Moving with Children: Getting Settled into a New Home

Moving to a new home can be stressful for your entire family. Whether you’re moving across the country or across the street, getting accustomed to your new surroundings can be difficult, especially when children are involved.

Thankfully, tips like the following can help relieve the fears and anxieties your kids may feel as a result of a big move…

Keep the Essentials Handy

Prior to your move, pack a box of essentials for each member of your family. In these boxes, keep everything your children will need for at least two days. This will give you time to unpack, and will prevent frantic searches for toothbrushes and teddy bears. If possible, keep these essentials on-hand during your journey, instead of sending them along with the movers. While essential items can vary, they often include things like the following:

  • A couple changes of clothes. Don’t forget socks, undies and pajamas!
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, etc.
  • Books, games or puzzles.
  • Electronics. This includes music players, handheld video games, etc.
  • Stuffed animals, blankets and other security items.

Celebrate Your Arrival 

Plan a little family celebration for your first night in your new home. Unpack the television and DVD player, order some takeout, and spend the night relaxing with your family in your new space. Reserve the following days for getting down to business, but take the first night to unwind and celebrate. This can help relieve some of your first-night anxieties, and can also make the move a little less frightening for your little ones.

Unpack the Kids’ Rooms First 

While it may seem more practical to start on rooms like the kitchen and bathrooms, setting up your children’s rooms first can help them feel more at home in their new surroundings. Break out the bare essentials you’ll need for cooking, bathing, etc., then focus all your energies on making your children comfortable in their new bedrooms.

As you unpack, discuss with your children how they’d like their rooms arranged, and plan accordingly. Some kids may want to arrange their bedrooms exactly as they’d been in your previous home, while others may be ready for a change. Either way, by making the decision as to how they want their rooms set up, your kids will likely feel more comfortable and in control.

Don’t forget to display old photos and other mementos, as these objects can give your children a sense of comfort and normalcy.

Establishing a Routine

A move can be overwhelming, to say the least. Because of all the excitement, it can take awhile to get back into old routines concerning bedtime, homework, playtime, etc. And while a little chaos is to be expected, making an effort to reestablish your daily routines can make the whole family feel at home in you new atmosphere. This can also prevent acting out on the part of your children, homesickness, anxiety, and a host of other complications associated with a big move.

Check Out the Neighborhood

If your move is long-distance, you’ve probably done lots of research on your new neighborhood. Well, now is the time to get out there and experience it firsthand. Make a list of all the things you and your family want to see, then take turns choosing a destination. A few great places to check out include libraries, parks, museums, specialty shops and attractions that are unique to your new area. This can help instill a sense of neighborhood pride in your children, and will help them get excited about their new surroundings.


Now that your family is all settled into your new home, you’re free to relax and enjoy your new surroundings. With the tips provided here, both children and adults will feel at home in no time!

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