Tips For Moving with Kids


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Jen McCann, Your Northern Virginia Realtor


Moving can be an exciting adventure or a scary nightmare for kids. I remember moving when I was 7 and exploring all the new hiding places in our house. I also have experienced the fear my youngest son had when we moved last spring, and it took longer than expected to adjust to his new surroundings. From moving as a kid to moving with kids, I have a gathered a few tips for helping kids of all ages to adjust to the new surroundings and make the move for everyone hopefully a bit more enjoyable:

Give Them Their Own Moving Box
No matter the age, kids tend to fear that when they move their favorite things will be boxed away and will never be found again. So, give your kids their own moving box. Label it with their name and let them decorate it themselves. Then, allow them to pack their most prized possessions that will fit in the box. While the box will be collected with the other boxes, it will be easy for your child to spot it at the new house.

Assign a Number
I recommend my client’s number code their rooms and boxes (check out my “Moving Made Easy”). Number code your child’s room/boxes with his or her favorite number if you think that will help reduce their anxiety and increase the excitement of moving. Their boxes will be easy to spot even if placed in a different room.

Pack in Secret
When purging and packing the kids toys and clothes, try to do it when the kids are asleep, at school, or ask someone to watch them for you. If the kids see a “I-haven’t-played-with-that-toy-in-6-months-but-it-is-now-my-favorite-toy” in the donate or trash pile, it will most likely lead to a volcanic meltdown with freshly packed boxes or nicely piled donation stacks destroyed in minutes. To avoid the stress and anxiety this will cause both you and your child, do the packing when your kids are not around and be sure to seal the box, remove the trash, or delivery the donation pile, so the items are completely out of your house without them ever seeing that “long-lost-broken-but-favorite toy.”

Play with the Floor Plan
Our daughter loves to rearrange the furniture in her room… and her brothers’ room… and the rest of the house. If your child is like this, create a floor plan of your child’s new room and cut out furniture pieces for them to be the interior designer of their room. They might even have good ideas for layouts in other areas of the house.

Be Explorers
Explore the new neighborhood. Schools will often allow tours for new families so your child can meet their new teacher and discover where their classroom, gym, and cafeteria will be. Then, check out a few other fun places! Take time to bounce at Monkey Joe’s, pet animals at Leesburg Animal Park, or make new discoveries at the Children’s Science Center Lab at Fair Oak Mall.

Unpack Kids First
When you get to your new home, unpack the kids’ rooms first. We did this our last move and it made the adjustment to a new home go much smoother. The kids were at my parents on moving day. When they came home, their rooms were set up and unpacked. They were able to explore the house with less anxiety because they immediately saw all of their toys, blankets, and books came with us. We did leave a few things undone for our oldest so she could arrange a few things herself in her room to make it hers. After a full day of playing hide and seek around the new house, their beds were ready for them…and after a full day of moving, we so appreciated that!

Be Patient & Prepared
While our daughter finds moving an adventure, she still gets anxious with change. Our youngest finally adjusted to our new place and may handle the next move better. No matter the age or personality, we as parents are their safe place and are who they will look to for security. Try to be patient and prepared for the highs and lows of emotions your child (and you) may go through during the moving process.

As an experienced mover, and a parent with kids who are just as unpredictable as yours, I am happy to help you and your family through the moving process. Let me know how I can help.


Jen McCann, RealtorJen McCann, a Realtor® who specializes in helping home buyers and sellers in Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties, knows a house is more than just three bedrooms, two baths, and garage. It's an investment in your life — one of the biggest you'll ever make! Jen also believes more information leads to better decisions! That's why she is dedicated to educating first time home buyers and seasoned homeowners before and during the home buying and selling process.

In addition to private consultations, Jen hosts in-person seminars and online webinars for buyers and sellers. These free, no-obligation opportunities are an excellent way to understand the ever-changing market, what things families need to consider when buying or selling, and much, much more! Learn about Jen here and her upcoming events here. Visit Jen McCann, Realtor®, at Re/Max Premier, 44675 Cape Ct., Ste. 110, Ashburn, VA 20147. Connect: Online | Facebook | O: (703) 318-0067 | M: (703) 587-8787.


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