By Polly Irion, Certified Self Storage Manager
We all know that moving can be a stressful time as an adult, and keeping family harmony during that time is not always easy. Especially since we often overlook how stressful a move can be for our children. Sometimes we can’t help that a move must occur due to divorce, job relocation or maybe the loss of a family member. (Talk about other stresses already in play.) There are no ways to completely remove the anxiety. But as a parent, you can help take the edge off for yourself and for your family with a few helpful tips.
- Have A Family Meeting
Nobody likes being blindsided by big life changes. And moving is certainly a big change for everyone involved. So, talk about it. The unknown can be very scary to a young child, or frustrating and painful for a young adult. Encourage your family members to talk about how they’re feeling, and make it clear that you are listening to their concerns. Being open about your own thoughts or feelings will help your children understand that their concerns are relatable.
- Make It A Family Adventure
A parent wears many hats – teacher, cook, chauffeur, advisor and disciplinarian. In this instance, it’s best to don the hat of “fearless leader”. Your children are finely tuned to read your expressions and your moods, so it’s important they don’t see all your stress or anxiety. It’s alright to show that you’re a little tired and run down, but being short tempered is ill advised. Help your kids stay positive by listing the great things for their new home. Ask them about how they want to decorate their new room, or talk to them about the nearby park they can visit frequently. Researching other age appropriate attractions in the area can help as well. Find as many positives about the new home as you can ahead of time so you are prepared.
- It’s A Family Affair
Many hands make light of work. The parents don’t have to do it all. Encourage your children and teenagers to be involved with packing and cleaning up your current home. Your teen could sort out their belongings. Encourage them to donate unused but serviceable items, dispose of trash and pack what they want to keep. Younger children could help around the home by doing some light cleaning tasks like dusting, sweeping or vacuuming. As a parent of small children, I would advise packing the majority of their toys while they’re asleep, or you might have a battle on your hands. Let your child select a few favorite toys to keep them company during the final packing and moving process until it’s time to settle in the new home.
- Time For Family Bonding
You are the sun in which your children orbit around. Help them cope with the chaos of moving by maintaining as much of the daily routine as you can, especially for very young children. Make sure you sit down for family meals, watch favorite movies or read books before bed each night…stick to the usual routine as much as you can. There is comfort to be found in nice, steady habits.
- Plan For Family Rest
Pack up the beds and toys (or gaming systems) last, so that they will be the first unloaded. Set up your child’s room first thing, this way they will have their own space to ground them. And let’s face it, that will keep them out of the way while the larger more cumbersome items are moved in. Don’t forget to bring in your own mattress as well. At least this way at the end of a long, tiresome day you will be able to crash on the comfort of your own bed – even if it’s just the mattress on the floor for the first night or two.
- Make It Family Fun Time
So you’ve had your first night in your new home, but the work is not over yet. There are dozens of boxes and totes to unpack and organize, and so many other things to do. It might seem that there just are not enough hours in the day. All work and no play makes for a dreary day, and a cranky family. Unpack a few boxes, but do make the time for your loved ones to focus on some fun. That could be a simple break to stream a movie or play a board game, or even just have an outdoor picnic lunch or dinner together. The boxes will still be there the next day, so don’t rush all the work and wear everyone out – have some fun in between.
At Moove In Self Storage, we value your time and understand how stressful a move can be. With that in mind, our friendly and professional property managers are more than happy to welcome you as a customer and to provide our industry knowledge for your benefit. Our management team can set you up with one of our clean and well maintained storage units, as well as offer you a free moving truck to move into your storage unit (or affordable moving truck rentals) at most locations. And, if you are ready to plan that move, reserve or rent your storage unit online now, and take away one more stress during the busy time of moving.