5 Tips for Moving with Kids: A Guide to Family Relocation Planning

Moving can be daunting, but when you add kids into the mix, it can feel like a monumental challenge. From packing up toys to managing school transitions, the process requires careful planning and consideration. Having recently gone through a move with my own family, the following are five essential tips for moving with kids to help make your transition as smooth as possible.

Five Essential Tips For Moving With Kids

1. Start Early and Involve Your Kids

Why Early Planning Matters

One of the best moving tips with kids is to start early. Moving involves numerous tasks, from sorting and packing to organizing transportation and settling into a new home. By starting the process early, you can spread out the workload, reducing the stress and last-minute rush.

Involving Your Kids

Involving your children in the moving process can help them feel more in control and less anxious about the change. Here’s how to do it:

  • Discuss the Move: Talk to your kids about the move as soon as possible. Explain why you’re moving and what they can expect. Answer their questions honestly and reassure them about any concerns they may have.
  • Assign Age-Appropriate Tasks: Give your children age-appropriate tasks to help with the move. Younger kids can sort through toys and decide what to keep, donate, or throw away. Older kids can help pack their belongings and label boxes.
  • Visit the New Area: If possible, take your kids to visit the new area. Show them their new home, school, and nearby parks. This can help them feel more comfortable and excited about the move.

2. Create a Moving Timeline and Checklist

The Importance of a Timeline

A detailed moving timeline and checklist can be your best allies in achieving a stress-free moving with kids. This helps ensure that no important tasks are overlooked and everything stays on track.

What to Include in Your Timeline

Break down the moving process into manageable steps and set deadlines for each task. Here’s a sample timeline:

8 Weeks Before Moving:

  • Research moving companies and get quotes.
  • Create a moving budget.
  • Notify schools and arrange for records transfer.
  • Start decluttering and sorting through belongings.

6 Weeks Before Moving:

  • Book a moving company or rental truck.
  • Begin packing non-essential items.
  • Plan a garage sale or schedule donation pickups.

4 Weeks Before Moving:

  • Notify utility companies and arrange for service transfers.
  • Confirm moving details with the moving company.
  • Start packing essential items.

2 Weeks Before Moving:

  • Pack a moving day essentials box for each family member.
  • Arrange childcare or pet care for moving day.
  • Complete any last-minute errands.

3. Make Packing Fun and Manageable

Turning Packing into a Fun Activity

Packing doesn’t have to be a tedious task. Turning it into a fun activity can help keep your kids engaged and make the process more enjoyable for everyone.

  • Packing Games: Create packing games to keep your kids entertained. For example, you can race to see who can pack their box the fastest or turn packing into a scavenger hunt where they have to find and pack specific items.
  • Decorate Boxes: Give your kids markers, stickers, and tape to decorate their boxes. This can make the boxes easily identifiable and give your kids a sense of ownership over their belongings.
  • Packing Rewards: Offer small rewards for completing packing tasks. This can be as simple as a special treat or extra playtime.

Staying Organized

Organization is key to a smooth move. Here are some tips for keeping things manageable:

  • Label Boxes: Clearly label each box with its contents and the room to which it belongs. This will make unpacking easier and help the movers know where to place each box.
  • Pack Room by Room: To stay organized and avoid feeling overwhelmed, pack one room at a time. Start with less-used rooms like the attic or basement and work your way to more frequently used areas.
  • Keep Essentials Accessible: Pack a box of essentials for each family member, including clothes, toiletries, favorite toys, and important documents. This will ensure that you have everything you need for the first few days in your new home.

4. Maintain Routines and Provide Comfort

The Importance of Routines

Maintaining routines can help your kids feel more secure during the upheaval of moving. Stick to regular meal times, bedtimes, and other daily routines as much as possible.

Providing Comfort and Reassurance

Moving with kids is emotionally challenging. Providing comfort and reassurance can help ease their anxiety.

