No matter how you look at it, moving can be stressful — especially when you add kids and pets to the mix. Packing everything you own, changing routines and uprooting your household is a surefire recipe for stress no matter who you are. When you can’t understand why everything is in chaos, it’s even harder to cope. So when you’re moving with kids and pets, what can you do to ease the tension for the ones you love? To help answer that question, see the following tips and accompanying step-by-step guide to improving the way you move with pets and children.
The more you can prepare your household for a move, the better they’ll be able to handle it. Take advantage of the time you have before your move to help everyone effectively cope. Two key ways to prepare:
- Talk about the move
- Practice traveling
With your kids especially, have conversations about what’s coming for the family. Make the idea of moving an adventure, and get them involved in the prep work. Maybe you let them choose decorations for their new rooms, or drive them around the new neighborhood. Help them visualize what’s coming, as much as you can. Likewise, if you know you’ll be spending a lot of time in the car during a long-distance move, get your family used to the idea. Practice with a few shorter trips to acclimate everyone to what moving will involve.
Make Plans for Moving Day
Expect moving day to be hectic, and do everything you can to alleviate that stress. Can you have friends watch your pets? Can you hire a sitter for the kids? Maybe you can keep your pet in a spare room or the backyard of your new home? If someone is keeping is your children and/or pets entertained while you’re unpacking, it’s possible to alleviate a lot of stress associated with the move.
Returning your pets and kids to their routines as quickly as possible is a good way to help in the initial days after a move. Set up food dishes and get your pet on a regular eating schedule. Give your kids their favorite toys as soon as you unpack. If there are certain things you regularly do as a family — such as taco Tuesdays or weekend movies — try to implement them when you’re transitioning. Getting back to routine provides security and comfort to little ones in the midst of change.
Check out the full infographic created by University Moving and Storage below.