My family is gonna need some kind of medal come the end of this school year because we will have moved not once, but twice…in one single semester. I’ll let that marinate for just a bit. Nuts, huh?
Unfortunately, most school districts don’t offer a “moving day excused absence” policy, so when a move falls during the school year (which most do), life still goes on academically…homework, activities, actually showing up to school, etc. Moving itself is already a stressful process…especially for kids and especially if it involves a relocation… so throwing school in the mix creates some hectic days and weeks. We’ve done it once so far, and will again this May, so I have a few tricks up my sleeve to making both the transistion and routine run smoothly.
1. Get your kids to declutter beforehand. Mommy decluttering is much more ruthless than the kid version, so give them the chance first to make those tough decisions on what to donate, trash, or keep. Getting rid of stuff is probably the biggest key in any successful move. Why move things you don’t really need or want??? This also is a great opportunity for a teaching moment on how we should help those less fortunate and being grateful for the things/blessings we do have/enjoy.
2. Ask for help…from family, friends, neighbors, etc. Keep kids away from the comotion of moving. Not only can it be dangerous, but moving will go much faster without kids around (I don’t think I need to go into specifics here, right? Almost anything gets done quicker and more efficiently without those active little ones.)
3. Schedule the bulk of your move over the weekend to avoid any school/routine interference. This also makes for a perfect opportunity to send the kids off to their grandparents’ for the weekend (see #2), as you don’t have to worry about them staying up late or missing after-school activities, plus they’ll be out of the way. Two birds (or maybe three) with one stone!
4. Unpack your child’s room first. This will both give them an anchor in the moving chaos, as well as give them something to do…unpack! You can use that time to unpack other rooms yourself, or supervise/help/organize your munchkin’s new room…it all depends on if you’re Type A or B personality. For me, I think I’d go take a nap.
5. Help your kids say goodbye. Chances are, they’ve become attached to your old home, neighborhood, favorite friends, and having closure for a child is just as important as it is for adults. Take pictures in the house, yard, street, etc. Maybe let the kids leave a little note in a secret place for the new owners. Do something unique with your children that says to them, “We’re moving on from this part of our lives, but it’s important to remember our special memories here.” Most people I know have very fond memories rooted in their childhood homes…I know I sure do!
So whether your family or some one you know is moving this school year, hopefully applying some of these tips will help ease the pain…I mean stress….I mean chaos. Whatever you want to call it, moving just plain sucks, so you have to make the best of it for you and your kids!