4 Tips for Moving with Kids

By Miriam Bornstein of Zillow

Preparing for a move can be a daunting task. Whether you’ve outgrown your space, changed jobs or are moving across the country, there’s no way around the chaos that comes with moving. Although there are lots of arrangements that have to be made to move into your dream home, communicating with your child is the most important step when moving.

4 tips for moving with kids

Whether you’re moving into a rental or buying a home in Raleigh, consider these four tips when moving with kids.

  1. Share the News in a Timely Fashion

Set yourself up for success by having an open and honest conversation with your kid(s) that addresses why, when, where and what to expect before, during and after the move. By sharing the news early, your kids will be able to ask questions, prepare for the move and transition into their new home without feeling rushed. While sharing the news may cause some initial anxiety, allowing more time to openly talk about your move is imperative, as this conversation will set the tone for the entire move.

  1. Involve them

Once you’ve discussed that you’re moving, get your kids involved in the packing process. Ease the stress by ordering a pizza and creating a family wish list of the amenities you’d like the house to include. Maybe you’ve always wanted a modern swimming pool or a Mediterranean-inspired living room. After you’ve established a wish list, tour homes as a family to demonstrate that you value their involvement in the process. Together, you can to turn your wish list into a tangible reality.

  1. Create Excitement

Who says change has to be a bad thing? Empower your kids to make decisions about how they want to decorate their bedrooms, or what part of the neighborhood they want to explore. Finding ways for your kids to envision their home will help ease the intimidation of moving. Once you’re moved in, make time for post-move adventures. If you go on nightly walks as a family in your current home, keep the tradition alive by exploring the nearby ice cream shop or local play structures in your new neighborhood.

  1. Stay in Touch

Because moving is a big change, it’s important not to downplay goodbyes. Ask your kids how they want to stay in touch with friends and then propose ways to do so. Thanks to technology, long distance connections are much easier than in years past. Install Skype for video conversations or create an e-mail address for your child to chat with friends. If your kids are young, whip out the markers and stickers for an arts and crafts project that the whole family can get involved in and mail it to one of their pals.

Although moving has its hiccups, clear family communication is one sure-fire way to alleviate some of the concern. Get excited about the move as a family to help kids cope with the overwhelming fear of the unknown.

Planning For Your Move Part 3 (Packing and Sorting)

Moving 101

Planning For Your Move, Part 3
by Bob and Sue Russo

Packing and sorting are important aspects of planning for your move. This article will help you prioritize items so you know what to keep with you, what to pack, and what items you might want to consider getting rid of.

Maybe you don’t have an “ugly chicken conversation piece” like Sue, but you get the idea. While you’re packing is the perfect time to do a good spring cleaning. When you pick up something decide which of the following groups your item belongs in:

  • Must Haves: Things you will need in the next few days/weeks. Some of these items will need to travel with you instead of with the movers so keep them handy. See Planning For Your Move, Part 1.
  • Need Later: What you need to keep, but won’t need for the next few weeks. Pack these now. Make sure you label all boxes clearly. What’s in the box and where does it go? For example: KITCHEN- GOOD GLASSWARE.
  • May Not Need: Finally, what you haven’t used for the last six months. Seriously! Think about donating or selling the items that you haven’t used in the last six months. Yes, we know that there will be things that you haven’t used in the last six months that you will want to keep, but this is an exercise to make sure what you move (lift, carry or pay to move) doesn’t just end up in the trash at the other end. (We’re keeping the chicken!)

While you’re doing all the prep work make sure all of your important documents are packed together. If you don’t have a desk file or alphabetized flexible file, now is the time to get organized. Your birth certificate, house deeds, passports, insurance papers, car titles, checkbooks and any other legal documents need to be gathered and these should not be packed for the move. These documents should remain with you during the move.

The final step is to pack the “must haves” we discussed above and referenced in Planning For Your Move, Part 1 (Pack a bag). If at all possible these, as well as your important documents, should travel with you to your new home.

Moving does not need to be stressful and scary. With thorough planning and preparation, moving can be a pleasant and rewarding experience. Stay tuned for the next article in our Planning Your Move Series Part 4 – Day Of.

Planning for Your Move Part 2 (Lists)

Moving 101

Planning For Your Move, Part 2
by Bob and Sue Russo

We have found that creating lists is a vital part of the moving process. List are helpful for a variety of reasons. Creating a detailed list of everything that you need to do will help reduce the stress of the move. If it’s on the list, it’s off our mind until you complete the “to do.” You can keep this list on a piece of scrap paper, your iPad or smart phone if you like, but we have found it very helpful to go “old school” on this one. We purchase a “move” composition notebook, which serves as a temporary file for all our move documents and receipts.

making a list

Yes, just like the type of notebook we used in school. Write down everything you need to do in this notebook. The more detailed you are in your list, the less you need to think about it on the spot. Don’t just say, “call utilities”, write them all out. For example:

  • Does my new home have the same cell service (depending on the move you may need to change providers).
  • Create staging area for our packed boxes.
  • Call old cell provider and cancel service.
  • Call new cell provider and establish service.
  • Cancel old electric service.
  • Call new electric service.
  • Add line item for every utility both old and new.
  • Clean out master bedroom closet (we will talk more about this in item 3 below).
  • Add line item for every room and closet in your home.
  • Take donated items to the Salvation Army.
  • If you are not making a local move, check your calendar for all future appointments and cancel them.
  • Do you need a referral for doctors, etc. in your new area?
  • If you are moving local, and are not planning to hire someone to help, tell friends and family the date you are moving (hopefully you have some volunteers).
  • Don’t forget to check ISP, TV, insurance, USPS address change notice, notify bank regarding address change (some bank documents will not get forwarded), etc.

You get the idea! You may be thinking you can handle a lot of the utility transfers online, but based on our experience some providers insist on talking to you regarding canceling or starting new service. Can’t tell you how many hours we’ve been on hold with utility companies. (Maybe you can be cleaning out the closet while you’re waiting on hold.)

When you make contact with old and new providers, make a note next to your line item in your notebook such as: method of contact, date of contact and results of contact, for example, I called on Monday, June 10 at 11:00 and was on hold for 20 minutes, got tired of waiting and hung up.

This does help! When your significant other asks, “did you call the internet service provider?” You can say, “yes I called on 4/30 at 2PM and they said they do provide service at our new location.” Don’t you look smart. Good for you!

Okay, so one of the best reasons we like the detailed list idea, is the satisfaction we feel when we cross items off the list. If you clean out a closet today or called one utility, cross it off your list! If you leave it on there, it might feel like you didn’t accomplish anything, when in fact you actually did.

Making a list is a tried and true practice. Our teachers and councilors alike have told us if it’s on your mind, write it down. We take this advice to heart when it comes to planning a move.   We recommend that you do the same. Happy planning!