Moving your family across states
Moving on your own is a difficult enough task, but moving your entire family, well that’s a real challenge. I know first-hand that moving the whole family, husband, kids and dog, add a whole other level of stress to the experience.
People move for many reasons, sometimes by choice and other times out of necessity. Relocating to a new community, especially in another state can be exciting and hard for both parents and kids. Maintaining a positive attitude about the move is a great way to help everyone adjust, but there are other things you should keep in mind. Read on to learn how to keep everyone involved and excited about your upcoming move.
The moving process
When we moved to Florida, I learned that there are three basic phases of any relocation – before, during, and after. The timing of a move is critical and parents should always carefully consider their options. Some moves may be inevitable and there isn’t much you can do about the timing, but when circumstances allow for flexibility, it is always a good idea to avoid moving during transitional times, such as the middle of a school year or right after a divorce.
During my move, I was really tempted to clean house, literally. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that getting rid of a lot of our old things might make the strain of the relocation a lot harder on the kids. In fact, on moving day, if you can load up the kids’ furniture last, so that it is first to come off the truck at the new house, do it. This allows for a sense of stability.
After the move is complete, it’s time to focus on school, family and social life. You might want to schedule a trip away from the new house, just to establish the new “home base,” which is important for everyone. Because social ties are important, let the kids invite their new friends over and if possible, maybe some old friends could come for a visit over a long weekend. Other ways to transition into the new environs is to access religious and community organizations that the family may be interested in, joining sports teams and looking for clubs to join. This applies to both parents and kids; parents need to adjust to the move just as much as their children.
How I survived
When we decided to move to Florida, I thought our world was about to come crashing in. Our family is quite diverse, so it was no shock that almost everyone had a different reaction to the idea, but we worked through it by having a family meeting where we all talked about where we were going, why we were moving and what fears we all had. We had several meetings throughout our preparation, so everyone could stay involved and we made them fun. There was always a pizza, some take-out and a movie afterwards.
Another thing that helped me get through it was making a timeline, which sounds like a no-brainer, but it often is something lots of people overlook. By creating a calendar specifically for the move, we had concrete deadlines for every aspect of the relocation. For example, I knew by which date I had to book the movers, notify the USPS of our move and lock down the storage units. Tallahassee is a big city and we had to find which facilities were near our new house. The calendar also kept everyone involved, so no one felt that they were getting the short end of the stick.
Remember, when you are tuned into the impact that moving can have on your whole family you’ve already got a leg up on the situation. Make the relocation a positive experience that will open a new chapter in everyone’s lives and that could even enhance emotional growth, boost adaptability and help social skills for the whole family.