different bed and using new bedding contributed to the fact that he didn’t want to sleep in his new room. Once I got this advice, I placed his old crib with his old crib sheets in his room; within a few days, he had no problems sleeping in his new bedroom. Coincidence or not, it worked in my case.
Get to know the neighbors
Make sure to give your children plenty of opportunities to meet new friends. It is a great idea to sign them up for different activities and allow them to try out new experiences with different groups until they find the ones they like the most. So, if your schedule allows it, arrive early to chat with other parents in the school, join a local club or even throw a housewarming party.
Although experts say it may take up to six months for a kid to get used to a new place of living, it took my son less than two months. Soon he started enjoying his more spacious home, his new bedroom, as well as his new friends. I don’t think we are going to move from our house in a near future, but if it does happen, I will surely know what I need to do to make my son’s moving experience smoother.