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The Happy Courier & Removals People

Moving house can be an exciting yet challenging experience, especially when small children are involved. It requires careful planning, patience, and a lot of organisation to ensure a smooth transition for the whole family. In this post we’ll discuss our top Tips for Moving House with Small Children.

1. Pre-Move Preparations

Involving Children in Planning

Engaging children in the moving process is crucial. This can be done by involving them in simple decisions like choosing new room decorations or selecting items to pack first.

For younger children, this could be as simple as picking out their favourite toys or books to take with them. For older children, allow them to plan the layout of their new room or help in making a ‘moving day’ schedule.

This inclusion not only makes them feel valued but also eases the anxiety associated with the change.

Decluttering and Organising

A vital step in the pre-move preparations is decluttering and organising your current home. This is an excellent opportunity for the whole family to sift through belongings and decide what to keep, donate, or throw away.

Engage your children in this process by encouraging them to sort through their toys and clothes. This not only makes the moving process lighter but also teaches them valuable lessons in letting go and organising.

For effective decluttering, create a system that is easy for children to follow – for instance, using colour-coded bins or stickers to categorise items. You can also turn it into a fun activity by setting up a ‘decluttering challenge’ with small rewards for the number of items sorted.

Planning for the New Home

Familiarising children with their new home and surroundings before the move can be incredibly beneficial. If possible, visit the new house with your children or show them pictures.

Talk about how their current belongings will fit into the new space and what new things they might need. Discuss the exciting aspects of the new home, like a bigger garden, proximity to a park, or a larger room. This builds a sense of anticipation and positivity around the move.

Packing Strategies

Involve your children in packing their belongings, but also consider their limitations. Create a checklist of items they can pack themselves and those you will handle.

Teach them how to pack efficiently and safely. For instance, showing them how to wrap fragile items or the best way to pack their books without making the box too heavy. Provide them with child-friendly packing materials like colourful markers to label their boxes, stickers, and child-safe scissors.

Emotional Preparation

Finally, preparing your children emotionally for the move is as important as the physical preparations. Talk openly about the move, encouraging them to express their feelings and concerns.

Read books or watch shows about moving to help them understand and process the change. Regularly reassure them that their feelings are valid and address any fears or anxieties they may have about moving to a new place.

These pre-move preparations not only make the transition smoother but also turn the moving process into a learning and bonding experience for the entire family.

2. Choosing the Right Time to Move

Timing Considerations

When moving with small children, selecting the right time is essential for a smoother transition. Ideally, the move should align with a period of stability in your children’s routine. Avoid times of significant change or stress, such as the start of a new school term, birthdays, or right after a major family event.

Seasonal Considerations

The time of year can also play a significant role. Summer moves are often preferred as they align with school holidays, allowing children to adjust before a new term begins.

Additionally, the weather is generally more favourable, which can make the physical moving process easier. However, moving during off-peak seasons like autumn or late spring can also be beneficial, as moving services may be less expensive and more readily available.

Age-Related Timing

The age of your children can also influence the ideal time to move. For toddlers and pre-schoolers, routine is key, so choosing a time when their daily schedule isn’t heavily disrupted is important.

For school-aged children, moving during the summer break or right before a new school year can provide a natural transition into a new environment and help them adapt to change with the start of a new academic year.

Scheduling the Moving Day

When scheduling the actual moving day, consider the time of day that works best for your family. For instance, moving early in the day can be advantageous as children are generally more rested and cooperative.

Additionally, try to keep your children’s mealtimes and nap times in mind to maintain a semblance of their normal routine amidst the chaos of moving.

Preparing for Transition

Regardless of the chosen time, prepare your children for the transition. Discuss the moving date in advance and mark it on a family calendar.

This helps children understand when the move will happen and gives them time to mentally prepare. If moving during the school year, coordinate with their current and future schools to ensure a smooth transition.

Flexibility is Key

Finally, be prepared for last-minute changes. Moving with children requires flexibility, as unexpected situations can arise. Having a backup plan and maintaining a positive attitude, even when things don’t go exactly as planned, will help reduce stress for both you and your children.

3. Packing Tips

Start Early and Pack Gradually

Begin packing well in advance of your moving date. This allows you to pack at a leisurely pace, reducing stress and last-minute rushes.

