For parents, moving comes with an endless to-do list. There’s a home to be sold, a moving truck to pack, and settling in to do when you finally arrive.

 But while kids take a backseat role in family moves, it’s important to remember that moving is tough on children, too. From saying goodbye to friends to being the new kid at school, moving can be scary when you’re just a kid.

 Thankfully, there are a lot of parents can do to guide their children through a move and reduce stress for everyone. If you’re planning a move with a house full of kids, these are the steps you can take to prepare your family for its fresh start.


Make Kid-Friendly Checklists

Home sellers have to run a tight ship to keep their house show-ready. That’s especially true — and especially challenging — when you have kids. Selling a house comes with new chores and new rules for everyone. To help kids adjust, make age-appropriate checklists for the things they need to do every day. Visual reminders for tasks like making the bed and tidying toys make it easy for kids to help out.

 Don’t underestimate the power of checklists for yourself! Putting together a checklist of everything you need to do before open houses and showings ensure you make a great first impression on each and every buyer. Make sure your open house checklist includes little touches like opening curtains and windows to make your home feel light and airy. And of course, don’t forget to take pets with you when you go!

Involve Kids in Packing

As a parent, you know that doing chores with kids means spending twice as long. So when it’s time to pack the house for a move, it’s tempting to take charge and do it all yourself. But while this works for the kitchen cupboards, it’s a recipe for disaster when it comes to kids’ rooms. Kids want to feel in charge of their own lives. That means choosing what stays and what goes in their bedrooms and playrooms.

 Give kids control over their own spaces by setting packing and decluttering goals. For example, you might ask your child to choose 10 toys to keep before packing up the rest for home staging. Older kids and teens may be tasked with selling clothes and video games they no longer use — and using the pocket money they earn for something new after you settle in.


Occupy Children on Moving Day

Professional movers are a lifesaver for busy parents. With an entire moving crew to load up your stuff, moving can be over in a matter of hours instead of days. While many people assume professional movers are too expensive if you’re moving locally, don’t have much stuff, and move on a weekday, hiring movers can actually be fairly affordable.

 But there is one catch: With a moving crew to direct, you won’t have time to monitor children on moving day. Heavy furniture and kids underfoot is a dangerous combination — not to mention stressful for your kids — so get kids out of the house instead of trying to juggle parenting and moving. When you book a babysitter for a fun day out, your children can spend their last day doing their favorite things instead of uneasy at home.

Help Kids Settle In

The work isn’t over when moving day ends. Once everything is unpacked and your new house is starting to look like a home, there’s one more challenge ahead: helping your kids fall in love with your new home. The best way to do that, of course, is by helping them make friends! Talk to neighbors to find other children in the neighborhood, sign kids up for extracurriculars, and take plenty of trips to local parks and libraries. With your support, your kids will feel at home in no time.


For kids, moving house is like leaping into the great unknown. As parents, you can make that leap a little less scary by involving kids in the moving process when appropriate — and knowing when it’s better to leave them out. With your guidance, your children can get through this move with grace and start making a home in your new community.


Alexis Hall,