Advice for Getting Through a Long Distance Move with the Kids!

Relocating to a completely different environment can be exciting, but it also brings with it a certain level of stress. From making sure that you’ve tied up all the loose ends to dealing with the emotional aspect of leaving familiar surroundings, a long distance move can be both financially and emotionally draining. In my personal opinion, this amount of stress only doubles when you’re making the move with small children in tow. Not only are you responsible for ensuring that you’re ready for the move, you’re also responsible for ensuring that your children are equally ready.
Below are a few bits of advice on how to make the long distance move a bit simpler for the kids.
Give Yourself Time (Plan Ahead)
Of course, there are instances in which you’re not able to plan ahead such as moving to care for a sick loved one or to accept a promotion from your employer, but in all other circumstances, moving long distance should be carefully planned out. There is a lot that needs to be done during this time and you want to make sure that you’re not rushed in completing this process. Long distance moving will require you to:
·  Find a moving company – Since not every moving company offers long distance moving services, you will need to locate a company that has long distance movers. After comparing services and moving quotes, you’ll need to book a moving date. By scheduling in advance, your ideal moving date is more likely to be available as opposed to waiting until the last minute.
·  Schedule utility and entertainment services – Long distance moves may require you to switch service providers for utility and entertainment services such as your cable, phone, and internet subscriptions. You’ll need enough time to research the various service providers in the area and the services they offer. Once you’ve found a service provider, you will also need to schedule a date for services to be installed or turned on.
·  Tie Up Loose Ends – Other things you may need to do for a long distance move might include: getting information from your child’s school transferred to the new school, obtaining medical records, giving notice to your current employer, etc. you don’t want to be pressed for time in doing this as you may forget something very important.
Talk to Your Kids ASAP
Parents of smaller children might assume that they’re too young to be affected by a long distance move. While parents of older children assume that the kid is resilient and will understand. However, a long distance move can affect children at all stages in their lives. Rather than assume your children are too young to care or old enough to adjust, it is best that you sit down and have a talk with your children as soon as you’re aware that you’ll be moving.
Moving long distance can have significant impact on your child – especially if the home you’re moving from is the only home they know. Moving away from familiar surroundings, leaving behind friends and family, and having to start all over are all issues that your child could experience once you move. As such, it is best to explain to them where you’re moving and why you’re moving. Some great ideas to help children with the move might include:
·  Show them pictures of the new home
·  Allow them to choose décor for their new rooms
·  Allow them to obtain phone numbers, emails, and/or addresses of friends
Pack When the Kids Are Away
One bit of advice most will suggest when moving is to purge as much of your personal belongings as you can. Obviously, there’s no need to pack a bunch of junk, nor do you want to pay the movers for moving things that will eventually be thrown out. While packing the rest of the house might be a breeze, if you have younger children, packing their toys while they’re home could prove stressful. Your children are already dealing with the idea that they’re leaving behind what’s familiar to them, and they will often try to hold onto whatever they can.
To avoid the tears and arguing, it’s probably best that you save the kid’s rooms for last, and that you do it while they’re away. Either pack the room while they’re at school or ask a relative to watch them for a night so you can get the packing done. However, if you have teens, it’s probably best to let them pack their own things, or else you’ll never hear the end of it if you give away “their favorite tee shirt”.
Don’t Forget Entertainment for the Road
Any parent who has ever taken a long distance road trip with their children understands the importance of having some entertainment for the road. Unless you feel like hearing the arguments between siblings, the temper tantrums, and the timeless phrase “Are we there yet?” over and over again, you’d better have an arsenal of things for them to do. Luckily, technology can help us out in this department. If you have a mobile device, make sure it’s packed with interesting movies and games for entertainment. If not, make sure you have coloring books, crayons, and other things that can keep them occupied during the long road to your new home.
Packing tip: If there is something that your child hold’s near and dear to their heart, it is best to pack it in an overnight bag. There is nothing worse than arriving at your new home and having your child cry for their favorite stuffed animal. Now you have to sort through all of the boxes marked “kid’s room” to find it. By packing it in an overnight bag, you can save yourself and your kids a lot of trouble.
These tips certainly came in handy when my family and I decided to move to another state, and hopefully they can help you as well. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the actually process of moving that we forget about what matters most – the well-being of our families. By following the above mentioned advice you should have an easier (notice I didn’t say easy) time moving long distance with your children.



    We moved 15 times while my sister & I were little and while I can’t even remember the first couple of times, by the time we were 10+ it was an upheaval. It even got to the stage where I deliberately didn’t make new friends as I never knew when I’d have to leave them behind. Even in my late teens I was known to scream & wail and hung on to the doorknob while being pulled into the car. For years I had a recurring nightmare where I forgot my teddybear, ran back to get him & from the bedroom window saw the car driving off without me. Horrible.

  • Tamra Phelps

    The only thing I might disagree with is the advice about kids. I definitely agree you should do it yourself while they are not home, I probably would be wary about throwing any of their stuff out. Like you said, they are feeling the upheaval just like adults. Throwing out old stuff, even when you know they don’t really need or want it, might lead to tears & more stress. I would just let them sort it as they unpack at the new home, lol.

  • Rosie

    This sounds like great advice, and also exciting! I don’t know too many ppl who move long distance, only a few retirees who are going south, but I’m sure that can be stressful, too, even without kids, and this would be good advice for them, too.

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