To you, working with your local builders to have the perfect home constructed is a dream come true. Home ownership is a vital part of the American dream and having the means to choose the floor plan, look, and accessories are just icing on the cake. You’re probably bursting with excitement, but how do your kids feel about it?

On the one hand, children are creatures of habit. As long as they have a routine and clear expectations, they’ll do well, and if something disrupts that routine, things can become difficult for them. On the other hand, children are also amazingly resilient. They can handle far more than we give them credit for. The trick is, kids will survive and thrive as long as they are prepared. Yesterday, we discussed a few things you can do to make a move a little easier for kiddos, and we’ll continue that discussion today.

  • When you’re packing up, the worst thing you can do is to pack up toys first. Why? Right up until you load the last box and turn in the keys to your old home, the kids will need something to do. Try to pace them, and leave one box of toys to be packed for the last day.
  • Speaking of boxes, be sure to label the stuff for your kids extremely clearly. It’s virtually a guarantee that they’ll want a particular toy or stuffed animal within a day or two of moving. Looking for that toy in a box labeled, “TOYS,” will drive you nuts. Include lots of detail about what is in which box.
  • If you have access to a friend, family member, or babysitter during the packing process, use them. Kids have a much lower tolerance for boredom and repetition than we adults do, and they will slow you down. If nobody can watch them, give the kids a break from packing for a few hours with a movie, sculpting clay, or crayons and paints.
  • Remember when we talked about kids being creatures of habit? A great way to help them ride out the chaos of moving is to turn the whole thing into an adventure. If you don’t ordinarily take them out for fast food, or you have a hard and fast bedtime schedule, change it up. Let them stay up a little later, and the occasional treat won’t hurt.
  • Every parent knows that kids can get messy from time to time. A wise move is to keep spare clothing close by during the move to take care of unforeseen messes. Along with extra clothes, include your favorite stain removal spray and a few Ziploc bags. It may be a little while before you have access to a washing machine.
  • Odds are that, before you make the move, you’ll need to unplug the refrigerator and empty it out. Keep a cooler with you and fill it with drinks, fruits, veggies, cheese, and other snacks. Your child’s appetite may be unpredictable, and they will pick the moment where you’re trying to get a mattress down a flight of stairs to tell you that they’re hungry.