  • Familiar Items: Keep familiar items like favorite toys, blankets, and bedding accessible throughout the move. These items can provide a sense of security and comfort.
  • Open Communication: Encourage your kids to express their feelings about the move. Listen to their concerns and provide reassurance. Let them know it’s okay to feel sad or anxious.
  • Stay Positive: Model a positive attitude about the move. Your children will look to you for cues on how to feel about the change. Highlight the exciting aspects of the move, like making new friends and exploring a new area.

5. Plan for the First Few Days in Your New Home

Settling In

The first few days in your new home can set the tone for your family’s adjustment. Here are some tips for a smooth transition:

  • Set Up Kids’ Rooms First: Prioritize setting up your kids’ rooms to help them feel at home. Unpack their bedding, toys, and other familiar items right away.
  • Explore the Neighborhood: Take some time to explore your new neighborhood as a family. Visit local parks, shops, and community centers to help your kids get acquainted with their new surroundings.
  • Meet the Neighbors: Introduce yourselves to your new neighbors. This can help your kids start making new friends and feel more connected to the community.

Creating a New Routine

Establishing a new routine can help your family settle in and feel more at home. Here are some tips:

  • Unpack Gradually: Don’t feel pressured to unpack everything at once. Focus on essential areas like the kitchen and bedrooms first, then gradually tackle other rooms.
  • Plan Fun Activities: Plan fun activities to explore your new area and create positive memories. This can help your kids associate the move with exciting experiences.
  • Stay Connected: Stay connected with old friends and family members. Regular phone calls, video chats, and visits can help your kids feel supported and maintain important relationships.

Bonus Tips for Moving with Kids and Smooth Family Relocation

Hiring Professional Movers

If your budget allows, consider hiring professional movers. They can handle the heavy lifting and logistics, allowing you to focus on your family. Research moving companies read reviews, and get multiple quotes to find the best option for your needs.

Utilizing Moving Apps

Many moving apps are available to help streamline the process. These apps offer features like checklists, packing tips, and reminders to keep you organized and on track.

Keeping Kids Entertained on Moving Day

Moving day can be hectic, so plan activities to keep your kids entertained. Pack a bag of toys, books, and snacks to keep them occupied. If possible, arrange for a trusted friend or family member to watch your kids for part of the day.

Planning for School Transitions

If your move involves changing schools, plan for the transition. Contact the new school to arrange a visit and meet with teachers. Help your kids gather any necessary records and school supplies. Discuss the change with your kids and reassure them about making new friends and adjusting to a new environment.


Moving with kids doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. With careful planning, organization, and a positive attitude, you can achieve a smooth and stress-free move with your family. By involving your kids in the process, maintaining routines, and providing comfort and reassurance, you can help them adjust to the change and look forward to the new adventure ahead. Happy moving!

By incorporating these tips for moving with kids, you can turn what might seem like an overwhelming task into a manageable and even enjoyable experience for the whole family. Family relocation planning is all about balancing logistics with emotional support, and with these strategies, you’ll be well-equipped to handle both. Good luck with your move!

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Non-Transportable Items

  • Nail polish remover
  • Live plants
  • Household paint
  • Lighter fluid
  • Gasoline
  • Fireworks
  • Compressed air cans
  • Propane tanks from grills
  • Automotive repair and maintenance chemicals
  • Matches

Other Non-Transportable Items

Other items not recommended for relocation by movers include:

  • Firearms
  • Food in glass jars and perishable foods
  • Lighter fluid
  • Prescription drugs needed for immediate use

The following personal items are recommended to be relocated to your new home in your vehicle:

  • Documents regarding your move
  • Identification including Social Security cards, passports, driver’s licenses, and state ID cards
  • Cash
  • Important personal documents such as financial statements, deeds, titles, wills, etc.
  • Family photos
  • Collections (i.e. coin collections, stamp collections. etc.)
  • Jewelry