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Moving House With Children


Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

18th Jan 2017 (Last updated on 13th Mar 2024) 6 minute read

Moving house is an exciting time. It can also be a challenge, especially if you’re moving with children. Depending on their age, children aren’t always able to adapt to change as quickly as adults, meaning preparation and organisation are key to planning a family move.

Here at Compare My Move, we work with a number of property and finance experts to create helpful guides and articles that will get you through every step of the moving process. Moving house is notoriously stressful but when you’re moving with kids, it’s even more important to stay positive - that is why our dedicated team created this article to provide some top tips for moving house with children.

  1. How Do You Move House With Children?
  2. Involving Children in the Moving Process
  3. Tips for Moving House With Kids
  4. How Long Does a Child Take to Adjust to a New Home?
  5. Hiring a Reliable Removals Company

How Do You Move House With Children?

How your children react to the move will likely depend on their age. IOE found that 2 in 5 children in the UK will move house at least once between the ages of 9 months and 5 years.

As young children are more sensitive, a big change in their social environment can make them feel nervous and uncertain. To counter this, aim to have a clear line of communication, reassuring them throughout the process. Your children should be comfortable and somewhat entertained when moving house.

When loading your children’s items onto the removal van, let them know they are going straight to the new house. Reassure them that their belongings will be waiting for them there. Seeing all their favourite toys drive away can sometimes cause anxiety.

Parents often ask the movers to load the boxes from the children’s bedrooms last, so that they come off the van first. This is worth doing so your children will have their toys to keep them occupied whilst you unpack.

Involving Children in the Moving Process

One of the effects moving can have on children is the feeling of being out of control. With this in mind, it’s important to keep them involved in the entire process.

Turn tedious tasks like packing into a fun game, letting them decide what to take to the new house and what goes to charity.

Depending on their age, you can also make the children responsible for their own rooms. You can help them decide what to pack and how, what furniture goes where and what colour to paint their bedroom. Keep it exciting and be as open with them as possible.

Tips for Moving House With Kids

1. View the property before moving day

A way to get children excited about a move is to take them to the new house before your moving date. If you can physically go in and look around this would be the better option.

If this isn’t possible, taking them on a drive past the property can be helpful and make it feel more like an adventure. Children are creatures of habit, so the idea of the unknown could make them nervous. This is why it's a good idea to let them have a clear picture of what to expect.

If you’re moving with older children, you could visit nearby parks or trails so they know what kind of activities are available. They may even meet some of the local children.

2. Pack in advance

You can turn the packing process into a fun game, using coloured stickers to pack and organise items. Let them know that they will be able to help with packing up their room and can personalise their boxes.

The earlier you start the process, the more time your children will have to get used to the idea of their new home. There are a number of moving house apps that can help you to plan your packing and will allow children to add to your packing lists. This is a fun way to get them involved with the process.

3. Pack a moving bag for them

When moving house with kids, it’s advised that you put together a special bag or box for them. These should contain their favourite items and whatever they’d like to carry with them to the new home. These items do not get ‘packed’ or loaded onto the van.

These should be favourite toys and games to ensure they’re entertained during the move. This bag may also include their pyjamas, a blanket or pillow and even a keepsake from the old property. For older children and teenagers, it will likely include a change of clothes, a phone or tablet and a charger.

4. Plan their new room with them

It’s a good idea to keep them talking about the new house and the move, focusing on all positives. Talking about their bedroom is always a good way to make them feel like they have some say in what’s happening.

Talk about what colour they would like the walls to be, what bedspread they want and where their toys could go. Depending on their age, you could consider having them map out their rooms with drawings.

5. Say goodbye together

Children become attached to their surroundings. Familiarity is comforting to them so the idea of leaving their home behind can be upsetting. Depending on the age of your children, it might be nice to allow them to say goodbye to the old home and mark the end of an era.

Encourage them to write a letter to the people moving in after you. Include fun memories as a way to get your children to reminisce and say goodbye.

During the days leading up to the house move, you could even help your children create a video diary of the old home. Walk around your home recording one another talking about your fondest memories. Not only will this help say goodbye, but it’ll be a little snapshot in time that you can keep forever.

6. Get creative with the moving boxes

The last few days before or even after your move can be a disruptive time. This can sometimes be unsettling, so it’s vital that you keep the positivity and fun flowing.Turn it into something that is exciting for them. For example, if you’re still unpacking their bedroom, pretend that you’re camping.

As Christmas has shown us time and time again, boxes are often seen as fun new toys by young children. You could build a fort, make a spaceship, whatever you and your children can think of! The sky’s the limit when it comes to using your imagination.

For further tips, read moving into a new home checklist.

How Long Does a Child Take to Adjust to a New Home?

On average, it can take a child about 3 to 6 months to completely adapt to a new situation. This can depend on their age and personality, in addition to how far you move.

Adjusting to a new home isn’t an exact science and every child will deal with moving house differently. But the more prepared and involved they feel, the quicker they can adapt.

Hiring a Reliable Removals Company

We hope this article has been useful and has provided some helpful tips to help you move with children. As part of the moving process, it’s important to hire an experienced removals team to help with the workload.

To save you both time and money, don't forget to compare removal quotes with Compare My Move. We can connect you with up to 6 verified removal companies in your local area, saving you up to 70% on your costs.

Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Owner & Managing Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the owner and managing director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.