Although you may be frazzled and stressed preparing for your upcoming move, it is important to hold it together for the sake of your toddlers, the little people. They feed off of your energy. If you act stressed around them and treat the moving process like a burden, they will be stressed and anxious too! Instead, show them how excited you are about moving to your new home.
Here are 5 tips as you prepare for moving with toddlers:
- Keep their favorite item(s) in a safe place – whether it is a toy, blankie, stuffed animal, or baby doll. Whatever you do, make sure it stays with them and doesn’t get packed away in a box. During this time more than ever, they need security.
- Pack an “Open First” box for them and keep it in your vehicle; don’t let the movers load it onto the moving truck. Include in the box a pair of pajamas, change of clothes, toothbrush and toothpaste, snacks, their pillow and blanket, and a variety of toys to keep them occupied once you arrive at the new place. Include some books and maybe an activity book like one of these or these.
- Give them a job to do. Let them contribute to prepping and packing for the big move. Give them an empty box and ask them to put all their favorite toys in it; another box for all their books; another box for all their stuffed animals. This gives them ownership in the whole process and helps you too (although you may have to reorganize boxes when they aren’t looking). But it also teaches them organization skills.
- Allow them to play and enjoy the moving process; treat it all as a new adventure. Set up empty boxes on the floor for toddlers to play in, crawl through, and explore. Talk to them about the “big adventure” that is about to happen and how much fun it will be to unpack in their new room.
- Discuss the changes that are going to happen. Tell them about the big moving truck that will arrive in the driveway! Explain that their ‘stuff’ is not disappearing; they will see it again at the new home and in their new room and play area. Describe what the movers are going to do with all the furniture and boxes in your house and how their bed will be put back together in the new house, just the way it is now.
Change is tough; especially on little people. Toddlers need reassurance during your move to feel safe and secure. Refer back to these tips for moving with toddlers as you embark on your next big adventure (a.k.a. your move).