Moving can be stressful and when you add in the complications that kids or pets can bring to the mix, it can feel quite challenging.
After 15 years of helping Boise, Idaho clients buy and sell real estate, we've learned a thing or two to help make the transition smoother!
The good news is that with a little bit of foresight and planning, you can smooth the way for your kids and pets to ensure the move is as low-stress for them as possible. And when your children of any species are happier, you'll also be happier.
Consider the timing
There really isn't an 'easy' time to move your household, however, some times are easier than others. Do you want to move during the school year? During winter? Or maybe a better time to move and get settled is in summer so everyone can adjust and get routines developed before starting at a new school.
Research your new area
When you tell your kids about the move, they're going to have questions, so it helps to have a solid understanding of where you're going before you break the news.
Do some research into schools, parks, walking trails, pet stores, veterinarians, pediatricians, local restaurants and attractions, and libraries. Find some gems you know will excite your kids and be able to answer questions honestly. Older kids may want to help with research, so encourage them to dig into whatever interests them.
Your pets may not have questions, but they'll still want some consistency, like the ability to go on a walk or knowing the location of their food and bed.
Talk to your kids about the move
There are plenty of age-appropriate conversations you can have with your children when you're getting ready to move, in order to help them prepare emotionally for the change.
Explain to your kids why you're moving and talk to them about what it will mean. Depending on how old they are, their concerns will vary. Younger kids might have more questions about what will happen to their toys, while adolescents are likely to be more concerned about school and friends.
This is a good time to share what you've learned about your new area, such as whether the local grocery store carries their favorite snacks, or what their new school will be like. You don't want to overwhelm your kids, but help them get excited about the change by emphasizing some of the positives.
Change can be scary for children and pets. So while you're having any moving discussions, make a point to talk about what isn't going to change. If you've always hosted Thanksgiving, tell your kids they'll still be celebrating by cooking with you in the kitchen. If you take a regular vacation every summer to visit grandparents, talk about when you'll do that. Tell your sports fan they'll still be able to watch or play their favorites or emphasize to your bookworm that a library is nearby and has access to the same books.
Pets won't be as able to appreciate these discussions, but you can do them a favor by thinking about how you can work to emphasize similarity when they get to their new environment. Can you set up their favorite space exactly the way it is right now? What can you do to acclimate them to some of the new sights, sounds, and smells they'll encounter during the move?
Get your pets used to carriers, kennels, or cars
The more familiar your pets are to their mode of transport, the easier it will be for them on moving day.
Take carriers out of the closet and open the doors. Leave them out for as long as you can and give your pets the chance to walk in and out at will. Take your dogs on car rides to the pet store, the park, and other fun places where she can get excited. This will help her learn to associates car rides with an adventure.
You can also leave out some empty moving boxes and gradually fill them with your things. Then, your pets will become accustomed to the boxes as a matter of course.
Make a moving day plan
Moving day itself is generally when stress it the highest, so to remove some of that stress, plan in advance for the big day. For kids, this may involve coming up with safe ways they can participate, or alternatively, planning to take them to a friend's house while the move is actually taking place.
For pets, a moving day plan may involve dropping them off at a pet hotel or doggie daycare, or keeping their favorite room as intact as possible and locking them inside while everything gets moved out of the house.
Change is especially hard on animals, and leaving doors open while people move furniture and boxes outside may give them a chance to escape. If you have the chance to acclimate them to a pet care facility in advance, this might be the least stressful option for your fur babies.
Keep calm and move on
Your kids and pets have an uncanny ability to tell when you're stressed out. And it stresses them out to know you're not happy! Do your best to take care of yourself and maintain a calm, happy presence even if you're not feeling very zen. If you keep your composure and present a positive attitude to your dependents, they're more likely to relax and let you get on with the business of moving.
Searching for a place to move? We are your Boise, Idaho and North End real estate experts. If you are interested in searching for your next dream home, the place to go is here!