Start with items that are infrequently used and gradually move to daily essentials as the moving day approaches. This methodical approach also gives you the opportunity to sort and declutter, simplifying the moving process.

Involve Children in Packing

Engage your children in the packing process. This can be as simple as having them pack their toys or choose which books to bring along.

For older children, assign them more responsibility, such as packing their own clothes or personal items. This not only helps them feel involved but also gives them a sense of control over the moving process.

Label and Colour-Code Boxes

Use a labelling system for your boxes. You can use different coloured labels or markers for different rooms or categories of items.

This not only helps with organisation but also makes unpacking easier. Additionally, involve your children by letting them choose colours for their own boxes or decorate them with stickers, making it a fun activity.

Pack a Personal Essentials Bag

For each child, pack a personal essentials bag that contains items they will need immediately upon arrival at the new home, such as a change of clothes, pyjamas, a favourite toy or book, and necessary toiletries.

This ensures that the essential items are readily available and provides comfort and familiarity for your children during the first few days in the new home.

Protect Fragile Items

Use bubble wrap, packing paper, or even towels and clothing to wrap and protect fragile items. Teach your children how to safely pack their delicate belongings, such as toy figurines or electronic devices, instilling a sense of responsibility and care.

Keep a Checklist

Maintain a checklist for each room or family member. This helps in tracking what has been packed and what still needs to be done. It can also serve as a guide for unpacking, ensuring that nothing is overlooked.

Special Attention to Favourite Items

Pay special attention to your children’s favorite items. Pack these last and unpack them first in the new home. Having familiar items around can significantly ease the transition for children and provide immediate comfort in a new environment.

Use Suitcases for Immediate Needs

Pack clothes and immediate necessities in suitcases, as if you were going on a short trip. This makes it easier to access essential items during the first few days after the move, especially if unpacking takes longer than expected.


Moving house with small children can be a challenging yet rewarding journey. By approaching it with careful planning, clear communication, and a child-focused mindset, you can significantly ease the transition for your little ones.

From involving them in pre-move preparations to ensuring their comfort in the new home, each step you take plays a crucial role in making the experience positive and less stressful. Remember, children are remarkably adaptable. With your support and guidance, they can not only adjust to the new environment but also embrace the exciting changes it brings.

Above all, view this move as an opportunity for family bonding and creating new memories together. By following these top tips and keeping your children’s needs at the forefront, you’re setting the stage for a successful and smooth moving experience for your entire family.

And remember, if you’re looking for more resources or assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals or seek advice from those who’ve been through similar experiences. Moving is not just about changing locations; it’s about moving forward as a family unit, ready to take on new adventures and build a future filled with new possibilities.

What’s the Best Way to Tell Children About an Upcoming Move?

It’s best to inform children about the move as soon as possible. Use simple, clear language and be positive about the change. Allow them to ask questions and express their feelings. Reassure them by emphasizing the exciting aspects of the move and maintaining a positive outlook.

How Can I Keep My Children’s Routine During the Move?

Try to maintain your children’s regular routine as much as possible. Pack their essential items last and unpack them first in the new home. Keep meal times, bedtimes, and other daily activities consistent. This familiarity provides comfort during the transition.

Should I Hire Professional Movers or Move Myself When I Have Small Children?

This depends on your individual circumstances. Professional movers can alleviate much of the physical stress of moving, allowing you to focus more on your children. However, if you prefer a more hands-on approach and have support, a DIY move can be cost-effective. Weigh the pros and cons based on your family’s needs and resources.

How Do I Make the First Night in the New Home Easier for My Children?

Prepare a special ‘first night’ box with your children’s favourite items, such as toys, books, a nightlight, and comfort items like a favourite blanket or stuffed animal. Keep bedtime routines as normal as possible and ensure that their new room is set up to feel familiar and cosy.

What Are Some Ways to Help My Children Adjust to a New School After Moving?

Visit the new school with your children before the move, if possible. Talk to them about what to expect and encourage them to ask questions. Get involved in school activities and help them find clubs or groups that match their interests. Maintain open communication with your children and their teachers to monitor their adjustment.

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