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How to move house with a toddler

Written by Robinsons Relo
Storage Specialist

Moving house, whether it’s just a few blocks away or to a whole new city, can be an extremely stressful process. From packing up to the logistics of moving day, moving into a new house takes a significant amount of time, brainpower and energy.

Just like moving takes its toll on us, it can also be a difficult experience for toddlers and young children. From adapting to a new home to getting through the work of moving day, it’s important to plan ahead if you’re moving with young children.

With the right amount of preparation and a moving day plan, moving into your new home with a toddler can be stress-free and simple. In this guide, we’ll share six tips that you can use to make moving house with young children an easier process.

Ask a friend or close family member to help

Even if you’ve arranged for a moving company to help you move your furniture and other home items, moving day can still requires a lot of work and involvement. From transporting items to unpacking, the moving process is very involved and tiring.

Balance the numerous tasks of moving day with caring for a toddler and you’ll often find yourself feeling a little overwhelmed. Because of this, it’s helpful to ask a friend or family member to help monitor and entertain your kids throughout the day.

From aunts and uncles to grandparents or close friends, ask someone you know and trust to spend moving day with you, helping your kids feel comfortable as you move into your new home.

This changes moving day from a potentially stressful day of change into a fun family experience that your children will love. Having someone else around to help makes it far easier for you, as well as your kids, to make it through moving day smoothly.


David Goehring / CC 2.0

Pack and move your items as early as possible

The earlier you pack, the less stress and urgency you’ll need to deal with as moving day approaches. Start packing up several weeks ahead of time so that you only have quick and simple tasks to complete on the night before moving day.

Pack your least used rooms first so that there isn’t too radical a change in your home until right before you move. Spare bedrooms, home offices and other rooms that the children rarely spend time in are generally the best places to start packing.

On moving day, arrange for the moving company to arrive as early as possible to make sure you can get as much work as possible completed before nap time in the afternoon.

This way, you’ll be able to get your furniture and possessions moved into your new home during the morning and unpack and arrange everything during your toddler’s afternoon nap.

Pack their room up last and unpack it first

Here’s a great way to make the moving process less stressful for your children: pack up their room last so that their favourite toys and other items are still available right up until moving day.

Packing the children’s room last means that their items will be stored in the back of the moving truck. This means that the movers will unpack their items first, making it easy to assemble their furniture and unpack their room as soon as you arrive.

From cots to toys, setting up the children’s room first gives them a place to relax and play while you worry about where to place furniture, how to store household items and other typical moving day worries.

It also means you’ll have a safe, out-of-the-way place for naptime, giving your kids a quiet and comfortable place to regain their energy while you work through the rest of your moving day to-do list.

Let your kids know what’s going on around them

Moving house can be a big change in your toddler’s life. Not only does their living environment and room change – the neighbourhood that they’ve gotten used to is suddenly replaced with a brand new one.

While it’s best to ensure your young children are out of the way while boxes and furniture are being removed for safety’s sake, talk to them about what’s going on throughout the moving process so they know exactly what’s happening.

Talk about how your household furniture and their favourite items aren’t going away forever – they’re just being packed up temporarily, and they’ll be available again as soon as you move into your new home.

Young children become accustomed to routines, and moving day often means a serious disruption to these routines. Talk to your children and keep them aware while you move and they’ll manage the moving process far more easily.

Turn the moving process into a family adventure

Moving can be a stressful experience if you’re unprepared or pressed for time, but it can also be a fun and exciting family adventure if you approach it with the right type of attitude.

From enjoying a family meal in your new dining room to putting together furniture for your children’s rooms, turn the rebuilding aspect of moving into a fun adventure that your toddler can enjoy.

Moving day can even be a great opportunity to reinforce the importance of having good habits. From counting toys and clothes as they’re unpacked to crossing each item off your moving day to-do list, find ways to keep your toddler involved.

It also helps to have a moving day gift or treat on hand, especially if your children have been well behaved while you move. A cool new toy is a great reward for being a good mover, as well as a good way to keep your toddler occupied as you unpack.

Once you’ve unpacked, explore your new neighbourhood

As soon as you’ve settled into your new home and unpacked your furniture, spend an hour or two exploring your new neighbourhood and finding all the nearby parks, shops and other interesting features.

Work out how long it takes to walk to the nearest playground or find the closest and best park for running around and having fun. Once your toddler discovers the best parts of your new neighbourhood, they’ll quickly adapt to it and feel at home.

Moving can be stressful and tiring, but it’s also a great opportunity to experience a new part of your city – or, if you’re moving to a different city, an entirely new place to live. Get out and explore – your toddler will love discovering new places to play!

Photo credit: Pexels