Fortunately, there are several ways you can ease the frustration.
Are you planning a move with kids or furry friends in the near future? Here’s how to make sure it’s a smooth one for everyone.
Moving with Kids
Kids make moves complicated. Not only is it hard to monitor little ones and keep them safe on actual moving day, but they also make the build-up to moving a bit harder. They might be anxious, sad, or even scared about leaving the beloved home they’ve become accustomed to, and thus a little more difficult when it comes to planning, packing, and prepping for the big day.
If you’re worried your kiddos will come with similar challenges, put these tips into action:
Be Open and Prep Them Early
Don’t let the move catch them by surprise. Let them know well ahead of time what’s to come, and give them a chance to ask questions, voice their concerns, and most importantly, say goodbye to their friends and teachers.
Get Them Involved
It’s probably easier to just do everything yourself, but if you want the kids to be excited about the move, they need to feel ownership in the process, too. Let them pack up their toys, or maybe ask them to start planning decor and paint colors for their new room.
Pump Up the New House (or City)
Start talking up the move and everything that comes with it. Is there a game room in the new house? A cool zoo in the new city? Are they closer to grandma and grandpa? You might even consider taking a quick weekend trip out to explore the new city (or try a virtual one if your destination is faraway).
Have a Moving Day Plan
Think early on about how you’ll go about moving day. Will your kids be at the house or with a grandparent or babysitter? If they’ll be on-site, you might want to pre-plan activities or give them jobs on the big day to keep them occupied.
Bring Reinforcements for the Car
Pack plenty of entertainment and snacks if you’re going on a long car ride or plane trip. You also may want to bring along nap gear to make sure they can rest easy on the way. (This will help stave off those sleep-deprived tantrums, too.)
Try to Maintain Routines
On moving day (and any other big or busy day pertaining to your move), do your best to keep the kids’ routines. Make sure they’re up on time, find a way to feed them around their normal dinner hour, and keep their bedtime the same. This will make them feel safe and secure despite all the changes going on around them.
Have Rewards Ready
Just showing up at an empty house probably isn’t very exciting for the kids — especially after a long day of moving and travel. Plan a fun reward or activity for when you arrive to thank them for their help and patience. A movie night, board game, or even just taking the dog to the local playground can all be great ideas.
Moving with Pets
Pets can complicate moving, as well. There’s the chance they run outside and escape as movers come in and out, and they might even get anxiety when traveling in a car or plane.
Here are some tips for helping your furry friends brave the big transition:
Get Them Used to Their Kennel or Carrier Early
Don’t wait until moving day to have your pet try out their carrier. Outfit it with their favorite blanket, bed, and toy, and take them on shorter test runs around the neighborhood. This can help reduce any struggles or anxieties they might have on moving day.
Make an Appointment With Their Vet
When you know a move is in the cards, make your pets an appointment with their veterinarian. Make sure they’re in good condition to travel, pick up copies of their shot records, and get them up to date on their vaccinations and heartworm medication. If your pet gets anxious while traveling, you might also want to ask about solutions before the big day rolls around.
Give Them a Safe Space on Moving Day
Moving day is stressful for everyone, especially your pets. If you can, arrange for them to be elsewhere on moving day — maybe at a friend’s house, at the vet’s office, or even a kennel or doggie daycare. If they do need to stay home, give them a quiet space in the backyard or a closet where the comings and goings won’t stress them out.
Update Their Tags as Soon as You Have a New Address
In the off chance your pet runs away during the move or as soon as you arrive in your new home, you want to make sure they can find their way back to you. Go to your local pet store and make them updated collar tags with your phone number and new address on them. If you have a microchip installed, make sure you update that address, as well.
One Last Tip: Pack Carefully
Finally, pack carefully and make sure your kids’ and pets’ must-have items are easily accessible as soon as you arrive. Put them in a bag or box, and stow them in your car’s trunk or in the very front of the moving van. You don’t want to find yourself without your child’s favorite stuffed animal or Fido’s leash when you arrive at the new house.
And if you find yourself strapped for time as you get closer to moving day, give these quick and easy meals a try. They’ll keep the family fed and happy all through moving week.
I’m a freelance writer and journalist from Houston, covering real estate, mortgage and finance topics. See my current work in Forbes, The Motley Fool, The Balance, Bankrate, New Home Source and The Simple Dollar. Past gigs: The Dallas Morning News, NBC, Radio Disney and PBS.