A Step-by-Step Guide to Moving with Kids and Pets

Moving is always a challenge. The stress of finding that new place and relocating is daunting no matter what— adding children and pets into the mix can be a recipe for chaos. Here is a step-by-step guide for making the move with kids and pets as stress free as possible:

STEP 1. BEFORE THE MOVE

Moving with Kids: 

Give your children as much time as possible to get used to the idea of moving and process their feelings about it. Let them know as soon as you can and help them feel comforted and heard. Then, if possible, show them their new house and neighborhood. Give them a tour of the upcoming changes, taking them around to their new school, park, or pool. Find reasons for them to be excited for the change. Finally, let your kids have a part in preparing for the move. Help them plan fun ways to decorate their new room, as they help you prepare the house for move-out. 

Moving with Pets: 

If you are traveling by car, spend a few weeks before the move taking your pets for short drives to make them comfortable on moving day. If you’re traveling by plane, double-check your airline’s pet policies. Remember to take your pets to the vet for a checkup around a month prior to the move, and ask about anxiety medications if you think your pets might need them for the big day.

STEP 2. MOVING DAY

Moving with Kids: 

For moving day, consider finding a babysitter to keep your kids occupied in a space away from all the activity. This way, you won’t need to worry about the children slowing down the movers or becoming emotional during the move. Then, make sure all your kids’ favorite belongings are packed in few, easily accessible boxes for quick unpacking at the new house. Seeing their favorite things in the new space will help your kids feel relaxed and at home.

Moving with Pets: 

Consider finding a pet sitter to keep your pets occupied while the move is taking place. If you are unable to get a pet sitter, keep your pets in a spare bedroom, away from all the excitement. Make sure to take frequent breaks to pay attention to your pets and leave them with their favorite toys so they stay comfortable and entertained.

STEP 3. AFTER THE MOVE 

Moving with Kids:

After the move, try to unpack your children’s’ things first. Keep the new layout of their room fun and familiar, and stick to your family routines as closely as possibly to provide your kids with familiarity and stability. For example, if your family has a movie night on Fridays, try not to miss it despite all the work that needs done. Make sure that during the settling and unpacking process, you remain attentive and available for your children, who may be experiencing a lot of new emotions with the change. 

Moving with Pets: 

Just like with kids, it is important to maintain your routine with your pets. Keep their beds and food dishes as close to where they were in the previous house, and keep their meal times the same as well. Update the tags on their collars with your new address and phone number. If your pets are microchipped, update the address and phone number listed in the microchip as well. 

While it may not be possible to take all the stress out of moving with children and pets, following this simple guide will keep chaos at a minimum and allow the whole family to return to a normal routine as soon as possible. 

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