Let relocation experts at Santa Fe guide you with essential moving tips
21 November 2019| Last updated on 19 January 2020
With the best tips, tricks and advice for every move, our moving series is here to help you.
Whether you’re moving down the road, across the country or to an entirely new country, we’re here to make this the easiest move of your life. First up – moving and packing with kids.
We know that there are few things (traditionally) more stressful than moving when you have a family. From the additional things you need to move, to keeping everyone occupied and happy on moving day, those added little people can seem to double the number of things to do. But fear not – with our expert advice and a little bit of planning, your family move can be breeze.
No matter what the move or number in your family, streamlining the packing and moving process begins at least a month before. It’s important to put time aside to sort through your things and get rid of anything you no longer need or want.
Whether you subscribe to the KonMari method of ‘sparking joy’, or just go through and get rid of those things that no longer get used – toys the kids have grown out of and clothes that don’t fit – this process is invaluable. Not only will it mean that you save space and cost when moving, but it will make packing so much quicker. Another great benefit of getting ahead of the curve with sorting is that it will highlight anything you may need in pre-emption of the move.
Remember that your unwanted or no longer needed items could make a lovely addition in someone else’s home. Please make sure you donate, recycle and gift away those items not making the move with you.
2. Make personalised lists
Before moving and packing, make a personalised list for each member of your family. On it be sure to include the items you are packing and taking for each person. This is especially helpful when moving internationally, or if you’re placing some of your items into storage. This process may further highlight things to get rid of in the lead up to the move.
3. Show them where you’re going
Talk, and talk loads, about the move ahead. Make sure your little ones have as much information and can ask as many questions as needed so that they are as prepared as possible.
Show them where you are going. Ideally in person, but pictures videos and websites also make excellent resources. Children are inquisitive, so use this to your benefit. The more you talk about and show your family where you are moving to, the more inspired they are to become excited about the move.
4. Getting excited about a new school
If you can, take the time to take your children to their new school. Introductions with a new teacher, meeting some potential classmates, and seeing all the fun activities can really help children get excited about moving school.
Lots of schools offer ‘trial’ day, where your child can get a taster of the new school before formally joining. However, if you’re moving internationally or this isn’t an option due to logistics and time constraints, take time to show them pictures and talk to them about the new school. Even getting them their new uniform ahead of time and trying this on can be a great help.
5. Pack each child their own carry on/luggage bag
Make sure that each child has their own bag, packed with the essentials and their favourite toys/comforters so that they are ready to go for a couple of days. Having their own bag limits the confusion of multiple hands fussing over the same bag and gives them a sense of control over the experience.
We suggest packing a couple of days outfits, with each day’s in individual zip locked bags, some of their favourite toys, electronic devices and chargers and a handful of snacks. If your children are old enough, let them get involved in the packing too.
Star tip – wash your children’s bedding and favourite comforter about a week before the move. Take this (unwashed) set with you and make their bed in the new home with it. The smell of home can be incredibly reassuring and helps settle them.
6. Get childcare
Whether it’s help from a family member or a childcare professional, assistance in the run up to moving day and on the day itself is invaluable. Getting help whilst you are packing can really take the pressure off – it’s far easier sorting those boxes out if the kids are out having fun. But most important is having someone on hand on moving day while the boxes are being loaded. It gives you the time and space to get the move loaded safely and can really speed up the process. All the time, your children can be having a fun time, out of the way of the boring bits!
7. Making memories
This is our personal favourite tip when moving with children – give them a camera each. This is an amazing way to make moving memories to share and cherish, all through the eyes of your children. It’s also an incredible way of keeping them busy while you’re dealing with the moving company or getting everyone settled onto transport.
8. Unpack them first
When you get to your new home, make unpacking their key things and setting up their room the priority. The sooner children have a safe and organised space with their familiar items, the sooner they settle.
And if the rest of the house is all boxes, enjoy the fun of it! Turn your living room into a fort, eat out of boxes and make the whole thing an adventure. Our favourite moving day tradition is letting the kids choose their favourite takeaway meal and eating it around a packing box table!