A move can be stressful on everyone so the more that you can do before the move to help prepare your family the easier the transition will be. This section provides some tips and tricks on how to prepare for your upcoming move.

With all of the work you are doing it may be easy to overlook what your children need to help them transition. For children, moving can be especially stressful, even if it is just around the block but especially if they are leaving behind everything and everyone they know besides their family. As they didn’t make the decision to move, and they may not fully understand why you are moving in the first place, this can be very scary and they may end up exhibiting signs of stress such as sleeping issues, behavioural problems, and generalized anxiety. To help minimize these reactions it is advisable to tell them as soon as you know (or even while you are considering the move if you have the luxury of time). They will sense if something is going on so it is best to be upfront and involve them in the conversation. Depending on the situation you may need to explain why the move is necessary and try to be as positive as possible. If you are buying a home and they are not present to help choose their room and those parts of the house hunting process that can be exciting, make sure to request to take pictures to show them. Ask for their input and opinions to make them feel part of the decision. They may be negative but keep talking to them about it and reassure them that it is normal to be upset. Let them be upset if they need to be!

Most parents think they are doing their kids a favour by keeping them in until the end of the school year but this may actually work the opposite. If they are moving to a new school and they have had the summer to adjust to the new location they may not know many kids yet. If you give them at least one month in the new location they have a better chance at making some new friends with whom they can hang out with in the summer. This will help them feel better about school in the fall instead of a summer of dreading or being worried about their first day.

If you have pets they may also need to adjust. Cats and dogs sense change (as do other animals I am sure, I only have firsthand knowledge of cats and dogs!). You may want to talk to your vet and make sure all of their vaccinations are up to date, get copies of their medical records as well, and start looking for a new vet. If possible, don’t have your pets at the house while the movers are there as that can be very scary for them as well. From personal experience I have found getting as much stuff out of boxes as I could right away helped the pets get established in the new home. I don’t recommend letting them into a new house with new smells that is empty. Even a blanket with your scent on it may help ease their stress.