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3 Oct

How to make moving house easier on the family


Selling a lot of houses means I see a lot of tears. Usually, there are tears of happiness. Often there are tears of sadness. And sometimes there are tears of frustration. But when children are involved they can take the crying and emotions to a whole new level.

How to make moving house easier on the family

Often children don't have much say in the moving process, or it's happening against their wishes and it all gets a bit overwhelming. It pulls on the heartstrings of everyone involved. So I've done a bit of research and come up with 5 things you can do to make moving house easier on the family and hopefully avoid some of these tears.

#1. Don't tell the kids about the move too soon (or too late)

If you tell them about the big move too soon, the buildup can be hard on both kids and parents alike. Anxiety levels creep up, and the anticipation can get a bit overwhelming. But on the other hand, if you tell them too late they may feel like you've pulled the rug out from under them, especially the older children. Timing is key.

Of course, there are also some practical considerations. Putting your house on the market or dragging the kids around open homes can be a bit of a giveaway. At whatever point you tell them, let them have a chance to have their say and voice their concerns but have your solid argument for why it's happening prepared.

#2. 'Sell' the dream

Whether it is a new neighbourhood, city, or even country, focusing on the exciting things about your new destination will help with the move. Spend some family time researching and talking about the good things about your destination. Schools, parks, activities. Maybe the new house has some great features (like a pool — now that would really help). It also helps to throw in a few bribes. Things you can do or buy once you're in the new place.

#3. Don't assume the young kids understand the logistics

Moving house is a fairly abstract term. One 'mums blog' I read said: "I realised at one point that my children were alternating between imagining our house being picked up, walls and all, and put on the back of a lorry, to the other extreme, asking whether they could bring the fridge magnets." So it helps to explain all the practicalities involved.

#4. Keep the kids away on move day

Especially if you have younger children, send them to friends or relatives for at least the night before and the night of the move. It's easier to operate for you and not as stressful for them. Get their beds set up and made ready for their return, and make sure you set aside some time to help them 'move in'. Sort them out first, then do the rest.

#5. Make it fun

Moving is stressful. So take some time out as a family to do some fun stuff. It doesn't matter if all the boxes aren't unpacked or you can't find the flannel sheets, make sure you get out and about and enjoy your new neighbourhood. If the kids see you stressed it'll rub off on them.

At the end of the day, for kids, home is wherever their parents are. Everything else is secondary. So yes, there'll be tears. But the kids (and you) will eventually adjust and life will be back to normal.

And when you're ready to do it all again, just give me a call!

See also: Moving house? Tips from a recent mover


Rodney Fong is a Licensed Salesperson and Auctioneer working with clients throughout Tauranga, Mt Maunganui and Papamoa.

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