Summer is a favorite time of year for many people—especially kids. For school-aged children, summer means no school, summer camps, and more time outside to play with friends!
However, if your family is planning to move to a new home this summer—as many homebuyers do—instead you could be experiencing the stress of moving, and this kind of tension can easily be picked up by children and pets. With a few simple tips and planning ahead, it’s possible to make moving this summer as quick and pain-free as possible so your family can get back to enjoying all summer has to offer!
Before Moving Day
From toddlers to teenagers, children of all ages should know as soon as possible that they’ll be moving into a new home. This gives them time to understand the moving process, say goodbye to neighborhood friends, and adjust to the upcoming change. To make things easier, let them help with packing their rooms, and the planning aesthetics for their new bedrooms or playrooms. Let them help pick out paint colors, decorations, or even new furniture. The more involved children can be, the more they’ll enjoy the process!
For pets, try your best to prepare them for travel—whether by car or plane. Taking practice car rides to allow time to adapt to being in a confined space can help. If you’re traveling by plane, talk with your vet about the best ways to help ease anxiety for your pet. Also, be sure to find a new vet near your new home before you move. In case there are any emergencies when you arrive, you’ll know exactly where to go!
No matter how much you’ve planned and organized, the stress of moving day can be overwhelming. Kids and pets are hypersensitive to stress, so you’ll want to make moving day as stress-free as possible.
For small children, arrange a babysitter for moving day if you can. Keep their minds occupied with a fun activity like going to their favorite park or to see a movie to keep their minds off of the chaos back at home. If you can’t arrange for a babysitter, you can assign them tasks to help out with small things throughout the day. By including them in the process, they’ll feel like a part of a team!
For pets, arrange for a sitter or short stay at a pet boarding/daycare. Pets can be hypersensitive to movers in the house, loud noises, and people going in and out of doors all day. This environment is a recipe for disaster for pets! If you can’t arrange for a sitter, take your dog out for some healthy exercise before the moving starts and during the process place them in a crate or safe space with food and water so they can relax and avoid getting in the way and potentially being injured.
The first few days after a move can be complicated for everyone. Living out of boxes and getting used to a new home can be difficult for kids, pets, and even adults.
For kids, make exploring your new city or neighborhood an exciting adventure! Look for new parks, shopping, and recreation areas for your kids to become aquatinted with. If you’ve relocated to another city or state, it’s great to encourage your child to meet new friends if they’re of school age. Find local meet up groups online that help connect children and parents to establish new connections.
For pets, exercise should be a daily routine for the first few weeks. Burning energy helps pets feel relaxed and at ease in the midst of the adjustment period. Also, having a crate or ‘safe space’ for a pet helps create a cozy, quiet environment that makes them feel ‘at home’ in a new territory. When you relocate a pet into a new area, you should talk to your vet about a microchip. It’s not unusual for a pet to feel disoriented in a new home and run away! Having a microchip could help settle fears about potentially losing your family pet in a new neighborhood.
Moving with kids and pets can be tricky to navigate. However, with careful planning you can help make a move across town or across the country and easy and smooth transition for everyone in the family, even your fur babies!