The choice to move is generally caused by a life changing event, such as marriage, job relocation, a family member’s death or divorce, and keeping a positive outlook when moving can be difficult to say the least. The additional logistics of moving causes even more stress and anxiety, which makes it hard to stay positive. Toss in some kids and family members and harmony can go right out the window! There really is no way to get rid of all the anxiety that comes along with moving. However, as a parent there are some things you can do to help keep your children, your family and yourself from getting too frazzled. Here are some helpful tips:
- Have A Family Meeting
Family Therapists recommend sharing the news about moving with your children as soon as it is official. Young children can be intimidated or scared of change and the unknown, and teens can have strong emotions to the reality of a move. Never “surprise” a child with a big move by not telling them. Being surprised by a big life change is never fun. And moving is definitely a big one for all involved. Talk about the reason for the move, the new location and the logistics during a family meeting. Encourage each person to talk openly about their feelings and concerns about the move. Listen to each other and respond with understanding and encouraging statements. By talking about the move and life changing events, you will lower the anxiety and each family member will at least have the same information.
- Make It A Family Adventure
Make moving a family adventure! Children are fine tuned to your expressions and moods, so be the fearless leader by smiling, sharing high-fives and showing an adventurous attitude. Give them small projects and tasks along the way to keep them involved. Create a reward system so they receive a prize or gift after completing their packing list. You can have your kids talk to you and write down ideas of how they want to decorate their new bedroom or the playroom. Then be sure to actually implement at least a few of their ideas in your new home. For the older kids, get them involved in painting at the new place, and have them help move the boxes and furniture. You can even find the local parks and attractions near your new home, and plan your first trip there after you are settled. Keeping your kids positive and involved at every step will make moving a fun experience for them instead of a stressful one. And that in turn will turn the stressful energy into productivity.
- It’s A Family Affair
Each family member should be involved in making your move a success. Doing it together instills a team environment. Older kids pack up their own cloths and belongings. Being in charge of their own stuff may help lower anxiety and the, “Did you remember to pack my stuff?” question. Consider the mood of your younger kids. Are they interested in helping or could will they have a tantrum if they see their toys being boxed up? Decide to include them or to work while they are asleep. Be sure to let them pick out a few of their favorites to keep nearby during the move. Everyone in your family can clean up at your current home as you empty rooms – each person can have a specific task. For example, the youngest kids can dust while the older ones can vacuum, and the adults can clean the bathrooms and kitchen. Encourage your kids to make a donation box and plan to give away items they no longer want or play with to less fortunate people in your community.
- Time For Family Bonding
Keep to a routine and schedule. Try to sit down as a family for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Watch some of your favorite movies or TV shows together while you are taking breaks from the moving process. Read books before bed with the little ones and do your best to keep your current bedtime routine. That will really keep your kids happy and help you stay calm. When a family experiences a major life changing event, a routine and familiarity can help ease stress and anxiety of the unknown.
- Plan For Family Rest
Plan to pack up the beds, toys, televisions and gaming systems last. Make sure they are loaded on the truck last so they can be unloaded first. When you arrive at your new home, set up your kids’ rooms first. This will give them familiarity and provide them their own space immediately. It provides them with a safe haven to watch TV, play games, or nap, while you are busy with the remainder of the home. Don’t forget to have your bed and mattress ready too. Keeping yourself well rested and fed will lower your stress level which affects the whole family.
- Make It Family Fun Time
Take time to make your first night in your new home fun and memorable. The list of things to do is endless. Make a task list and then schedule a day to do each task. You will need to roll with unexpected issues that arise with moving. If you finish your list for the day, take a break and celebrate. Enjoy the time with your family. It can be as simple as having a picnic lunch outside, playing a board game, tossing a baseball in the backyard or watching a movie. Taking time together as a family to have some fun will be a great stress relief for everyone. You don’t have to rush and get it all done in a day…those boxes aren’t going anywhere! Plan for breaks of fun throughout the day. Smiling and laughing relieves stress and creates a loving environment.
At Sierra’s Glen Self Storage, we value your time and understand how stressful a move can be. With that in mind, our friendly and professional property managers are more than happy to welcome you as a customer and to provide our industry knowledge for your benefit. We can set you up with one of our clean and well maintained storage units. And, if you are ready to plan that move, reserve or rent your storage unit online now, and take away one more stress during the busy time of moving. And remember, stay positive!